I've been working on this post for a little while. Between living in Disney World and competing in pageants nationwide, I have a lot of long distance friends. I feel so lucky to have bits of my heart scattered across the country, but it can be taxing! The best people I know are often miles and miles away-- one of my nearest and dearest friends lives across the country from me. We sat down and chatted one night last weekend (I spent 44 hours in California, visiting her) about HOW ON EARTH we can stay such great friends through the distance. How do we do it-- manage to get together every few months, and it feels like NO time passes? What do we do and how do we manage long distance friendship? I've got a cheat sheet for you guys-- our top 5 ways to maintain and continue to grow a friendship, even from across the country.
1. Make Time to Stay In Touch
This is the first and most important one. Friendships are, for the most part, built on priority. We always make time to talk. Whether it's a FaceTime date for five minutes to say hi or a three hour vent session about our coworkers, we make sure to prioritize each other. It can be incredibly difficult to do; we deal with a time difference and busy work schedules, but I'm a big believer that we make time for what's important to us. Even if it's just tagging your buddy in memes throughout the week, it's important to keep in touch. This helps to make sure that we not only stay in each other's lives, but that we pick up right where we left off when we finally get a chance to hang out in person!
2. Letters, Notes, and Tags
This is HUGE (and it's my favorite thing). I love to send encouraging notes to my long distance friends. It's a great way to tell them how much I miss their company or to remind them that I'm praying for them. Everyone needs to be reminded that they're loved and valued, and I just think it's sweet to have it in writing. Get your friends' mailing addresses; be old school. Send snail mail. Even sending inexpensive goodies or other treats is a great way to share the love long distance.
3. Stay Updated (As Much As Possible)
Staying in the know with your pals is SO important. Keeping up with them is a great way to make sure that you have things to talk about. Follow them on social media; keep up with the ongoings of their lives. Staying in-the-know helps keep the friendship thriving and maintains a closeness, no matter how many miles are between you. AND if you see something that interests you-- ask!! Ask about the new puppy or the new job.
4. Pray For Your Friends
There is nothing that keeps my friends, especially my long distance ones, at the top of my mind like keeping them at the top of my prayer list. I love to check in on them and to see how I can pray for them. After spending time praying for them, it's great to follow up with them about whatever you're praying for. Life can be a rollercoaster, full of highs and lows, but it's so nice to have prayer warriors on your side. Pray for your friends and have them pray for you.
5. Make The Trek To Visit
Lastly, at some point, visits are a MUST. My long distance pals and I try our best to take turns visiting, whenever we can manage it. At the end of the day, getting time to actually do things together is so important. Eventually, the letters and the phone calls and the texts won't be enough to keep a relationship going. You have to show up for them.
I took that trip to California to visit a friend, like I mentioned. I spent 44 hours in Los Angeles, and I cannot wait to share all of those adventures with you!