Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

There is such a joy in having that certain someone, or a handful of someones, who complete you. Just being in their presence makes you feel whole and restores your peace. So what do you do when one of you has to move and learn to remain friends from far away?

Maintaining long distance friendships isn’t as difficult as you may think. It’s all about keeping in touch and acknowledging the connection you share. Long distance friendships may be separated by miles and time, but it’s a special bond that can never be severed.

Dealing With the Distance: Why Are Long Distance Friendships So Hard?

While maintaining a long distance friendship may not be that hard, the distance itself can be grueling. The struggles of being far away are real. You miss their hug, their goofy dog that licks your face, their unique aroma that stays with you even after you part. You miss meeting at your favorite coffee shop and venting about a bad day. There is a lonely emptiness, but it can be filled.

Two girls smiling and talking to a friend on their phone.

Simple and Sincere: Use the Love Languages

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman may have been written with romantic couples in mind, but love can be felt just as readily and deeply by friends. According to Chapman, the Five Love Languages are:

  • Words of affirmation
  • Quality time
  • Receiving gifts
  • Acts of service
  • Physical touch

The physical touch language in a long distance friendship may be more difficult as it’s harder to accomplish regularly, but the other four are special and beautiful ways to solve the problem of how to keep long distance friendships thriving and surviving.

Words of Affirmation

Simple, sincere, therapeutic, and uplifting for you both, words may be the greatest gift you can share. Send a text reminding them about a funny thing that happened to you, send them a silly selfie, or just say “Hey. Thinking about you. I love you. You mean the world to me.”

A traveling journal is an idea for one of the many fun things to do with a long distance friend. It can be a way to memorialize the happy harmony between you. Use it as a memoir of your fellowship that can be kept between the two of you (or your friendship group), or be shared with generations to come as an illustration of the importance of that relationship as an influence in your life.

Quality Time

Virtual time is certainly not as fulfilling as in-person togetherness, but it’s heaps better than waiting weeks for a letter to arrive through the postal service. Thanks to modern technology, we’re able to have instant connectivity, even if it is via a screen. At least you can see the other person’s face, look them in the eyes, and truly understand how they’re doing from a personal point of view.

If you’re now a town or two away, set up regular friendship date (or hangout) nights. Pick a favorite show, movie, or sporting event and have a watch party together. Do a two-person book club. If you live farther apart, play online games via Facetime or Zoom. Or just talk and laugh. Whatever brings you joy.

a young boy picking up a Spoonful of Comfort package off the door step. His mother, father and younger sister stands behind him in the doorway

Receiving Gifts

Friendship is not about material things, but sometimes those momentos or surprise gifts can touch someone right to the heart, and remind them that they are loved. Here are a few fun gift ideas for friends who are far away:

  • Friendship lamps
  • Matching wine glasses or coffee mugs
  • Sentiment bracelets
  • Best friend rings or necklaces
  • Framed photographs of your memories together

And don’t forget food. Food is comforting, evokes memories, and can be shared. Is your long distance friend going through a tough time? Send a cozy-warm Can’t Top This Care Package. Some cookies and storytime might be just the ticket to cheer you both up. Who says Cookies and Cuddles are only for kids? Or make your friend smile with a Just Because or Thinking of You gift basket. Better yet, get one delivered for yourself too, and then “share” your meals online.

The holidays can be a tough time to be apart from each other, but you can make their eyes shine with heartwarming Christmas gift ideas.

Acts of Service

When you live far away from your friend, you may not be able to help unpack moving boxes or pick up the kids after school, but you can still find ways to help. Do they have a list of contacts to make, such as setting up utilities when they first move? Or maybe they’re coordinating a school event. Offer to make some of those calls for them. Set up a company or volunteer organization to do a yard clean-up day. Set up a dinner delivery when you know they are having a particularly crazy day, and give them a call to let them know that dinner’s on you.

Caring and Comfort

Keep your friends in your thoughts, and the friendship will follow through and do the rest. When a friend moves away, acknowledge them with your actions, and never hesitate to let them know, you’re thinking of them. Spoonful of Comfort makes it easy with our Thinking of You Care Package or any of our other gift ideas that help bridge the distance. 

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