Keeping in Touch With Long-distance Friends

Reviewed Apr 28, 2016

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Summary

  • Communication is the key.
  • Get together when you can.
  • Avoid unrealistic expectations.

With so many people moving these days for college, jobs or retirement, at some point you’ll probably find yourself far away from a good friend. Maintaining that friendship may take work, but it’s worth the effort. After all, you can always make a new friend, but old friends are irreplaceable. They know what you were like before you went to college, got your job, got married or had kids. Old friends know your secrets and your successes, what makes you laugh and what makes you mad. In other words, old friends know the real you.

Try some creative ways to keep in touch.

Communication

As with most relationship issues, communication is the key. If you want to maintain a real friendship, don’t let it degenerate into the once-a-year Christmas or birthday card routine. You can maintain a connection with your friend in several ways:

  • Email has probably saved many long-distance relationships. But don’t add friends to a junk mail list of forwarded jokes and chain letters. Send personal messages or information that you know will interest them.
  • Share links to fun Web sites. They can be a source of conversation and interaction.
  • Learn how to scan and send photographs online.
  • Call as often as you can. Nothing beats the sound of a person’s voice.
  • Send each other books, videos and CDs. Some successful long-distance friends exchange items such as fabric swatches and paint samples via mail.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your friend and to ask about her life. Offer support and praise, not advice and resentment.

Share experiences

“Bonding” is the lifeblood of a friendship. Long-distance friends need to find ways to continue sharing experiences, even if they only get together once every few years. Without some new event to share, most friendships will wither and die. You can only ask each other “remember when?” so many times. You need to create new memories and keep pace with the changes in each other’s lives:

  • Visit your friend in her new location or invite her to visit you.
  • Show up for important events—landmark birthdays and anniversaries, graduations, births or funerals.
  • Take family vacations together.
  • Meet your friend for a long weekend at a mid-point location.
  • Go on an action-oriented outing, such as a sports camp or sightseeing tour. A filled agenda will give you something current to talk about.

Avoid unrealistic expectations

Job or family demands can sometimes make it difficult to keep up with friends. Several months or even several years of low-key communication will not destroy an “old” friendship. When conflicts do arise, accept cancellations and apologies and resolve situations quickly and honestly.

By Amy Fries

Summary

  • Communication is the key.
  • Get together when you can.
  • Avoid unrealistic expectations.

With so many people moving these days for college, jobs or retirement, at some point you’ll probably find yourself far away from a good friend. Maintaining that friendship may take work, but it’s worth the effort. After all, you can always make a new friend, but old friends are irreplaceable. They know what you were like before you went to college, got your job, got married or had kids. Old friends know your secrets and your successes, what makes you laugh and what makes you mad. In other words, old friends know the real you.

Try some creative ways to keep in touch.

Communication

As with most relationship issues, communication is the key. If you want to maintain a real friendship, don’t let it degenerate into the once-a-year Christmas or birthday card routine. You can maintain a connection with your friend in several ways:

  • Email has probably saved many long-distance relationships. But don’t add friends to a junk mail list of forwarded jokes and chain letters. Send personal messages or information that you know will interest them.
  • Share links to fun Web sites. They can be a source of conversation and interaction.
  • Learn how to scan and send photographs online.
  • Call as often as you can. Nothing beats the sound of a person’s voice.
  • Send each other books, videos and CDs. Some successful long-distance friends exchange items such as fabric swatches and paint samples via mail.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your friend and to ask about her life. Offer support and praise, not advice and resentment.

Share experiences

“Bonding” is the lifeblood of a friendship. Long-distance friends need to find ways to continue sharing experiences, even if they only get together once every few years. Without some new event to share, most friendships will wither and die. You can only ask each other “remember when?” so many times. You need to create new memories and keep pace with the changes in each other’s lives:

  • Visit your friend in her new location or invite her to visit you.
  • Show up for important events—landmark birthdays and anniversaries, graduations, births or funerals.
  • Take family vacations together.
  • Meet your friend for a long weekend at a mid-point location.
  • Go on an action-oriented outing, such as a sports camp or sightseeing tour. A filled agenda will give you something current to talk about.

Avoid unrealistic expectations

Job or family demands can sometimes make it difficult to keep up with friends. Several months or even several years of low-key communication will not destroy an “old” friendship. When conflicts do arise, accept cancellations and apologies and resolve situations quickly and honestly.

By Amy Fries

Summary

  • Communication is the key.
  • Get together when you can.
  • Avoid unrealistic expectations.

With so many people moving these days for college, jobs or retirement, at some point you’ll probably find yourself far away from a good friend. Maintaining that friendship may take work, but it’s worth the effort. After all, you can always make a new friend, but old friends are irreplaceable. They know what you were like before you went to college, got your job, got married or had kids. Old friends know your secrets and your successes, what makes you laugh and what makes you mad. In other words, old friends know the real you.

Try some creative ways to keep in touch.

Communication

As with most relationship issues, communication is the key. If you want to maintain a real friendship, don’t let it degenerate into the once-a-year Christmas or birthday card routine. You can maintain a connection with your friend in several ways:

  • Email has probably saved many long-distance relationships. But don’t add friends to a junk mail list of forwarded jokes and chain letters. Send personal messages or information that you know will interest them.
  • Share links to fun Web sites. They can be a source of conversation and interaction.
  • Learn how to scan and send photographs online.
  • Call as often as you can. Nothing beats the sound of a person’s voice.
  • Send each other books, videos and CDs. Some successful long-distance friends exchange items such as fabric swatches and paint samples via mail.
  • Don’t forget to listen to your friend and to ask about her life. Offer support and praise, not advice and resentment.

Share experiences

“Bonding” is the lifeblood of a friendship. Long-distance friends need to find ways to continue sharing experiences, even if they only get together once every few years. Without some new event to share, most friendships will wither and die. You can only ask each other “remember when?” so many times. You need to create new memories and keep pace with the changes in each other’s lives:

  • Visit your friend in her new location or invite her to visit you.
  • Show up for important events—landmark birthdays and anniversaries, graduations, births or funerals.
  • Take family vacations together.
  • Meet your friend for a long weekend at a mid-point location.
  • Go on an action-oriented outing, such as a sports camp or sightseeing tour. A filled agenda will give you something current to talk about.

Avoid unrealistic expectations

Job or family demands can sometimes make it difficult to keep up with friends. Several months or even several years of low-key communication will not destroy an “old” friendship. When conflicts do arise, accept cancellations and apologies and resolve situations quickly and honestly.

By Amy Fries

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