I always knew I didn’t fit in where my husband and I grew up. No matter how many friends and family surrounded us with their love and support, I just knew I didn’t belong. My husband and I craved more than what the small town in Georgia that we grew up in could offer. So, we took a big chance and moved across the country to plant our roots here in the East Valley. We traded the humidity for heat and never looked back.
Making new friends as and adult is hard enough, but having no support system in the brand new city you just moved to -next level difficult. In my case, there was definitely a transition period. I could either accept my fate of isolation until I made new friends, or I could put in the extra effort to make sure my existing friendships continued to flourish. I chose the latter. Whether you or someone you know just moved across the country, to another country, to another state, or is under a stay at home order with no end in sight, this one’s for you and your long distance BFF!
- Get rid of the idea that it will be a 50/50 relationship
It’s human to have thoughts like, “I’m always the one calling/texting first! Why do I have to always make the effort?”. I’m going to save you a lot of frustration -get rid of that mentality! I know this is out of the ordinary for a traditional friendship because in a perfect world, all friendships are 50/50, but hear me out! LIFE HAPPENS! There will most certainly be times where life is going to get in the way of your long-distance friendship. Rather than using that as an excuse, put in a little extra effort and I guarantee you’ll get it right back when life is getting in the way of your long-distance social life!
- Pick up the phone
I know this is pretty obvious, but technology is your life-line in this case! Call often, send a text when you think of them, schedule a FaceTime, have a happy hour over Zoom, send a care package, tag them in a funny meme -the possibilities are ENDLESS. I’m not saying you have to blow up their phone, but be more intentional with how you communicate with them. It’s super easy to drift apart unintentionally! My friends and I have an understanding that we can call each other anytime, day or night. You never know when a much needed vent sesh can arise!
- Leave an open invitation / plan often
My long-distance besties and I have a pretty open dialog when it comes to making plans and visiting. Since I am the one who moved to a foreign land (yes, the desert is very much foreign to them LOL), they know they are welcome to visit ANY time. We always make sure to plan well in advance and count down the days together! It’s so exciting looking forward to their arrival and planning the fun adventures we’ll get into. Make it a habit to plan something -no matter how far in advance!
- Remember: friendships aren’t fragile -they’re flexible!
With enough care and intention, your long-distance friendships can bring you closer than ever before. Don’t be afraid to initiate conversation, come to them when you need them the most, or share good news! There’s always room to grow together, no matter the distance.
What are some ways that you keep your long-distance friendships thriving?