Distance & Time- Appreciating Long Distance Friendships
We get so comfortable with our current situation; a job, a social circle, the regular weekend plans that when something out of the norm takes place it takes quite an adjustment to adapt to a new level of normalcy.
Today, I wanted to talk about the idea of long distance friendships and what I’ve learned about living in different coordinates to people I used to see almost everyday.
Sometimes we feel as if everything will stay the same for the foreseeable future and any big life changes we hope for are just distant visions and goals. It can be quite difficult picturing yourself living an entirely new lifestyle.
But anyway, moving to my favourite city quickly happens and nothing is stopping me. People move on and that being said we may not always live around the block from you, in the same country or continent as some of the people we’re closest with.
The reality is that we each have our own lives and no matter how knotted they may be with someone else we are all on a personal journey.
Whilst we can grow together, we must also grow alone.
My first year in New York meant that I would only see friends or family back in England if we texted or video called. I wasn’t going to see them when I got home after work or when I got up in the morning to make breakfast.
Personally, I’m terrible at communicating and staying in touch. The truth is I do care. A lot. And sometimes that’s not enough. It’s nice to actually show you care by simply staying present in the lives of people you say you care about.
We all get busy but that’s no excuse so here are some methods I’m trying out!
- Shorter more frequent conversations
It doesn’t have to be about Face Timing for hours. We live in different time zones, when I’m finally free after a long day it may be your bedtime. When you’re at a party I might be watching a movie in bed. We don’t need to have a long chat and daily conversation but I want to talk less, more often, which is so much more achievable.
- Random Updates
A quick text takes less than 10 seconds just to check in with someone and make sure they’re doing well. Even a casual message when you see something funny on your commute in the morning or anything that reminds you of them.
- Make plans
Of course you can’t get pizza on the weekend together or go and catch a movie. Start planning a trip for later in the year or next year, this way instead of just talking about your past memories and a past friendship, you have something to look forward to in the future- to a growing bond.
- Quality over Quantity
Right now, I’m working on investing my time into the small number of people I’m close with. I’m focusing my time and effort into the ones that I value and who value me.
What I’ve really learned is to appreciate the relationships I have in my life right now because we don’t always realise what’s there until it’s not there anymore.
There’s something quite special and unique about relating to someone else that goes beyond being physically together. It’s not that you’re just someone to have a fun night out with once in a while, but you have the opportunity to develop an authentic connection with that friend/family member living oceans a part.
If you have any tips on keeping long distance connections alive please share in the comments section.