Just like the change of the seasons, people come and go from our lives. But, then there are the special ones that you connect with on a deeper level and they’re in your life forever. Still, change is a constant and at times, it will pull us apart. Thankfully, there are ways to keep these bonds strong despite the distance.
One key to maintaining strong friendships is flexibility. Relationships themselves are always changing, evolving, they’re meant to be malleable — flexible. As a friend, you have a part in rolling with life’s crazy ways to ensure you make time for the important stuff, like staying connected and keeping close to the ones that matter most.
So instead of focusing on the pain of separation, let’s talk about all the ways we can stay connected.
Anne Moyer, Ph.D., co-author of The Psychology of Friendship, says a lot of connection is about perceived closeness. Being close in proximity definitely helps two people stay connected, but a lot of it is making sure the emotional connection stays strong. That kind of commitment takes work, but great friends are worth the effort.
So what are some ways we can stay close to our friends when life takes us far apart?
This one is obvious, right? It’s literally easier than ever before to connect long-distance. We have so many ways to reach out to people just in the palm of our hands. Social media, email, texts, you name it. But with time and distance between you and your bff, the closest thing to a face-to-face gossip session is video chat.
With a push of a button, it’s *almost* like she’s right there with you! Set up a video chat date. What would you do if you could get together in person? Did you have a weekly appointment to get breakfast or watch that latest HBO show? Keep the tradition alive, just via video.
But it also doesn’t have to be that complicated. Have five minutes in the A.M. before you go off to work or class? Even if she can’t answer at the moment, that missed call notification lets her know you were thinking of her.
Visits and Get-Aways
True, it’s easier said than done. But if the distance gets to be too much, what’s better than a weekend visit or adventure? Whether it’s twice a year, annual, or even every few years, travel — just like being able to talk over long distance — is so much more accessible than ever before.
And not only will the visit bring you closer together again, but planning the visit is a cooperative activity. It’s fun to talk about the things you’ll do, and to anticipate all the upcoming festivities. Again, it’s all about that perceived closeness, until you’re actually close together again!
On those special occasions when you can’t be together, getting something in the physical mail really lets your friend know how much they matter. Because of all the technology and the instant connection, sending a card or gift isn’t so commonplace anymore.
But we also know how much thought and time goes into picking out a card or care package and mailing it out. We can’t think of a better way to say, Hey, I’m thinking of you and miss you a ton! Plus, it’s just delightful to find something special while doing something as simple as checking your mailbox. It’s sure to instantly brighten their mood and reconnect you to your far-away friend.
The Sky Light necklace makes a meaningful statement of friendship when you pair it with the date of a beautiful memory and, if we do say so ourself, it’s the perfect mailable size to send along with a care package of well wishes.
One thing’s for certain, the hardest part about maintaining a meaningful connection when distance separates you and your friend is staying consistent in reaching out and responding.
Out of sight, out of mind, they say (whoever ‘they’ is), but we never want that to be true of our closest friends. And it’s easy to put things on the back-burner for later when other stuff is in your face needing attention. Remember, though, that your friends make your life better and you do theirs.
You need each other, so make the time, consistently.
Just as it’s challenging work to make time for each other when there’s space between the two or group of you it’s easy to let walls build up in that space. Don’t let that happen!
Because of the distance, you may think (or assume that the other person is thinking) that they’re busy with their own life in their new surroundings, and you wouldn’t want to be a burden.
BE A BURDEN. Let your friend be a burden to you. It’s a give and take relationship and most of the time, they’re going to be glad to hear about your life, good or bad, because they’ll feel connected.
Again, it’s all about that perceived closeness.
When you have the time to connect over long distances, listen, share — do what friends do. It’s healthy and it’ll keep you feeling close when you have to be far apart.
Want to send your long-distance friend a little reminder of a special memory or moment you shared? Shop some of our favorite friendship pieces here.