inspiration

Maintaining Long Distance Friendships

I had the absolute best weekend. Not to brag or anything, but I really do have the most special friendships with some incredible people. Top of the list? Nicole.

We’ve been friends for over two decades. TWO DECADES. It’s crazy to think that a friendship we formed when we were four years old turned out to be the best one we ever made. It seems like a bonus that our families are also incredibly close too, even after all these years. (Seriously, just get my mom and Nicole’s mom in a room, and they won’t be able to stop laughing for hours, over who knows what.)

Even though I moved away when I was eight, we somehow managed to stay friends after all these years. And these were pre-texting/Facetiming days. We did an Instagram Live video, and someone asked for our tips on how to stay friends with someone who doesn’t live nearby. Long-distance friendships, like any relationship, takes work.

A lot of my closest friends don’t live down the street, but that doesn’t mean that the friendships are any less meaningful.

Our tips:

1) Embrace the space. I think it’s easy to focus on the negatives of being far apart, but try to embrace the positives instead. Moving away was extremely hard on both Nicole and me (I still resent my parents a little, haha). But, looking back, we’re pretty glad we weren’t together ALL the time because we probably wouldn’t have made any other friends. We still think about it being a positive as we think we probably wouldn’t have other friends if we lived next door.

2) Know your “friend language.” When we were little, Nicole would write me letters all the time. That was her friend language. I think it was harder for me to write because I missed her so much (if that makes sense), but I cherished those letters. Now we send a few texts here and there, but we do the most talking when we’re together, whenever and wherever that may be! Maybe you and your friends need to touch base on Skype every Sunday (like Maxie and me) or chat on the phone while one of you is driving somewhere (that’s how my friend Victoria and I stay in touch!). It’s one of those things where it depends on both people and the friendship.

3) Make plans. Part of the work of a long-distance friendship is to make sure you see each other. You can go to her, she can go to you, or you can meet somewhere neutral. Now that we’re adults (and living three hours away from each other), Nicole and I can see each other much more frequently. We make plans either in advance or last minute, but when we can make it work, we make it work. This past weekend, she came down for a super quick trip, and while we’ll take more, it’s just all we need. I’m actually heading out to Colorado today to visit my friend Victoria, and I think Nicole and I are going to be in the same city on Saturday, so fingers crossed.

4) Put in the work. I feel like all the points here kind of touch on this, but I still think it should be said on its own. You have to be willing to put in the work. I’ve had good friendships fall apart because of someone moving away, but they weren’t strong enough friendships to withstand the distance. That’s fine and totally normal. But if you want to make a long-distance friendship work, YOU have to work. You both do really. It will always be worth it.

5) Have faith. And then when you put in the work and do everything you can do, you just need to have a little faith that the magic that is friendships will last.

Some pictures from the weekend: 

I picked Colie up from the train station late Friday night, and we sat on the couch just talking about everything and anything. Luckily we were exhausted, so we did go to bed at a reasonable hour. In the morning, we got ready and went out for a little breakfast at The Granola Bar in Greenwich. I do not like matcha lattes, but the one from TGB tastes like funfetti cupcake batter– so good.

Afterward, we popped into Sephora, and each spent too much money! Whoops. Going in there with a friend is dangerous.

We went back home to walk the dogs and then went to Terrain for lunch, another favorite spot of ours. Nicole and I wandered around looking at everything before sitting down to lunch. And then we did even more shopping and window-shopping. It was so cold, and we were also super tired, so we decided to relax for a while in my apartment and make chocolate chip cookies.

Then we grabbed dinner and talked even more. That’s one of the best parts of long-distance friendships (see, looking on the bright side here), there is ALWAYS more to talk about. Sadly she had a morning train back to Boston, but we both felt like we squeezed in a solid trip into such a short period of time.

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26 Comments

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

This post resonates so well with me! I went to international schools my whole life and my best friends are literally all over the world – a few in London, one in NYC, one in LA, two in Japan, one in Korea… it’s so hard to keep up on a day to day basis but when we do get together again, maybe once a year, it’s always like where we left off. 🙂

Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
http://charmainenyw.com

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Nicole

You guys were so cute on Instagram live. 🙂 This post touches me a lot. My best friend moved back to her home country, with her parents, to be with her entire family, finish college, and she plans on moving back here eventually. I haven’t spoken to her for a year or more, because her home country has terrible internet. Even though I haven’t talked to her for so long, I have faith that when we reconnect it will be as if she never left the USA. 🙂

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Lauren

These are great tips, Carly! Now in my mid-20’s I feel like my friends are all over the world! It is so important to make plans and maintain those relationships. I love to send random cards and letters and try to call one long-distance friend a week to catch up! It also instantly puts me in a happy mood 🙂
xo Lauren
http://www.loveandlauren.com

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Elle

My best friend and I met when I moved up to Toronto when I was 5. Even though I lived there for only 1 year we were inseparable! We would write letters to each other and maybe see each other every 7 years but every time we saw each other we left off right where we last were. She now lives in NYC with me and we’ve spent more time together now than we have in our entire lives! Isn’t it crazy how some friendships just work out like that? It is fate.
xo elle // https://splashofpreppy.com

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Kela

Hi Carly, just curious to know if the pics in this post were taken with your iphone 7? They look great 🙂

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Emily

After most of my college friends moved away I found it hard to keep in touch with them. These are such great tips to staying BFFs!

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Jess Zimlich

These are such grea tips! The majority of my friendships turned into long distance relationships when I moved to Chicago last summer, but we’ve found new ways to keep in touch and I swear, some of my relationships have grown even stronger because of it. There is something so special about friendships where you can pick right back up where you left off, no matter how much time has passed. Also, you two could pass as sisters…beauties!

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kelly

I was just on the phone with a friend chatting about this last night! Long distance friendships are SO worth it if you put in that extra effort, and have grace understanding sometimes your friends need one or two, or even a week to return your texts.

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Rachael Bucey

This post speaks volumes. We all have been in the position of not wanting to believe our parents when they said that our high school and college friends will not be in our lives forever. While it sounds so cliche it is somewhat true…while living in the “bliss of now” we refuse to believe that our most loved souls will fade unless we truly put work into it. Even out of my 4 best friends from college I have only been able to maintain a strong friendship with one because the rest will not put in the work. It is a two way street, and that involves meeting in the middle, even if it is a 2 hour drive both ways.

XOXO Rachael
http://aduchessandablog.blogspot.com/

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Ivonne

Great post Carly! I can definitely relate as at one point all of my best friends lived in different cities. It can be very hard but you definitely highlighted the most important aspects of maintaining a friendship.

girlmeetsdallas.com

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Sonya

Great post, you have some good tips for maintaining the LDF. 🙂 I have a friend who I’ve known since high school who lives in LA and I live in Chicago and we were not close friends in high school but became close about 5 years ago. Now we try to see each other at least twice a year (I go to LA and she comes to Chicago or we’ve met up in Napa for a vacation) and we take trips together last year was 2 weeks in Central Europe, it was fabulous! We text and email during the week and have good catch up sessions about once every two weeks. I would definitely say to not ever let distance dissolve a friendship, some of my closest friends do not live in my city.

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Katie McC

The chocolates covered by the glass look delish!!!!!! I agree with the put in the work park and how it goes both ways. One of my sorority sisters from college lives in Colorado. She used to live in Tampa and I would make it a priority to visit her when I was over there and she would make it a priority to stop in Melbourne when she was on the other coast. Our friendship is easy. When were together there’s so much to talk about! Apart isn’t so bad because well send the occasional text but like you said, it’s always better when your together. I’ve had other friendships just fade away but I just had to learn to let those go and not force.

Katie
http://www.katieskronicles.org

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Paulina

So many good tips! My best friend lives about 20 hours from me (with car) and we make it work. Sure, it’s hard at times but we’ve been friends for so long that we don’t need to talk everyday to stay in touch.

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Amelia

You guys are so cute! It’s hard being so far away from your best friend, one of my bffs lives in FL and it’s been so hard on our relationship! You really do have to work at it, but it’s worth it!

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Mary Kate

Love this post! I’m about to graduate from college so will definitely be dealing with a lot of long-distance friendships, which I am not too excited about. These tips inspired me!!

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A Little Life Update - The College Prepster

[…] Also, my friend Nicole was in town last weekend and even though it was a short trip, we made every minute together count. Plus more fun stuff coming up! I have a lot to look forward to and that’s making these dreary winter days so much more bearable! […]

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Sofia

I love all these points! My best friend in the whole world lives in a different state. In addition, we have a mutually really close group of 4 other girls that also live in different locations. I think I’m the one in the friend group that lives the farthest away. But, absolutely to all your points of making an effort and being consistent and trusting that your friend will still be there! My friends and I have been doing long distance for about 5 years now. In December, they all drove up to a random town in AZ (Sedona) to watch me get married!! Definitely a testament that you don’t need your favorite people right next door to still have meaningful relationships 🙂

xo, Sofia
http://www.thecozie.co

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