How to Maintain Long-Distance Friendships

I am in a very healthy and committed 12-year, long-distance friendship with Jen and loving it!
I never realized how lucky I was to have such a great friend in my life for so long until recently while speaking to a few co-workers. Many of them had moved far from their hometowns and lost touch with their childhood friends and it made me want to treasure the friendship I've cultured with my bestie!
Jen currently lives on the West coast and I live on the East coast (we literally live on opposite ends of the country!) and that makes it difficult to see each other. Luckily we are pretty experienced LDF-ers (that's long-distance-friendship) so we've done okay so far. I will say, it's not always easy. Sometimes, I wish I could just hang out with her at a bar after a long day at work but we can't do that. But through mutual understanding and patience, we've been able to keep up a very awesome friendship - we're trying to give Tina Fey and Amy Poehler a run for their money!
Here are some tips for those who are currently or about to have an LDF yourselves:
  1. Technology is your friend too: This one is kind of obvious but we really would not have made it if it weren't for technology. I'm talking Skype conversations, text messages, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We've even used something called Rabb.it to watch Netflix together! We have regularly scheduled Skype happy hours as well! We try to be good about having a schedule with this because...
  2. Checking in is important: Even though I don't live anywhere close to Jen anymore, I still know (by name) her co-workers, her new friends, the people she meets, etc. I check in on her and she let's me get involved in her life. Jen also goes out of her way to get to know the people in my life and check in on how I'm doing. She even tells her new friends about me and my work! I think this has really made our friendship stronger. 
  3. Be flexible: Sometimes your friend will be busy when you aren't and vice versa. This happens - it's life! Just because your friend doesn't text you back right away doesn't mean they've stopped liking you or is not thinking of you. I know I am notorious for not returning texts, especially if I can tell someone's only texting me because they're bored. I get busy and Jen is busy! As long as you both understand that it's okay to miss each other, it will be fine. 
  4. Don't wait too long: It's important to be flexible but it's also important not to have too big a gap between contact. If you've gone for months without a phone call, pick up your phone! There's always the risk that the longer you wait, the more awkward it'll get to actually contact them.
  5. Visit them: Jen just visited DC during the Holidays and I'm making arrangements to visit her in August! If you can schedule a physical visit, do it! Travel is good for you after all and seeing your best friend will be just that awesome!
Any of you guys out there also in an LDF? Share some of your tips!

12 comments

  1. love this post. as we grow older things change and we all aren't in our home towns. thankfully only one of my besties moved away. but we do keep in contact and im going to be visiting her this spring.

    xoox,
    geri

    http://everydaylivingnyc.blogspot.com

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  2. These are great tips! It's awesome to have such a good friend, even with the distance. My bestie is in Sydney and I haven't seen her in person in a few years but I'd love to take a trip again soon. I used to visit her every time I flew there for work, a quickly squeezed in lunchtime catch up can cover so many things! :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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  3. My best friend is in Italy and whenever we speak is like we saw each other yesterday ! I feel like real friendship will always find a way ...:)
    xoxo

    www.sorananistor.com

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  4. Luckily, I have all my best friends with me. But I think those are some really great tips :)

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  5. Dear Deborah, my honest congratulations you maintained your long distance friendship for that long time. I think your tips are really good and now I'm only a bit sad that I didn't reach what you did ...
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  6. I've met my best friend when I studied in Germany and I'm really happy we've been able to keep up our friendship for two years now. It's easier to see him as we only live two hours away from each other, so I will already see him again next week. However I really wish we could hang out as we used to as I could always cry out my heart to him.

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  7. 99% of my closets friends dont even live on the same continent as me, and I have kept my relationships with all of them. I haven't even thought to label the relationships "long distance", neither do I make a conscious effort to keep in touch. We just talk all the time and keep in touch via social media.

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  8. Love this. I went to college in PA but I'm from CA, so pretty much all of my friends are long distance now. These tips are amazing, especially that site/app for watching Netflix together...so handy!

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  9. These are some great tips! Even though I live fairly close to my friends sometimes it's hard to keep contact because we're all so busy (I know, terrible)... Will definitely be keeping some of these in mind! :)

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  10. Love these tips! My three best friends all live in a different state. Thank God for texting!!
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  11. These are great LDF tips, lady!

    Hope you're having a good week!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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