“Though miles may lie between us, we are never far apart. For friendship doesn’t count miles, it’s measured by the heart”
I think those of you that read this would know that I have moved around quite a bit in my life. With this, comes the amazing opportunities to make so many new friends from all over the world. It’s a huge blessing and I am eternally grateful for it. However, there is one downside to it – I would never have that particular friend who I have been friends with since kindergarten.
Over the years, I have finally come to realise that friendship (and relationships too but that will probably be for another day) takes a great deal of effort to be maintained – especially if you are no longer in the same country. For those of you who feel frustrated that they have distanced from their old friends, here are some tips that I hope helps you (cos it has helped me so far :))
1. Make the effort to contact them
This may seem very obvious (at least for the first 6 months when you’re apart but becomes less so the longer it is) but you do have to make that extra effort to contact them. Not having their number is no excuse nowadays 😉 (don’t forget facebook messenger/ email/ etc). Find whatever way you can and contact your old friends.
2. Reply with all your heart
It might seem tempting to not reply after a while because you are busy and the conversation might not be so interesting but do reply. Of course you will be busy with other things (especially when you live in different timezones. But you can always reply later on (a few hours later, or even days later) when you actually have the time to reply all your friend’s messages. This really shows that you are making the effort. Half-hearted messages are the worst because it shows that you are in fact feeling bothered by the messages and your friend might be hesitant in replying again after that.
3. Maintain regular contact
There are friends that you can only talk to for a few hours while there are those who you can have a conversation for years non-stop (I’m not even joking it has happened). So whatever the conversation length is, make sure you keep in regular contact with them. Check-up on them when you feel it’s appropriate (e.g every week/ every month). This shows how much you do still think of them.
4. Remember important dates/ events
This is another thing that helps to maintain the friendship. Of course it’s a given to remember your friend’s birthday – so I’m not talking about that. But do try to remember important events happening in their lives – exams/ presentations/ job interviews/ when they are going on holiday/ etc. This is not only a reason for you to talk to them (hey sometimes even the closest friends run out of topic right? :p) but also it shows that you remember about them even though you are halfway across the world (and trust me it matters :)). Another extra step you can take is to maybe send them a card/ note/ present (depending on the situation) for this specific event especially if you know that your friend will really need that extra support from you 🙂
4.1 (?) Mini tip (especially for those that have friends that are in different timezones)
search the timezones on google or put the specific timezones your friends are in in your phone so you don’t forget the time difference. It comes in handy when you want to wish your friends a happy birthday/ good luck at a specific time. Hopefully then you won’t end up missing the event completely which has happened more often that I’d like to admit for me and my friends unfortunately :/.
5. Plan something
If you have plans to visit your friends in the various countries/ at home this is one thing I have always found helpful. Through this you get to finally meet your friends again and catch-up with them. Often I feel that this will make your friends feel remembered even amongst the new friends that you have made.
I focused more on Long Distance Friendships here because I know how valuable friendship is especially when you are someone who moves around so much and don’t get the security of having that 1 friend that is always there (because hey you are not even in the same country). I will write on Long Distance Relationships sometime later. The most important thing I think to remember is that Long Distance Friendships (like all relationships) takes both sides to make the effort. If you are the only one making the effort it’s not going to work out. So don’t forget to make sure you and your friend is on the same page :).
Oh if it doesn’t work out the first time round, try again (if you believe the friendship is worth it). There is never a point where it is too late as long as you’re willing to take that extra step. I just recently reconnected with a friend that I lost contact with for 4 years and another that I lost contact with for 9 years :). So hopefully these tips will be useful to you. And if you have any of your own tips please let me know too 🙂 I would love to get some inputs.
Friends are treasures – don’t forget that 🙂
Follow your heart. Find your passion.