Long Distance Friendships – How to make it work

Long distance friendships
Friendships are like relationships. You have to put the effort in to make it work as without that from both sides, one person starts feeling taken for granted and won’t put up with it any more. And that friend that you have a mutual understanding that you’ll see them when you see them and not bother inbetween? That’s pretty much a friendship fuck-buddy.

Like a lot of people, my friendships stretch across the country. Having friends from school who are now scattered across various cities, university friends who have returned to their home towns or new towns for work and I, myself, moving to Leeds for my career, it means that my friendships require more effort than ever before.

I thought I’d put a list together (as I’m liking the whole lists thing at the moment) of the best ways to keep those friendships together, even when you might not see each other that often.

1. Know that your friends are pretty much always only a train, bus or car journey away. It’s a small comfort when you’re feeling lonely.

2. Keep in touch. It sounds obvious but keeping in regular contact whether it’s by phone, whatsapp or Facebook, just do it. It literally takes second to send a text.

3. Remember the important things, on the day. Set reminders in your phone for birthdays, the date of their last exam, anything that you’d want them to remember about you.

4. When something reminds you of them, tell them. It lets them know you’re thinking about them. Or when you dream about them. 

5. Make arrangements. I’m bad at the best of times for letting life get in the way so every time I have a free weekend, I’ll try and plan something. It can be expensive and let’s face it, nobody is a millionaire, but it’s worth it, even if it’s just for a day.

6. Send letters. This is something I’m really out of the habit of doing but now I live by myself, I rarely get post so anything I do get (that’s not for the previous occupants or from Yorkshire Water), is a lovely surprise!

7. Be there when the shit happens. It’s easy to quickly lose track of what’s going on day-to-day in your friends’ lives when you’re not at 6th form or uni together, but paying attention when your friends are upset means when they ask you for your opinion, you can give them informed advice and help them.

I’m lucky that I’m in such good contact pretty much all of the time with my closest friends but I know I need to make the effort some more. Having been living in Leeds for nearly 8 months, it’s really made me grow up and appreciate that working full time without having your friends on your doorstep or coming back home from university in the holidays means really having to work at a friendship. As let’s face it, I don’t want my besties to turn into friendship fuck-buddies. 

1 comment

  1. What a lovely post. Yes, putting in the effort and making time for friends are important. I haven't done as good a job on some of my friendships as I used to. This was a good reminder.

    Thank you!