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How to Make a Long Distance Friendship Work and Work Well

Just like a relationship, a long distance friendship can struggle, but if you are willing to put in the effort, you can stay close friends.

Long Distance Friendship

You and your BFF can be separated for a number of different reasons. Maybe they got into a school far away, or their family moved. They could even get a job thousands of miles away from you. For that reason, it’s important to know how to maintain a long distance friendship.

Can it actually last? How strong does a friendship really have to be to survive such distances? It can be a little scary thinking your best friend might be taken away for good but have no fear. As long as you know how to keep the friendship alive, you’ll be just fine. [Read: What makes a good friend]

Friendships take a lot of time and effort

Long distance friendships require more work than ones nearby, but this doesn’t mean they are all work. This is your friend, and you love them. Keeping up to date and making time for each other without seeing each other physically should still be fun.

Friendships are not just these simple little things we have in our lives. Our friendships make up a huge part of our happiness. Without them, we’d be really lonely – even if you have a significant other. Friends are just on a different level completely.

But that means you have to try a lot harder to keep your friendship active if you can’t see each other as often. You have to take other steps to ensure you don’t lose out on a fantastic friend. [Read: 18 ways to build lasting friendships]

Can a long distance friendship work?

This is something you may e asking yourself if you have a friend moving away or if they just did, and I can tell you from experience, yes. A long distance friendship can work and work well. I am closer with some of my long distance friends than those who live down the street.

Because we live so far, we take that time to really make sure we are catching up. In fact, distance doesn’t have to take away from your friendship at all. I’ve lost friends who still live very close because we drifted apart at different points in our lives, and it just happened naturally. Distance had nothing to do with it.

This year I am the maid of honor for my best friend, who lives over 8 hours away and has for the last 7 years. None of that has made our friendship suffer. In fact, being so far has helped us ensure we stay in touch regularly. We don’t take our time together for granted.

So, now you know long distance friendships can work. But, how? [Read: 5 ways to break up with a friend]

How to make a long distance friendship work

Making a long distance friendship work will be an adjustment. It will be different than your friendships nearby. Sure, you can’t just drop by their house at the drop of a hat, but that doesn’t mean your relationship has to suffer.

It’ll take some trial and error to see what works best for you and your friend. You’ll have to do a lot of things you’re not typically used to with them. Luckily, we have all the tips you’ll need to make a long distance friendship remain untouched for years on end.

1. Text and call regularly

This is extremely important. You have to stay connected in the same ways you did before. Just because they live far away doesn’t mean you need to cease all forms of communication. In fact, you need to do it more now. So be on top of it and make sure you chat regularly.

Check in on how your days are going. Talk about your social life, work, and family. Just because you aren’t face to face doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep sharing what you always have.

2. Become pen pals

You might not get this one at first but hang in there. Your friend lives really far away, and you can’t do the stuff you used to in order to bond. Well, writing letters as pen pals is a perfect way to do that!

Sure it is a bit slower than sending a long text, but it can be a lot more touching and intimate when handwritten. People long getting stuff in the mail, especially letters from friends. Print out some old photos and add those in too.

You can bond and share a lot of deeper stuff when writing. It doesn’t have the urgency of a text. It is more about sharing than talking back and forth. You can really open up in a letter. Share secrets and just talk about life. It’ll also be nice to have those memories later on. [Read: 15 things good friends do]

3. Snapchat frequently

Or just send photos on whatever app you use. Snapchat just so happens to be a fantastic way to communicate in small bursts that feels more connected. Even if they’re half a world away, they’ll feel like they’re right next to you when you can see their face. This will help you feel close and connected with your BFF.

Send photos of your food or when you’re cooking their favorite meal. Snap some cute pet photos and show your daily outfits.

4. Video chat

Another way to stay connected is to video chat. Talking on the phone and texting is fun and all, but it’s not the same as a face-to-face conversation. Now, this isn’t exactly that, but it’s as close as it gets when you have a long distance friendship.

You can have quick video chats just to ask a question or for some advice about what to wear on a date. But you can also plan out longer chats where you share a meal virtually. [Read: Using video chat and other ways to make long distance work]

5. Watch movies on the same nights

This is to maintain some sense of being there with them. If you used to go to the movies a lot as friends, keep doing it. You don’t have to be sitting right next to each other to see a movie on the same day and discuss it. This really helps you both feel like nothing has changed even when you’re far away.

If you both love a show, watch while video chatting or at less text during the commercials. I do this will my best friend about The Bachelor franchise. It is so nice to feel like I have someone to obsess with.

6. Send each other funny memes

For some reason, this helps more friendships than a lot of other things. Often, we don’t have much happening in our lives worth a phone call or video chat.

That means you might not be talking as much as you were when you saw each other frequently. What you can do instead, however, is send each other funny memes. You can keep each other entertained from far away. If you don’t have time to chat or just don’t really have much to talk about, sending a funny meme shows you are thinking of them. [Read: 48 funny and sarcastic things to send your friends]

7. Talk about major world news and events

You can’t just do the small talk and expect your friendship never to change. If you talked about this major stuff before, keep talking about it. It’s important to maintain a strong emotional connection when you have a long distance friendship, and talking about touchy subjects will do just that.

You can grow your bond and really get to know each other better when you didn’t think that was possible when discussing more difficult subjects.

8. Update them on your life and vice versa

Even the small things. If you don’t think it matters, still talk to them about it. When they lived closer to you, they got to see and hear a lot about your life just by being in it.

When my friend first moved away and I started dating someone, I didn’t catch her up because I didn’t want to bother her with all my stuff. But eventually, my boyfriend and I got super close, and when I told her and was so shocked because I’d barely caught her up.

Even if you think the stuff isn’t valid, bring it up anyway. Chances are, they’ll be happy to hear about it no matter what. This is another thing that creates the illusion that you’re still very close.

9. Reminisce about fun things in the past

To keep your friendship alive, remember all the good things. Not only will it make you both really happy, but it’ll make you strive for those times again. When you have that motivation, you’ll put forth more effort to keep your friendship strong.

Send over your past photos that pop up online. Tell your friend when you run into someone from your past. Sometimes you block out certain memories because they’re embarrassing, but reminisicng with a friend can make you look back and smile instead of cringe. [Read: 50 nice things to say to your BFF to brighten their day]

10. Maintain connections with their family if you were close

If you could walk into their parents’ house and grab something out of the fridge when they lived near you, keep doing it. Obviously, you may want to send a courtesy text, but you should still have a strong relationship with their family if you did previously.

11. Take trips together

Visit them whenever you can and have them see you whenever they can. You can even plan vacations and meet up somewhere instead. Even though they live far away, you still want to see them in person now and then. This gives you time to catch up and normalize your relationship before going separate ways again. [Read: 7 life lessons you’ll learn on a road trip]

12. Don’t let too much time pass

Things get busy. Because you don’t see each other, you may just overlook texting them for a few days. It happens. But, try not to let too much time pass. that is how you drift apart without realizing it. Even if you just send a meme or funny video, you are keeping in touch.

13. Send gifts

You don’t need to invest heavily, but sending them little care packages is so sweet. If you still live in your hometown and they live further away, send them little treats that ate known in your region. You can also send them that sweater they always loved of yours. Even send them a boo you read with your notes in the margins or some magazines you’ve been reading. [Read: 11 ways to get your best friend back]

14. Plan dates

Yes, just like a couple, plan out dates. You can easily et your long distance friendship get lost in the shuffle if you don’t make time. Plan out once a week or so to have a video chat for over an hour. It’ll likely go on longer than that because you’ll have so much to talk about. Cook a meal together or order each other, take out and surprise one another with something new and exciting.

15. Do everything you would do if you were able to see each other

To a certain degree, obviously. The point is, don’t let things change just because an address did. Send each other pictures, text about your relationships, call them drunk and tell them you love them. Make sure they know nothing is changing just because you’re no longer in the same zip code.

[Read: 10 survival tips for every long distance relationship]

The truth is, maintaining a long distance friendship is a lot like making a long distance romantic relationship work. You have to do things to stay connected and strengthen your relationship every day.

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The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...