Long-distance relationships suck. There’s no nice way to say that, so I just had to be blunt. It’s easy to feel disconnected from your friend when she’s miles and miles away. You can’t go out to dinner at the end of a long day. You can’t meet for coffee, go see a movie or a concert. There are no shopping excursions or mani-pedis. And if you’re really unlucky, you miss out of some of life’s bigger experiences, too, like childbirth and job promotions. However, it’s not all gloom and doom. It can still be like the old times, too! Here are a few outrageously fun things you can do to keep the spark in your long-distance friendship:
1. Text and call each other all the time. It’s a given, right? Send random jokes, pictures, quotes. Call whenever you want to chat. Keep the communication going.
2. Gift each other a subscription box. Unbox it via FaceTime or Skype to discover your new goodies together. It can be the same box or a different one, depending on your interests.
3. Send snail mail. Who doesn’t love getting those “thinking of you” cards in the mail at random times? They are always an excellent pick-me-up. You could even send a real hand-written letter, or make your own card. Lucky for you, I’ve got a freebie that’s ready to be printed! Just make sure you’re on the VIP list – it’s on the perks page!
4. Have a date night! Make a date with your friend, grab a bottle of wine, and lock yourself in a quiet room so you can catch up via video chat. It might not be as fun as going out to get drinks together, but it’s a great way to be able to focus on each other. If you can’t do it at night, find a random time during the day, and if you want, swap out the wine for coffee.
5. Visit! If you’re really lucky and a trip fits in with your finances, visit each other! Take turns traveling, or meet in the middle.
6. Share a board on Pinterest. This is one of my favorite things to do. I have a board with my bestie, and it’s called “Our Pinterest Love Affair.” Whenever we see cute quotes or anything that reminds us of each other, we pin it to our board. If you don’t want the whole world to see it, you can even keep the board secret (thank you, Pinterest).
7. Have a movie night. Pick a movie or show to watch on the same night, and then recap the next day. This way if you live in different time zones you don’t have to watch it at the same exact time.
8. Start a long-distance book club. Read a book together and have a two-person book club. Or if you have friends scattered all over the place, let others join in as well.
9. Send a care package. You know when you’re out shopping and you see something (like a gorgeous scarf or a pair of earrings) that you know your friend would love? Grab it! Toss it in a box, add some cookies and other fun things, and send it. Add something that has a local flair to it so they get a sampling of where you live now.
10. Pass a notebook back and forth. When we were in high school, my friend and I always kept a notebook that we passed back and forth. We took turns writing in it, and let me tell you, it’s a lot easier to hand your friend an innocent-looking notebook in the middle of class than it is to pass a note! Thank goodness no teachers actually looked inside! So even though I can’t hand her a notebook anymore, I can still mail it to her, and we can continue the tradition! Write what’s going on in your life, add some quotes or song lyrics, anything.
11. Cook together. Find a new recipe online and cook it on the same night. Then critique it and compare notes. Take turns picking the recipe.
12. Play an online game. Thank goodness for technology. Play a game together on your phone like Words with Friends. My current favorite game is Matching with Friends.
13. Shop online. Just because you can’t run out to the closest mall doesn’t mean you can’t shop together. If you’ve got a special event coming up, shop online together. She may know of some different sites, or have some insight on what would or wouldn’t look good on you. Send each other links.
14. Start a blog or business together. Split the expenses, and the responsibilities. Take turns posting on the blog or divide the categories. You might have noticed an awesome guest post from my friend last month. Start an Etsy shop with the best of your creations. Find fun ways to collaborate.
15. Be accountability partners. If you’re working towards a goal, get some extra help! Be in it together. If you want to lose weight, update your friend with your progress every week. If you both want to wake up earlier, do it together! Call or text when your up and make sure the other is awake, too. Hold each other responsible and encourage each other!
16. Plan a dream vacation. You may never get to take this amazing vacation in real life, but it’s still fun to plan. Will you go somewhere warm and tropical, cold and snowy, city, rural? Will it be just the two of you, or will you bring the families? Have fun dreaming!
I’ve always said that I am lucky enough to have two soulmates: my husband, and my best friend. When I was in seventh grade, I met my first soulmate. She was spunky, she had attitude, and she was new at school, too. Talking with her is like talking to myself. She is truly like my other half, and my mom often jokes that we “share a brain” (it’s funny because it’s true).
We’ve been friends for almost twenty years now. In the beginning it was all homework and boy crushes, school activities, petty arguments (every friendship has those), and so much laughter. Now we’re both in the busy mom stage of life where our own families get the majority of our focus. Our relationship has evolved to parenting, venting about our husbands, and support for all of our new endeavors. We’ve grown up, but we still feel like those inseparable little twelve-year-olds. And would you believe it, we live more than 1100 miles apart!
Time and distance are clearly no match for us! We haven’t seen each other in a few years, but I still feel as close to her now as I ever have. I know that if I ever needed anything, she’d do whatever it took to be there for me, and vice versa.