It takes work to manage and maintain friendships – even more so when it is long distance. I moved far from home, and this move has seen many of my friendships either grow stronger or slowly fade. When you don’t live close, its not going to feel the same as when you were within a few minutes’ drive of each other, but it doesn’t have to feel like a million miles away either. Here are some of the ways I have been working to maintain my friendships from afar.
Use the tech you have available. Use Facebook messenger, Instagram or Twitter DM’s, texting, Facetime, whatever works to keep you connected. There is no shame in shooting someone a quick Facebook chat to catch up with them. You’ve got the tools, so use them! Also, understand how your friends prefer to communicate and meet them half way. If they prefer a text instead of a call, or the opposite, try and keep that in mind when you go to catch up.
I’ve also had to work on my FOMO (fear of missing out). When I see friends getting together back home I cant help but feel a little sad that I am not with them. But, that is part of life. I will be there for some things, and not for others, so letting FOMO get to me has zero positive outcomes. That leads into another point, and that is initiating hanging out when you are back home. It is hard to see everyone you want to see when you come home, but one great way to get started is to put the ball in their court and shoot some dates to your group to see if anyone is available.
A really simple and easy way to stay in touch is doing little things that fit each friendship, like shooting them a text with a throwback picture or tagging them in something you think they would like on Instagram. This lets them know that you are still there and still care about them. Then, there are times when you have to know when to let go. Not all friendships will stand the test of time, and that is okay! It doesn’t mean anything bad had to happen between you, you just drifted apart. You can still appreciate the happy memories made together.
What has helped you maintain any long distance friendships you have?