THE BLOG

The Importance of Having Long-Distance Friendships

03/13/2015 03:32 pm ET | Updated May 13, 2015
Sasha Bell via Getty Images

Long-distance is never easy, especially when it encompasses a friendship. As we grow older, people inevitably go their separate ways, but it is so important to maintain friendships regardless of the distance. Whether you're heading off to separate colleges or moving to a new city for a job, distance can be a tough adjustment for any best friend pair. Nonetheless, you can use distance to gain some valuable experiences from upholding the far away friendship and learn more about yourself in the process.

They are a mini getaway
Sometimes you just need that one person to talk to who is not directly involved in your current school, work or life dynamic to give an outsider opinion. Whether they are listening to you venting (or crying--no shame,) or you are just hearing about their accomplishments, use the conversation time as a mini getaway from your present situation. Reminisce on the good 'ole days--when you used to be together, of course--and look forward to the next time you will see each other to step away from everything going on in your current situation. What better excuse for a Facetime date?

You learn to value time
Nothing teaches you the importance of time spent together until you experience long-distance in some form. When you see your friend after time apart, every second is well-spent catching up on what has been missed and creating new memories while entertaining old ones. The unique thing about time is it seems to take forever when you are waiting to see someone, but flies by once you are together, so learn to enjoy each moment.

You determine what is important
Sustaining friendships over distance is hard work and it definitely takes time and effort from both ends, but you learn to decide what is most important in your life. Friendships that really matter will last because both people put in energy to stay in contact and make time for one other. You learn to prioritize those who are most important to you. In our sometimes-chaotic lives, it can be difficult to have a day or two away, so spend it with those closest to you.

Little gestures are even more appreciated
A positive thing about distance is that a small gesture can go a long way. An inside-joke text message, a BFF meme shared on social media, or a simple phone call can make all of the difference. When you're miles apart, small acts of kindness are sure to be even more meaningful. You will learn what you value in a friendship and discover how you can be there for someone who is not geographically close.

You can't control distance, but you can control how you maintain relationships. Use space to establish a stronger friendship with those who you are closest with and delve deeper into what you hold to be important. Long-distance friendships are tough, but even more worthwhile.