How to Maintain a Long-Distance Friendship

Senior man video chatting using laptop

Long ago, before the invention of the telephone, staying in touch with a friend who lived across the country was quite difficult. Handwritten letters were the primary form of communication — and while they certainly carried a romantic charm, they could also be frustrating. Writing a letter took a lot of time, and waiting for a response took even longer. Now that we have numerous technological innovations to help us stay in touch with friends and family, one might assume staying in touch with faraway friends wouldn’t be tricky at all. But in fact, it still requires a lot of care and dedication. One thing is for sure: it’s undeniably worth it! If you’re missing a friend who lives far away from you, scroll down to learn how to maintain a long-distance friendship.

Tips for Staying Close Despite the Distance

Friendships are incredibly precious. A good friend will help you feel loved and valued, offer comfort and advice during stressful situations, and reduce feelings of loneliness. They can make you laugh and introduce you to new ideas. To put it simply: They’re a pleasure to be around. When you find someone with all these qualities, you need to hold on to them, even if you don’t live near one another. The following tips can help you bridge the distance and maintain your long-distance friendship.

Be consistent.

Try not to let months go by without any interaction. Not only does this make it harder to catch up when you do chat, but also it increases the pressure. You might wonder, “Has it been too long for me to call?” Or, “Has my friend forgotten about me?” Avoid the awkwardness and keep your friendship fresh by communicating consistently. If you have a feeling this will be tricky, why not write down reminders on your calendar?

Call or video chat.

Texting and emailing can be lovely, but if you’re unable to enjoy each other’s company in person, calling or video chatting is ideal. With both options, you’ll be able to hear each other’s voices — and with video chatting, you get the added benefit of seeing their face and reading their expressions. It’s not the same as sitting across a table from one another, but it’s the next best thing.

Join social media.

For friends that you aren’t quite as close with, social media can be tremendously convenient. Perhaps you have a friend who you would feel funny calling out of the blue, but you always wonder what they’re getting up to these days. Why not check to see if they’re on a social media platform? If they are, you can easily comment on each other’s posts and message one another, which may lead to a stronger friendship down the road.

Do an activity together.

Just because you’re far apart, that doesn’t mean you can’t hang out and do something other than chat, especially if you’re friendship was built on a shared activity versus long conversations. You could watch the same movie or book and discuss it afterward, knit or crochet, follow a crafting tutorial, play an online game, or even play a board game like Trivial Pursuit or Yahtzee (assuming you both have a copy of the game).

Balance nostalgia with your current life.

Although it may be tempting, try not to get too caught up in nostalgia. A strong and lasting friendship should be active and kept up-to-date, not bogged down by excessive reminiscing.

Make thoughtful gestures.

Doesn’t it feel wonderful when a friend lets you know that they were thinking of you? Or when they do something small and special to make your day a little brighter? This is one of the best ways to keep your friendship strong. A little effort goes a long way. Simply sending your friend a random text or email can make you both smile. You could also send a card or a small gift “just because” — or embrace the lost art of letter writing!


A long-distance friendship may require a little more care and attention, but it’s well worth the effort. Don’t let a little distance keep you and your friends apart. If you embrace technology, your friends won’t seem so far away.

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