Distance makes the friendship stronger!

We’ve all heard this before: “A good friend is like a four-leaf clover: hard to find and lucky to have.”

Think about it, it’s hard to find somebody who’d not gag over your weird obsession with ice pops, who’d join you in fangirling over every fictional character ever, who’d put up with “sarcasm” being your love language, and whose company feels like sunshine on a cloudy day.

So, what do you do when you find such a friend? You don’t let go!

Chandler from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. clinging onto Janice.

Now, we understand, this is easier said than done.

Moving cities or countries is a part and parcel of adulthood. And with that comes the unfortunate reality of having to move away from your friends.

With staying in touch with people being easier than ever thanks to technology (imagine having to send your friends letters, it’d take a month!), long-distance friendships are no longer impossible to maintain.

Here’s IGNITE’s list of ways you can navigate a long-distance friendship.

1. Accept the changes in your friendship

An animated figure saying, "Accept it."

Distance changes friendships. You can no longer drop everything and run around the corner to meet your friend, and vice versa.

Its easy to feel distant and out of touch when you don’t see a person regularly.

Acknowledging the distance and the changes will help you navigate through these emotions better.

2. Schedule Calls

Janice from F.R.I.E.N.D.S. speaking on call and saying, "Oh My God."

If you’ve ever been in a long-distance friendship, you know how hard it is to call your friend! They’d miss it when you call them, and then you’d be busy when they call you back, and the cycle continues.

Add school and work to the mix and you’ll end up going months without speaking to them!

So, ensure you designate days and times to call them.

Setting up a shared calendar will help you make sure your schedule’s free when its time to call.

Also, setting up time zones of the place your friend is residing in will help ensure you don’t call them at 3 a.m. on a weekday.

3. Set virtual dates

Four people dancing on a video call.

Did the distance break your monthly movie-watching ritual? Or ruin your “game nights”? Well, it doesn’t have to be that way.

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is that you can do almost anything with your friends through virtual platforms.

So set up a dance party on zoom, a movie date on google meet, or a video game battle on discord with your friends to keep up rituals. Doing things together will help maintain a strong bond.

4. Keep each other updated

A kid holding her book out and saying, "Send me a pic."
Text on screen: Pretty please?

You’ve cooked a bad meal? Send pictures to your friend. A new show got you hooked? Tell them all about it. Roommate troubles? Rant about it to them through voice notes.

You don’t need to hold yourself back just because you might not get an immediate reply.

Keeping them updated about all the little things will make them feel more involved in your life.

5. Let memes do the talking

A woman staring at her phone and laughing.

Let’s be honest, in every friendship there comes a point where you run out of things to say.

School’s the same, life’s the same, and the weather’s the same. By this point they know your past like they’re the human personification of your diary. So, what do you do when you’ve got nothing to speak about?

Send memes! Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, TikTok, and most social media apps are filled with funny images you could share with your friend.

By doing this you’ll be constantly in touch with them without having to rack your brain for conversation starters.

6. Make plans

Man saying, "Let's come up with a plan together."

What is life if not a series of events to look forward to? Just because you won’t be meeting your friend in the near future doesn’t mean you can’t plan for it!

Creating a list of things you’d like to do with your friend once you meet will give both of you things to look forward to.

Navigating through long-distance friendships can be hard, but in the long run, it’ll make your relationship stronger.

We hope the ways listed above can help you through this curve in your friendship and ensure you don’t lose a valuable bond to distance!

Have fun bonding!

Ready for an online date with your friend? Here are some free games you could play virtually with them.

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