Moving Far Away? The Secret to Long Distance Friendships

I’ve seen tons of articles talking about long distance relationships, but they always focus on couples, ie: sexual partners.

That’s fine and well, but what about long distance friendships?

After having moved across the country nearly two years ago, I’ve learned a thing or two about keeping close friends… close. It’s not always easy, but I promise you it’s possible. Besides, when was friendship ever easy?

Keep your friends close, and your long distance friends closer

If you’ve already made the big move and said goodbye to your friends, then you’re probably already experiencing what I’m about to talk about. For the rest of you that are preparing, this may come as a bit of a shock. If you take away only one thing from this conversation, I hope it’s this:

It’s all on you.

Out of sight, out of mind. The moment you get on that plane, it’s over… if you’re lazy. They could be the closest, greatest friends in the world, and I’m sorry to say that they’re just not going to put in as much effort as you expect of them. They’ve probably got plenty of friends they can hang out with in person any time they want. Trying to keep social with a person far away? Well, that’s going to take something more.

So I’ll say it again… it’s all on you.

I used to take this really personally until I realized that I behaved the exact same way with one of my close friends that moved away. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, it was just that I was too lazy. It was so much easier to deal with my friends who were right in front of me. Chances are, your friends back home will do the exact same thing. Sorry champ.

So then what…?

Well, you’ve got a few options here. You can be all sad about it and maybe cry, or you can stop being a little bitch, accept it, and put in the extra effort to stay friends with them. I mean, providing they’re actually important to you. In fact, I’ve got a simple trick I use to make this whole thing easier.

I set a reminder for myself to email, text, or call my friends once a week.

This isn’t a hard rule, and often I talk to (some) of them a whole lot more than that, but this is my bare minimum. Believe it or not, that’s really all it takes to keep a friendship going… that little bit of effort. When you go back to visit, it will be like nothing has changed.

But in the mean time, you’ve got another job to do: make more friends. When you’re living in a strange new place, friends are absolutely key to your enjoyment. But that’s a topic for another day…

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Chad

I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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