I am so very blessed to have such a great group of friends. If you’re talking about Squad Goals, I’m so on fleek! Some of these people I’ve known my whole life, surviving our awkward elementary and middle school years together, full of terrible fashion choices and even worse hair. (Remind me to never, ever let my dad cut my bangs again. Ever!) I’ve met a lot of my friends in college as we tried to navigate the late-night study sessions, awful dining hall food, and impossible professors; some I’ve met through work or church or simply by happenstance, a combination of serendipity and luck that brought us together forming a forever BFF bond.
Your friends can come into your life in all sorts of ways, but the one thing that is pretty much universal is the impact that they have on your life. They are the people who lift you up, who make you laugh, who inspire and motivate you. They’ve more often than not helped you get through the worst of the worst, and have celebrated the best of the best. They understand you like no one else, accepting you (and loving you even more) for your weird quirks and eccentricities.
One of the things that I value so much about my friends is that no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen or spoken to each other, we’re able to pick up right where we left off, feeling as if time and distance were ain’t no thing but a chicken wing. Which is great because as my friends and I have gotten older, we no longer have the liberties of meeting up at the local diner for disco fries after school or having weekly Bachelorette viewing parties like we used to. While we still are very much a part of each other’s lives, we’ve begun to live our own, moving to different cities/states, careering it up and even starting families.
We’ve heard of the challenges that having a long distance relationship with our SOs can be, but what about those we have with our friends? How do we survive when the person who knows you best lives thousands of miles away? It can be hard not being able to rehash last night’s dating disaster in-person over Appletinis, but there are ways that can help make your BFF LDR a little more bearable.
1. Have regular phone dates. I know it may seem like a foreign concept, that act of using your phone for something other than updating your Instagram or dominating level 499 on Candy Crush. But that mobile texting machine that’s glued to your hip 24/7 also allows you to, wait for it…call someone. I know, right?! I try to schedule regular phone dates with my besties, giving each other life updates or just to simply talk about last night’s episode of New Girl. This whole adulting thing can make life pretty crazy sometimes with school, work and other responsibilities taking over, but that doesn’t mean your friendships have to suffer. If you’ve got five minutes on your drive home or while you wait for your Eggos to toast, pick up the phone and give our friends a call, even if it’s just to say “hi”. There is something to be said for hearing someone’s voice, especially after not having heard it for a while, that a text or instant message can’t replicate.
2. Send random texts to let them know you’re thinking about them. When you can’t call your friends, texting is a great option to stay connected. Sending random messages or pictures of things that remind you of your BFFs is not only a fun way to break up the mundane of a Monday, but it will bring a smile to their face and act as a replacement “you” when you can’t physically be there.
3. Use social media to your advantage. The best thing about social media in my opinion, besides being able to watch incredibly ridiculous but oh so cute dog videos on YouTube of course, is how all of these various mediums allow you to keep in touch with the people who mean the most to you. I Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook my peeps on an always basis, sending messages, funny photos and links to incredibly ridiculous but oh so cute dog videos on YouTube. While these social media platforms are no replacement for the actual thing, being able to communicate and share special moments (an even the normal, average ones) with them whenever you want, wherever you want is pretty awesome.
4. But also remember how great snail mail is. I think we as a society have forgotten how great it really is to send and receive actual mail. I remember as a young girl, running out to the mailbox at the end of my driveway with anticipation, seeing that letter or package from a friend or family member. It was so personal and unique. You also knew that whoever sent it to you took the time to pick out the perfect card, the most beautiful wrapping paper, even taking into consideration the choice of stamps making it all the more meaningful. There really is magic and power in snail mail, which is why I try and send letters and small care packages to my friends every once in a while. It doesn’t have to be Christmas or their birthday; in fact, the more of a surprise it is, the better. Because as they go out to check their mail on that random Wednesday night after work, among the bills and grocery store flyers, they will find a little piece of you.
5. Reminisce about the past. One of the things my friends and I love to do whenever we talk or get together is remember all of the crazy shenanigans we had together (and there were a lot of them, let me tell you); moments that spurred side-splitting laugh attacks, inside jokes, and a lifetime of memories. Taking a walk down memory lane, the nostalgia of a lifetime of experiences has a way of making you feel closer to your BFF, even if miles and miles separate you. Plus, spending time reflecting on the past makes you even more anxious to start making even more of the same crazy shenanigan memories in the future.
6. And plan for the future. And that’s just what you should do! While it may not be feasible to visit each other on the regular, it’s most definitely possible and should be done as often as you can. Go to each other’s respective towns/cities or pick a location in the U.S. and meet each other there for a long weekend of crazy fun. The anticipation of seeing each other will also make the long months leading up to your visit a lot easier knowing that you have something incredible to look forward to. Plus, there’s nothing quite a long-awaited bestie bear hug.