September 15, 2017
Life often takes us to different places — cities where we’ve always dreamed of living, or places we never imagined we would end up. While our physical locations may change over time, the gift of true friendship does not have to falter. Whether you are going off to college, graduating and moving to a new city or a friend of yours is relocating, rest assured that there is hope for your friendship to remain true and strong throughout time and distance.
Maintaining a long-distance friendship is not always easy, though. It requires more discipline and intention to keep a connection with our friends who are far away. They may no longer be down the hall, a short walk away or even in the same time zone as they once were. They might not have the free time to dedicate to long lunches, study sessions or staying up late to talk about life. You also may not know each other’s new friends or lifestyles, which can cause a rift in communication at times. However, none of these are valid excuses to give up on a long-distance friendship. It may require scheduled calls, Facetime dates or the occasional cross-country trip to see each other, but it is worth every minute of calculating time-zone differences to find a time to talk.
As someone who recently graduated college and travels to new cities for work, I can personally testify that long-distance friendships can survive. Distance may make your friendship even stronger! I am never in the same place with my loved ones and friends all at once, and that is a reality that many of us will face. I have some close friends who travel to other countries, but most of my friends are scattered throughout every region of the United States, and they all take little pieces of my heart with them. My strongest friendships are all friends that I love, and who love me, from a distance.
I work hard to schedule weekly or biweekly Facetime dates with a handful of my closest friends. The schedule is always changing to accommodate work and travel, but my friends and I are gracious with one another. When Facetime doesn’t work out, texting, Snapchat and phone calls can help bridge the gap. Sending random small gifts or cards in the mail may be a dying trend, but they will always make your friend feel extra loved and cared for.
It may be cliché, but distance really can make the heart grow fonder. Sometimes you need your own time and space to fulfill your dreams and grow into the person you are meant to be. The friends who love you will support you despite the distance. In return, you must also be a supportive friend when someone you love says they must leave to chase their dreams. Life takes us down many turns, but your true friends will always be just a phone call away.
Senior Leadership Development Consultant