HOW TO Do Long Distance Friendships
Long distance friendships are not easy...but they are oh so worth it. You don't have the luxury of simply texting your friend or surprising her with flowers on her birthday. There is planning and scheduling that is involved. It takes some getting used to, but ultimately I wouldn't have it any other way. Having long distance friendships has taught me to truly value the friendships I have and the time we have together. It has taught me to relentlessly pursue and love my friend even when we don't see eye to eye or are not face to face. It has taught me to sacrifice for the other. It has blessed me in more ways I could imagine.
I grew up having a lot of close friends move away so I had this experience of long distance friendships from a young age. However, once you get older and schedules get a lot crazier, things start to feel different. It's no longer a family trip, it's a commitment you make. :)
I have been blessed with three of my closest friends all of whom I met at my previous college in California.
Katie and Ashlyn
Here are my tips:
- Be intentional to schedule time. Even if you aren't that great at scheduling (like me). Because I value their friendship, I make time in my schedule to Facetime them. AT LEAST every other week (face to face). You might think that you can just make it happen on the fly, but life is busy and so is your friend's life so it makes it a lot easier when you have a "Facetime Date" on your schedule. Think of it as no different than getting coffee with a friend!
- Remember that miles apart makes no difference.
- Send packages or cards. (SNAIL MAIL) My friend Kalli is so great at this (I'm not sure I am great at it but I'm learning!). She will send me packages just because and she loves me so well. I loveee getting things in the mail from my friends...it's one of my love languages!
- Encourage and be interested in their life.
- Fly to see them!
- Be open. You don't have the luxury of knowing the ins and outs of each other's lives since you aren't living in the same circles so it can be really easy to slowly but surely miss out on a lot. That's why it's so important to be open because that way your friend(s) doesn't feel so out of the loop. **
When I had to leave school because of anorexia recovery, these girls stuck by me LIKE GLUE. Even from miles away, they sent me cards and gifts of encouragement which meant the world to me. The second they heard about my news, they called me and we talked for hours. They texted me, called me, prayed for me--even from miles away they couldn't have felt closer.**
- Be forgiving. Sometimes schedules change. If that bothers you, remember you probably have had to reschedule with a friend at some point too. Remember the love you have for each other and the value you feel for the friendship.
And last but not least, don't forget to embrace your differences and encourage one another relentlessly. When we encourage and appreciate rather than compare, we see each other's golden beauty.