Last week I shared with you HOW to keep Long-Distance Friendships strong despite the distance. This week I’d like to share with you WHY we need to bother.
Keeping in contact with Long-Distance Friends is a bit of a faff (inconvenience).
They live far away, you don’t see them everyday and contacting them is a nightmare, especially when you throw a time difference into the mix. As soon as you get home they are jumping in a meeting or once you’re done with dinner they are already snuggled up in bed.
Maybe we should just cut our losses. And leave the past in the past.
OR, maybe we should stop faffing about (wasting time) and put some extra effort into keeping these Long-Distance Friendships alive!
But why do I love my Long-Distance Friendships so much? And why am I prepared to stay up past 10pm to talk to them? (I value my sleep but not as much as I value my friends).
Obviously I’d rather see these lovely people every day. But there are some wonderful aspects to these types of friendships that should be appreciated and valued…
There's so much gossip in Long-Distance Friendships
I always say I don’t like gossip. But that’s probably (definitely) a lie. I live for the trashy American TV shows. (Can we all please celebrate that Riverdale is back??)
So one of my reasons to value Long-Distance Friendships, is the assurance that there will ALWAYS be something to gossip about. As you don’t see each other every day, week, month or year, you will always have endless successes/dramas/ funny stories to discuss in minute detail. There is NOTHING better than sitting with an old friend for hours on end, just talking. (Especially if the key topic is that bitchy girl neither of you liked).
This one carries on from the previous, but nostalgia is a wonderful thing Long-Distance Friends share so much of.
Your Long-Distance Friendship probably began at school, university, work, or a previous duty station for the military peeps reading this. So when you finally meet up again it’ll feel like turning back the clock to those late nights chatting with your university housemates/college roomates, without a care in the world. (Aside from that constant looming fear of failure…)
Or if you’re visiting a friend from where you grew up, you’ll wander down the streets of your childhood, reliving those little rituals of visiting the same shops/stores and grabbing your favourite coffee. For me, I cannot wait to wander around Cambridge again after being away for so long. There’s nothing better than working out how much you hometown has changed (or how it has frozen in time).
You are also highly likely to have some people in common – what’s more nostalgic than chatting about the people you used to know and where they are now??
Ahh, did I mention I love gossip?
Long-Distnace Friendships help you realise just how far you've come
A hugely valuable aspect of reminiscing with Long-Distance Friends is realising just how far you have come. When you live far apart, its harder to see each other. (No kidding, Ellen). So a lot of time may go by until you get to catch up again.
When you finally do meet up, you’ll gain a glimpse into their lives and how much they have changed. But also how much you have changed since the last time you shared a glass of wine. And that’s a really special thing.
It’s so rare to sit down and really think about how far you’ve come. So take yourself back to passing notes in science. Or think back to that quick coffee date you had together last Christmas. Then consider all the amazing things you have both done since then. You’ve got a captive audience in this amazing Long-Distance Friend. They are just waiting for a chance to be your personal cheerleader, so enjoy sharing all of those trials and tribulations and celebrate how far you have come.
Long-Distance Friends tend to live in cool places...
If we are really honest about it, having friends in cool places is actually the best thing about Long-Distance Friendships – its the real meaning of friends with benefits. You get the chance to travel, visit somewhere new, AND see your friend. What is there to complain about?
You may be living in different places, but your friendship is no different from last year or when you were awkward and 16. That’s why we need to value Long-Distance Friendships.
I absolutely love that it feels as though nothing has changed when I see my Long-Distance Friends again. So much that I begin questioning if it really has been weeks – weren’t we just sitting in English Literature discussing Tess of the D’urbervilles yesterday?? Or watching Supernatural yet again instead of writing our dissertations? Or gossiping about the drama in other people’s lives?
So long as you stay true to who you are and make the time and effort to help your Long-Distance Friendships grow stronger, nothing will change between you. You’ve shared so much – experiences, dramas, more wine and chocolate then you can bare to think about. Don’t let it go to waste.
So show each other how much you value you the friendship and don’t just let it fade into the past like the love you had for that terrible boy-band when you were 13. Embrace it. Make sure that you’re left with a lasting friendship rather than rose tinted memories.
Why do YOU value Long-Distance friends? Or what do you think is the most important reason to keep them alive? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
And if you’re looking for tips on how to keep these friendships strong despite the distance, check out this post for some of the lessons I have learnt through my travels to far and distant lands. (AKA a few places in England and America).
(Featured Image by Amy Sanders Photography)