My best friend and I have been friends since we were in sixth grade. I’m not even going to tell you how long ago that was because it makes me feel old. But, let’s just say that we’ve been friends more years than we haven’t been. The funny thing is that we have actually not lived near each other for most of our friendship. We really only lived in the same city for a few years. Even now we only see each other twice a year when my husband and I go to visit our families in New York (once in the summer and once at Christmas).
You want to know what the most amazing thing about our friendship is?
After all these years, all the moves between the two of us, college, jobs, and hundreds of miles between the two of us, we are still best friends. And I know we always will be. She is still the one (and only) I call my best friend.
My bestie is the one girlfriend I have who really gets me. She knows me inside and out. We have no secrets from each other; never have. The two of us have seen each other through ups and downs, joyful times and times of loss and extreme sadness. We’ve supported each other through thick and thin. My best friend and I tell each other everything. EVERYTHING. I feel connected to her in a way I have never felt with my other girlfriends. When I talk about her to my other friends, I always call her my “best friend” even though they’ve never even met her. I would do anything for her.
The most fantastic thing about our friendship is that we’ve maintained this close of a relationship living most of our lives multiple states away from each other.
When you live the nomadic lifestyle of a military family, it can be hard to maintain relationships. You move to a new place, make new friends and then two to three years later, you move once more and have to start all over again. It’s a continuous cycle that could put a strain on our friendships if we let it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
I’m going to let you in on the secrets of how my best friend and I maintain such a close relationship living so far away from each other. Maybe these tips will help you and your bestie do the same.
Keeping Your Long Distance Friendships Alive
Keep In Touch On A Regular Basis
My best friend and I text each other every day. Every.Single. Day. We make small talk, discuss how our days are going, let each other know our weekend plans, talk about our kids and parenting, ask each other advice … you name it. All via text. We do voice call each other as well, but we mostly communicate through texting. Are there days we don’t text as much? Sure. Kids get sick, there are meetings at work, we go on vacations. But we always keep in touch no matter what.
When you move, you discover pretty quickly who your true friends are. I’ve moved multiple times and have seen friendships deteriorate because my (so-called) friend stopped keeping in touch with me. The old saying, “out of sight, out of mind” really does ring true sometimes. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like one-sided relationships. If I feel our friendship is worth the effort, I’ll make the effort to stay in touch. But if you don’t make the effort back, then there’s no point. It’s hard when you see friendships fall by the wayside in this way. But that’s what makes your other relationship(s) that much better. You know they are a true friend if they put the effort in as much as you do.
Plan Trips To See Each Other
As I said above, my best friend and I see each other twice a year. She lives in New York where my husband and my families are located (and that’s where we met!). So every time we go visit family, I get to see her, too. There is always running around to do when we’re in town, but my best friend is always my priority. I let her know well in advance when we will be in town, and we plan our date(s) to get together. I don’t make plans with anyone else until I’ve made them with her. She also has traveled south to visit me and will probably do so again.
But what if your best friend doesn’t live near your family and it isn’t as easy to get together? Try to schedule a meet up maybe once a year. You can travel to see each other or maybe even plan an out of town trip together. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip. Find a small town midway between the two of you and hunker down for a weekend in a small hotel, drink some Starbucks and enjoy each other’s company.
Spending time together at an amusement park in NY. Our kids love to play together!
Be Honest With Each Other
My best friend and I tell each other everything. If one of us is struggling, we let the other know. We don’t hide it. If you can’t share your life with your best friend, then who can you share it with?
Maybe sometimes it feels like you can’t share over a text or phone conversation. Perhaps you put on a brave face, so to speak, and act as if everything is good even though it’s not. I know I’ve done that with other friends. For some reason, there are certain friends I feel like I’d be a burden to if I shared so much. Or sometimes I think they don’t really want to know all that’s going on; they just want to have an easy “surface” conversation.
The problem is, if we let ourselves do that, we won’t be able to maintain our relationships. A true friend – a best friend – will want to know everything going on with you. They want to share in your struggles and help support you through them. So just be open and honest. After all, communication is the key to any relationship.
Friendship, just like a marriage, is work. Especially when you live hundreds of miles away from each other. BUT, it is so very worth it!