Long Distance Friendship: Maintaining Relationships from Afar

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Ekaterina Bolovtsova

Social media and the internet have made it much easier to maintain friendships over long distances or without seeing each other very often. The biggest challenge in long-distance friendships is to avoid drifting apart. These tips can help you and your friends keep on track.

Maintaining long-distance friendships can be a challenge, and the work is ultimately up to you and your friends. We’ve all heard the phrase “it takes two to tango”, and no statement could better describe the struggle of keeping a long-distance best friend when you don’t get to see them very often.

But when both parties put the effort in, the result is an incredibly rewarding relationship.

Tips for Long-Distance Friendship

long distance best friend
Nowadays, there are so many ways to connect with friends over long distances. Find your favorite medium and run with it, whether it’s daily Snapchats or weekly emails. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pexels - Pixabay)
  • Share your life with others: Send photos from time to time, write to your long-distance friends about what’s going on, and ask about their lives. Share memes that remind you of each other. It’s the little things that count.
  • Create routines and rituals. Routines help maintain friendships whether you see each other regularly or not!
  • Put in the extra effort to pursue common interests. Arrange to watch the same movie or read the same book. This will facilitate conversation between you and your long-distance best friend later, and will make you feel closer as a result.
  • Honesty, reliability, appreciation. These values are just as important in a long-distance friendship as in a friendship where you see each other regularly.
  • Call each other regularly. Whether you schedule it or do it spontaneously, make time for each other. Video calls are even better because you can see facial expressions.
  • Communicate transparently and openly. These days, the expectation is that everyone must be available at all times and respond immediately to every message. It’s perfectly okay if you don’t want that – just make sure you communicate that clearly.

Nurturing Friendships: When and How

Sometimes, despite all efforts, it’s impossible to prevent people from drifting apart or friendships from breaking down. It can happen with your friend next door as much as with your long-distance best friend. But how do you know when it is still worthwhile to invest in a long-distance friendship and when it is better to just walk away? There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution for this, as there are many factors that come into play.

Before you hastily give up on a friendship, try talking to one another! Have an open conversation about your concerns – you may be able to figure things out and salvage the relationship.

But also be honest with yourself – as we said before, it takes two to tango. If you find yourself putting all the effort in, it’s a one-sided friendship. These types of relationships are emotionally draining and not worth your time or effort.

This article has been translated from German by Karen Stankiewicz. You can find the original here: Freundschaften pflegen: So klappen alte und neue Freundschaften – auch auf Distanz

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