6 Essential Steps To Maintaining Far-Away Friendships

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As an adult in your 20s and early 30s, we are sure you are all too familiar with moving. Whether it be moving to a new town right after you graduated college, to moving when you got married or engaged, to moving with your kids after your or your husband relocated jobs, moving is far from fun. The worst part about moving is that you can’t pack up the people that have meant the most to you in that small town or big city into your suitcase. What happens to those friendships you made in those new places or the friendships from high school or college that you aren’t ready to let go of yet? How do you stay intentional when you move across the country, state, or even just 45 minutes away?

So how do you stay intentional with your best friends when you’re busy with work, the gym, dating, running after children, or just trying to make it through each day without 20 cups of coffee? 

Keep A Schedule

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As humans, and especially women, we tend to do better with a schedule. If you have several people or a specific person you know, you’ll want to catch up with once a week, schedule a time during the night, afternoon, or morning that won’t change most weeks. If you are supposed to Skype, your best friend every Monday night at 9, you won’t forget. Remember that you used to catch up with these people every day in a dorm room, in the office, or walking out of your house, speaking with them an hour a week is going to make sure you stay up to date.

Don’t Be Afraid To Initiate

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I know that it can be irritating or intimidating to be the person to reach out to someone else and ask them to catch up. Introverted or not, everyone is afraid of rejection even at a minuscule level. Remember how amazing you feel every time someone reaches out to you to catch up or ask how you’ve been. Have you ever been disappointed or sad when one of your best friends has reached out to you? Of course not! So don’t fear to be the person that might have to initiate communication more often. Just because you have to always reach out to some of your friends, doesn’t mean they don’t love you. It doesn’t mean that they don’t appreciate you every time you remember to ask them to talk. So don’t get hurt if you have to keep asking, and don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and schedule the weekly call for the week.

Try To See Them Face To Face

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We know that if you live incredibly far away from one of your besties that it can be really difficult to see them face to face unless you count seeing their Snapchat stories. But, setting a time once or twice a year to go on a trip or take some time off work to see one of your best friends is invaluable.  Try to meet up during popular times that you might be able to see multiple friends at one time like class reunions, Homecomings, and summer times. Though you can go long periods of time just talking to people via technology, that doesn’t mean that you don’t still need some face-to-face time to continue to grow your relationships.

Friendship Is A Two-Way Street

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This is the most difficult piece of advice to write, but it needs to be said. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try to reach out to people and keep up, there are going to be people that don’t return the favor. It might be hard for some people to realize that after college or living together after school, that you have to pick up the phone or reach out to someone to keep in touch. Do not waste your precious time trying to reach out to someone who is always busy, doesn’t try to reschedule when they miss a time of calling, and just don’t reach out at all. I am not saying not to give friends and loved ones slack when they get busy or if they miss a time to talk, but we all know the people who it’s almost a full-time job to try to keep up with. You can’t be best friends with everyone, and you need to focus your time on the friends who are putting as much effort into the friendship as you are.

Use Technology To Your Advantage

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With so many different options to keep in touch with people nowadays, it is almost too easy to keep up with people’s lives. Make sure that you are utilizing different forms of technology to keep your relationships exciting. For example, talk on the phone sometimes and Skype sometimes. Don’t be afraid to text them throughout the week if you are thinking about them. Create big groups to include multiple friends in on Telegram and SnapChat. Don’t forget about some old-fashioned communication ways like handwritten letters. Nothing is more exciting than coming home from work and receiving a card from a dear friend.

Kill Two Birds With One Stone

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Don’t exhaust yourself trying to keep up with ten different people separately each week. I am assuming that many of your friends might come from similar places or have been in the same group, so make sure that you Skype and Google Hangout in groups. One on one conversations are great and fulfilling, but sometimes it is great to incorporate a group dynamic into your life. Not to mention, you can catch up with 3+ people at one time.

We hope that these tips can help you if you are looking for ways to preserve friendships that are spread across the country.  Don’t exhaust yourself trying to keep up with every detail from every friend you’ve ever had, but make sure that you put in the effort to grow those relationships that have been so vital to you. Share this article with the friends you want to stay in touch with now! 

 

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