Today I’m blog swapping with my best friend, Christine. Keep reading to get her perspective on how we keep up a long distance friendship, and then hop over to her (brand new!!) blog to read my thoughts.
I live in Nebraska. My best friend lives in Alabama. We’ve officially lived apart for longer than we lived “together.” As freshmen in college, we shared a 14×14 room. Then, we shared a suite style dorm room with two other girls as sophomores. Then I moved off campus while she moved into the sorority house, but we still lived in the same town (and we thought that was hard). After we graduated from college, I moved a lot (Maryland, Georgia, Ohio, now Nebraska) while Lizy has mostly stayed in Alabama. It’s not easy to maintain a friendship long distance. There’s no late night trips to TCBY, no showing up at each other’s house because you’re bored, and no more getting together for lunch because neither of you had anything better to do. Oh how times have changed. So what do you do? Let the friendship fall by the wayside because it’s not easy anymore? I don’t think so! Lizy and I have been long distance best friends for over 4 years now. Here’s how we make it work.
…in every way possible. Lizy and I use text, email, instant message, Twitter, our blogs, letters, and of course, phone calls. I feel like the more ways we communicate, the more we are “in touch.”
Some people call us codependent, I call us best friends. (Ps, Lizy, you need to join Instagram!) You simply can’t maintain a friendship without staying connected.
Lizy and I mail each other coupons. Yes, it’s weird. No, we don’t care. Its just something we do. We also mail each other funny cards. We collaborate about our blogs. We have pets that we treat like children. We read Nora Roberts like it’s our job. We love Harry Potter. Remember all that stuff that made you best friends in the first place? Keep sharing that. That’s what social media was made for. Share all the stuff!
Don’t Bail When Life Gets in the Way
Don’t bail. A lot of friendships hit a rough spot when someone gets a boyfriend. Or gets married. Or gets overwhelmed by life and stops answering the phone. Suddenly you and your BFF aren’t on the phone all night complaining about men, one of you is holed up in her apartment with one. And that’s ok, just remember to call your friends when you’re not…*ahem* busy. When things get tough you’re going to need your friends. So don’t let them slip away just because things got busy.
Visit Each Other
Ok, here’s the part where I hide my face in shame. Lizy is so much better about this than I am. She has visited me everywhere I’ve been except Nebraska (and I just moved here so that doesn’t even count). Part of the reason for my lack of visits in the past was lack of funds and a job that did not allow me to travel. But this is not about my excuses. This is about the fact that visiting is really important. It’s a hassle. It’s expensive. And as I keep moving farther away, the hassle and expense just keep increasing. But being able to hang out and drink wine and do nothing together is so worth it. So do it. Plan that trip to see your old college girlfriends. Head home for that high school reunion. (I’m not being preachy. I really need to follow my own advice on this one.)
What’s the Point?
Let’s face it ladies (and gentlemen? do I even have any dude readers?), you wouldn’t be where you are now without your best friend (or any of your other friends). She’s the one who always listens to you complain/cry/rant when your man is deployed for 6 months. And then talks to you on the phone the whole way to the airport because OMGHE’SCOMINGHOME!!! She’s the one who never tires of listening to your wedding drama. And waits until after your wedding day to tell you how much shit actually hit the fan that day. She will be brutally honest about outfits, your new haircut, and your new boyfriend. And will always be righteously indignant on your behalf.