something that’s been on my mind a lot lately is the concept of distance and how we make relationships work despite it.
very few of those that hold pieces of our heart are typically within arms reach of us a large majority of the time. as a student, my family is a 2-hour drive away. my friends, in-state, are any combination of 1-3 hours drive. one of my best friends is in Oklahoma, another handful in Florida. some in New York, California, etc. you get the gist. a few others have impacted me greatly this past summer are a whole ocean away.
so how do we even fathom making this relationships work? after asking these questions, there’s a few key elements I’ve discovered.
the first is communication. this one is obvious. you’re not going to have a relationship of any sort if you can’t communicate. this can be difficult sometimes, because you don’t have the ability to draw from the interactions a lot of what you can in person. it falls upon you a lot as an individual to take the time to communicate “hey, today is going to be busy. i may not be able to text you as much.” or “i am not in a great mood today, something happened to ruin my mood.” in these cases the other person will almost always understand, as they experience similar situations in their own lives. they will give you your space, or let you talk it out. not communicating however will likely create bigger problems like feeling ignored or like a nuisance. communication is really key.
as well, maturity. we are busy people. we live busy lives. i know i frequently look at my phone to see i got a text and while i am doing homework, before my workout, before i go to a meeting, before dinner, before i get ready for bed. some days are a lot, and as simple as it is to send a text saying “i am busy, i will talk to you soon” it really does slip my mind sometimes. realizing that not talking every day, or sometimes not even every week, does not mean that a relationship is nonexistent. probably my best example of this is my friend Liz. we will go numerous weeks without speaking sometimes, but a simple “it’s been a while, what’s new with life?” text is all it takes for us to catch back up and reassure our friendship.
lastly, recognizing that some relationships are not supposed to withstand the distance is important. some relationships just aren’t meant to continue following high school, following college, following a job, etc. they served a point at that point in our lives, and for that we should be thankful. that does not mean they need to hold a place in your current life. a friendly wave and short catch up is all you really need to give some people when you cross paths again later in life. we are all on different paths; some are just meant to grow apart. there is no use trying to fit two different stories into the same book in some cases. and that’s okay.
the vast majority of my distance relationships are incredibly successful. FaceTime has become one of my greatest resources lately as the second best thing to being with someone is being able to see their face and hear their voice.
growing up is hard. school is hard. work is hard. being the parent to a fat cat who won’t cuddle you when you come home from college is hard. we need each other. with that being said –
reach out to those you care about. ask them about their day, and listen to their response. genuineness is hard to come by, and rarely forgotten. this is the most important way to maintain friendships of any distance. 🙂