ENTITY shows you how to manage long-distance friendship.Image via Unsplash.com

Everybody knows that long-distance relationships are tough. There are thousands of articles talking about the pain of being away from your romantic partner. There are loads of blogs that post wistful couple photos overlaid with sad quotes about being apart. It’s true. When you love someone, distance sucks. The same goes for a long-distance friendship.

What people don’t talk about as much is the fact that being far apart from your best friend can be just as hard as being away from your romantic partner. One of my best friends lives in England. There’s an eight-hour time difference between his hometown and my native Los Angeles. It’s easy to become discouraged by that gap and feel like your friendship will suffer.

Here are five comforting reminders that help when you’re in a long-distance friendship.

ENTITY shows you how to manage long-distance friendship.

Image via Pexels

1 Remember that your friendship is for real.

You form unbreakable bonds with the long-distance friends you keep. These aren’t  friendships of convenience, because you have to make time for each other. When my friend messages me back randomly at 4 a.m., it’s obvious that he really misses me. You also rarely spend time bickering over the little things, because time is precious. You have to make every moment count. A long-distance friendship is no less meaningful than any other friendship.

That being said, you should still try as hard as you can to contact each other at convenient times. Sleep is kind of important.

2 Take advantage of all forms of communication.

People can say what they want about technology ruining  in-person interactions. There’s no doubt in my mind that social media has changed my life for the better, because otherwise talking to my friends as often as I do wouldn’t be possible. And when your best friend lives more than 5,000 miles away, technology is key. Some mediums of communication are better for certain people than others. Whether you’re a texter, emailer or  video chatter, find what works best.

3 You now have an excuse to visit wherever they live.

Unfortunately for me, I’m kind of broke. But, if you’ve got some extra pocket change and an open weekend, you can visit your friend. If they’ve got space for you to crash, even better. Now, you don’t have to pay for room and board. Sometimes that extra effort shows the importance of the long-distance friendship.

4 Don’t stress out when you guys don’t talk.

It’s important to recognize that you and your friend have daily obligations. Work, school and other immediate priorities will mean that some days, you and your best friend can’t talk as much. That’s okay. You don’t have to talk to someone every day for the friendship to be legitimate. Plus, over time you’ll become better at planning ahead for when there’s free time.

When the much-anticipated reunion finally happens, it’ll be like no time has passed at all. 

5 Be honest and open.

Communication is crucial in any type of relationship, but especially long-distance. If there’s something funny to say, send a quick text. If you miss your friend, tell them. They’ll appreciate the reminder that you love and care for them. Best friends are a crucial part of your support system, regardless of where they are.

ENTITY shows you how to manage long-distance friendship.

Image via Pexels

Here are some tools to make the distance a bit more bearable.

Skype. Sometimes you just wanna talk and see each other’s faces. Sometimes my fingers get tired from all the texting.

Texting apps! Because not all of us are blessed with unlimited texting plans. WhatsApp and other texting apps are cheap ways to stay in contact with your remote buddies. Now, spam their phones with memes to your heart’s content.

Watch2Gether allows you to watch videos with your friends in real time. Gaze is also useful for those that prefer to stream using YouTube.

Netflix Party is a cool Chrome extension that synchronizes Netflix video playback on multiple computers. Now, when you recommend your favorite new series to your friend, there’s no excuse not to watch it.

Of course, none of this is going to replace in-person quality time with your buddies. When I’m out and about, I often catch myself wishing my best friend were with me to share in the fun. When I’m upset, I know that no amount of texting is going to feel better than a hug. Sometimes, it really hurts. But, it’s okay to feel that pain. It’s okay to miss them. Just remember that while the separation isn’t forever, your bond is. Think about all the fun times you’ll spend together in the future. When you’re in a long-distance friendship, you’ll always have something to look forward to.

Edited by Shahrazad Encinias

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