It’s been a few years since I graduated from college, but I remember the instant dread I felt realizing I wasn’t going to be living in the same state, much less the same town, as my best friends.
I was moving to New York, one friend was going to Nebraska, another to Colorado, and another was jetting off halfway across the world to Spain. Growing up is hard to do, but it’s especially hard when you don’t get to see your best friends every single day.
While moving away isn’t necessarily a friendship death sentence, it does make it harder to stay close. Between figuring out time zones, getting settled in a new city, and creating new friendships, maintaining old relationships takes work. However, the closest friendships should be able to withstand the farthest of distances and the longest of time apart.
If you’ve got friends all over the country — or all over the world — here are some ways to help keep your long-distance friendships strong.
Schedule FaceTime Dates
We plan dates with romantic partners and schedule business meetings, so it only makes sense to schedule dates with our friends too. If you and your best friend live far away from each other, schedule FaceTime dates as often as you both want to talk and stick to that schedule.
Whether you decide to FaceTime once a week or once a month, use that time to catch up on everything that’s been going on in both your lives.
It can be easy to let one week of not texting your friend turn into two weeks, then three weeks… you get the point. If you’re serious about maintaining this friendship, you have to be intentional with your time.
Send funny memes to your pal, give random song recommendations, and don’t be afraid to reach out about something trivial. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve received a text from a friend about something so silly that’s completely made my day.
Staying in touch through our mobile devices is great, but take it a step further by sending your friend physical surprises every once and a while. Whether you decide to write a handwritten note, send a birthday gift, or surprise them with their favorite snack, I promise it will do wonders for your friendship.
Welcome New Friends
Don’t let jealousy get in the way of your friendship. You’re going to make new friends in your city, and so is your friend in theirs. Welcome new friends into your pal’s life. They’ll more than likely become your friends too!
It’s easy to feel territorial when it comes to close friends, but you should want your friend to find other people they enjoy spending time with.
If possible, try to find time to visit one another. If you’re able to visit each other in your new cities, that’s excellent, but if not try to find a place to meet in the middle. Or, if you want to take things a step further, plan a vacation together!
Regardless of if you’re able to see each other in person four times a year or only one time a year, plan your visit (or visits) in advance and have them to look forward to.