In your 20s, your friends surround you. In your 30s your friends are spread everywhere. They are in the burbs, different cities, different states, even continents. As cliché, as it sounds thank goodness for the digital age. Nowadays we can text, gchat, snap, and gram our friends in seconds and feel an assemblence of connection despite the miles of being apart. But, is that text or snap enough? Is it a true connection? Is it maintaining a relationship that allows it to grow and continue to stay intact over time?
Build your Rituals – Each relationship and friendship is different. Some friends love to chat on the phone (the actual phone), while others prefer text or email. Others prefer in person wine or coffee. And others are more likely to just catch up on any type of media…Facebook, text, etc. I have a couple friends that I text with almost everyday. I have one friend who we have a ritual of saying “TGIF” every Friday and catching up a bit. Doesn’t mean we only talk on Friday but that one sentiment is meant for us. It’s our little special thing. Another friend and I send cards to each other. Yes, actual snail mail cards. These rituals may be small, but they can go a long way. It’s important to establish something with each friend, and most importantly, keep up with it.
Go a Step Further – A lot of times, when distance happens, messages and communication lessen over time. When you’re not in front of someone’s face and have less to talk about because it takes longer to catch up on “all of it” we get lazy. It’s not an excuse, it just happens. The question is … is that friendship worth resuscitating and maintaining? Some aren’t because it’s a two way street and you both have to be excited and willing. Others are because you both care enough to put in that effort. I have one friend who moved across the country, but we still text almost everyday. I was one of the first people to know when her baby was born, despite the distance. That is going the extra step, for sure.
Be there when it matters – And most of all, despite the times that you don’t have time to talk, be there when it’s most important. When someone is getting married, having a baby, got a new job, and even when he or she is just going through a rough day or patch. It’s important to show them you’re still there. To listen. To care. To be their friend. I have a group of friends who I remain on a regular group text with, and since we’re all in different states now it allows us to share with all four of us what’s happening each week. It helps us get through the rough times, and appreciate the awesome things happening in our lives – together.