How Do We Maintain Our Long-Distance Friendships?
Maintaining a long-distance relationship is a hardship. Yet, long-distance friendship is also a thing that may come to our minds for the first time as the pandemic came. Indeed, separation is an unavoidable issue in our life – one may move to another state following the family, or even relocate to another country for a new life. It can be, perhaps, simply having less time to spend face-to-face with our buds.
No matter which situation you face, we believe in “practice makes perfect”. When it comes to maintaining a long-distance friendship, there are more we can do than we imagine to sow and nurture our relationships:
The core remains unchanged. Rule of thumb: remember the core of a relationship remains unchanged despite the broadening distance. Shower it with care and compassion – these are the essentials of any healthy relationships, as they are what we look for in connections.
An intimate friendship doesn’t come overnight, it takes time and patience to build one. It also takes two to tango – the relationship will thrive only when both sides want to keep on investing their time in this relationship. Is this relationship mutual? Are you willing to make some little sacrifices, for instance, getting up early for a call across different time zones, or reserve a weekend (and pay for the fares) for a get-together?
Stress can be a good-or-bad ingredient. For the one who is left behind, it is possible to feel abandoned and experience anger, distress, and other sorts of negativity. Blaming becomes a tempting option to take, but it won’t do anything apart from heightening the sense of guilt for the gone one and possibly drift each other apart.
However, stress arising from being separated from your buddies is not solely an ingredient that ruins the relationship; it can also brighten your friendship. Are you feeling lonely without your buddies? Are you facing some difficulties in adapting to the new environment? Tell your friends as usual, showthem your vulnerabilities, then experience the magic of psychology with self-disclosure, the hack that heats your relationships.
According to The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness (Aron, Aron, Bator, Melinat, Vallone, 1997), a joint study about creating closeness by researchers from 4 institutes from New York, California and Arizona, the participants who were paired up to carry out “deep talk”, asking each other relatively personal questions with a high level of self-disclosure ends up experiencing a significant increase in the subjective feeling of interpersonal closeness. By sharing our vulnerabilities, we can somehow replicate the above experiment and harvest greater intimacy with our friends.
Acting as usual can be a simple yet effective move. The distance can give rise to unnecessary overthinking, shaking our perception of companionship. Although it sounds hard to manage, the solution is unbelievably simple: to do what you guys have been doing so far.
Here are things you can do to keep the heat:
● Share your everyday happenings Happiness is contagious, despite the distance and medium. By sharing the movie you watched last night, the delectable dishes you had for your lunch, or the getaway plan this weekend, it recalls your get-together moments and keeps you connected
● Surprise your friends with a small gift Remember how excited you were when unboxing a Christmas gift? An unexpected gift doesn’t only surprise your friend, but also conveys the message: “I immediately thought of you when I saw this.” The gift doesn’t even have to be extravagant – it just has to be enough to remind your friend that he/ she is loved
● Make good use of social media and instant messaging Don’t neglect the birthday reminder or memories that popped up on your social media. If you’re running out of topics, the past moments you shared can be a topic. Laugh over a hilarious prank, or express your gratitude for the hard time together!
New experiences feed better conversations – and lives. A break isn’t necessarily bad. Getting fed up with one another isn’t impossible no matter how close you once have been, especially when we see someone frequently and in proximity. Therefore, whydon’t we take the distance as a chance to invite some freshness into your life, and therefore your friendships?
If you do something cool, you will have a new topic to boast about and share with your friends. Perhaps a new interest of spending hours in the garage to adjust your auto, taking photos of the surroundings and creating your parallel reality with Photoshop. Or you can buddy up to others – with technology, making new friends hasn’t been this easy. In the era that superficial judgement takes the lead, Soul is an “alternative” that goes back to the true essences of human connections such as value, emotion, and self-expression. Meet new faces in the Soul planet, decorate your avatar with free accessories, or send Giftmojis to your friends for a chuckle! Be your true self, meet new individuals, and show your old buddies a better you!
Good friends never stop you from anything that enriches your life. Sharing your caring, prepare your speech about what is going on and share with your buddy next time!