Like any long distance relationship may it be romantic or not, long distance can be hard to do. Now multiply the attachment you have to that person by ten or so and then multiply by the number of years you’ve known each other and then add some distance and you get long-distance best-friendships. These can be the toughest of all, but like long-distance relationships they can also be incredibly worth it!
I have been at least 100 kilometers away from my best friend for the past three years. We were joined at the hip all of high school and then when we graduated I moved away for university and a year later so did she…in the complete opposite direction. If you are in a long-distance relationship you know how it may feel; going from seeing each other every day to the occasional phone call or text message in between school and work and, if you’re lucky, you may get to see them five times a year. It can hurt, it can be emotionally draining sometimes when all you want is that person back in your life 24/7. It can also teach you how to be independent without the other person, and to show you how much that person means to you. (Insert cheesy quote here “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.
When the relationship facing the perils of distance happens to be between you and your best friend it can be even harder for you. There are things your best friend knows that no-one else knows, they have been with you through the best and worst of times and will accept you no matter what. It can be hard when all you want is advice from someone who loves you unconditionally and you’re in a town away from the person that you would normally turn to. It may be difficult when you see them post photos with all their new friends whose names you don’t know, or when they talk about whats happening in their life and tell you stories and you feel as though you’ve missed out on most of it. You may feel as though not knowing everything about them and what they are doing is a bad thing but it may not be. It will take some getting used to but it is possible for you and your other half to have separate lives and be able to experience new things without helping each other every step of the way. But how?
1). You don’t need to know everything.
Realize just because you don’t know about everything they are doing, about Jim from bio class or about their new love for making straw art does not mean you are any less of a best friend. It may seem as though your inability to understand who they are talking about in every story means you know nothing about their life but that’s not the case. You just happen to not be involved in every aspect of their life anymore and that’s okay. You are still the one they want to come to when something has gone wrong or when they have accomplished their biggest accomplishment to date. You are still going to be there when they walk down the aisle. Distance does not mean separation unless you choose to make it so. Which leads me to my next point:
2). Keep in touch.
If you don’t want your friendship to fade away you need to stay in contact. This does not mean talking every day but maybe every couple of weeks. It is okay to not talk every day – again the doesn’t mean you are growing apart it just means that you are experiencing different lives away from each other.
3). Plan a get-together at least twice a year.
If you are unable to see each other often and messaging, Skype and phone calls have become your primary mode of communication that is A-OK. Do try to plan to get together at least twice if not once a year to see each other, spend the day doing something you both love and catch each other up on everything that has happened that you just haven’t wanted to say over the phone! I cherish the days I get to see my best friend, give her a huge hug and talk to her about the inner workings of my every day life!
Nobody said long-distance best-friendships would be easy, they just said it would be worth it 😉