I am confident that I have some of the best friends on earth. Together, we are able to show our true (i.e. weird) colors free of any judgment. We have inside jokes that have lasted for what feels like decades- you know, the type that pop into your head and make you randomly laugh out loud as you walk down the street? We have tons of those.
My best friends are not just weird and funny- they are also unbelievably smart and ambitious in their own unique ways. I am so proud of each of them.
But here’s the thing about having smart, ambitious friends: they don’t often stay put. They go far and wide to find themselves and chase dreams. It’s part what makes me so proud, but also, so damn lonely.
You see, about 95% of the people I am closest to and care most about in this world live at least 300 miles away. Some of them live 3,000 miles away. My people are scattered throughout the United States from coast to coast. I even have one living in Greece at the moment.
And you know what? I miss them. Every single day. As much as I love my husband, my pets, my family, and my Cincinnati friends, I get lonely often and yearn to be reunited with my LDFs (Long Distance Friends).
As I approach 30, I know this “problem” (which isn’t really a problem, but I’ll explain that in a bit) will only get bigger. I also know that I’m not the only one facing it. Which is why I created this:
3-Step Guide on How to Make Long Distance Friendship Suck Less
Step 1: Be a source of encouragement.
When you are with your friends every day, it’s easy to let them know you support them. In LDFs, you have to show your support in purposeful, more planned ways. If your friend has a big presentation at work, send them encouragement. My personal favorite way to do this is to send them a funny e-card- it will make them smile and momentarily forget their jitters, I promise! Our intern Megan introduced me to Just Wink, and I’m addicted.
Step 2: Use a calendar.
If you are going to actively encourage and support all of your LDFs, you need to be organized. Like, really organized. If you’re like me, you have tons of LDFs that are just killing it. Nothing makes you feel further away from your friends than forgetting a huge milestone, trust me. I have the internal calendar of an inanimate object, which is why I rely heavily on my Google calendar to remind me of the important things in my LDFs’ lives. Whenever someone mentions something, plug it in. Thank me later!
Step 3: Plan your vacations accordingly.
No amount of long distance support can make up for time spent together IRL. The real joy of having an LDF (or many) is that you have options for low cost vacations just waiting for you. Your friends may not live in tourist destinations, but visiting their towns and experiencing life from their eyes is always a fun time. If you can’t quite fit enough trips into your work schedule and budget to visit each of your LDFs individually, plan a group vacation and meet somewhere fun. It’s guaranteed to be your favorite thing you do all year- trust me!
The moral of this post is this: LDFs are hard, but they don’t have to be impossible. Take time, be mindful, and love your friends the best way that you can. You’ll be glad you did.
**I hope that the use of Drake GIFs has improved the quality of this post for you, because it sincerely improved the time I had writing it.**