Digital Friendships Self-Help

How to Win at Being a Long-Distance Friend

Your pals are important right? They cheer you up when your sad, hang out with you when you’re bored, put you back together after a break up and make you laugh until you cry. However, some of us can be a bit guilty of neglecting out friends from time to time. Life can get away with us, and it can be easy to fall out of touch when we are so busy living our own lives, especially if we don’t get to see them all the time. So, here is a few tips to get you winning at being a long-distance friend. 

Check in every now and then, even if your busy 

It might seem obvious, and often impossible when we are all leading crazy busy lives, but checking in every now and then is a great way to keep the lines of communication open. Send them a message telling them how amazing their holiday snaps were or just a quick message to say hi. It won’t take more than a couple of minutes out of your day but will feed the friendship and stop any chance of you guys falling out as a result of lack of contact. 

Always remember their birthday 

With social media reminding you at every turn, there is no excuse to forget a buddy’s birthday. If you still need a bit of an extra push, set a reminder on your phone for the morning of their birthday, and as soon as it goes off, send them a message. Also, it’s always best to send them a DM, text or Whatsapp than it is to post on their public social media feed. It feels more personal and, whilst it is not a substitute for you being with them, it feels like you care more if you have taken the time to write something specific to them.

Surprise them 

This goes for birthdays, Christmas, other religious festivals and even when they are post break up and feeling crap. Every now and then, send them a little something that shows you care. A handwritten letter, a proper birthday card, a post break-up pick-me-up, even something from their favourite online store. You could even send them a gift through their favourite online game, a voucher for an online streaming service – anything. It doesn’t have to be much, or every single time there is something to celebrate or cheer them up about, but when it’s a special occasion or they are having a really shit time, it’s important to show you care in a more real way than a quick DM. 

Have something to say in the group chat 

It can be super easy to scroll over the group chat and have a chuckle at what everyone has to say, but actually not ever engage. This is because of the way social media works – we are all passive communicators now. This basically means that we are so used to just looking at updates from friends as a spectator but never actually engaging with them. Instead, by having something to say and interacting with everyone at once, you still appear present in the group and it will likely be less awkward next time you see them in person.

Facetime when you can 

It’s not always easy to find what will probably end up being a solid hour or two in your day to have a Facetime, phone call or Skype session with your bestie. But, doing so once every few months you spend apart will mean you have a proper chance to check in on each other’s lives and some important stuff won’t get swept under the rug, like it can do after a large period of time has passed in between seeing each other. 

Book in quality time

When you are finally in the same place as each other for a while, make sure you book in some quality time. Whether that is just hanging out at your house, going for a walk, getting lunch or a coffee together, booking in an afternoon when you can spend a few hours with each other in each other’s company will make sure your friendship never turns stale. It’s a great chance to remind you why you are friends in the first place, and why you have been putting all this effort in. 

There you have it – you are now the best long distance friend anyone has ever been so lucky to have had. Use this power wisely.

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