If you are planning a long distance move in the near future, you may have anxiety about how to maintain your friendships with the people closest to you. Moving away from friends and family can be the most stressful and heartbreaking aspect of long distance relocation, but it doesn't have to be difficult to stay in touch. If you will be leaving all of your best pals behind to start a new life elsewhere, read on for some tips on how to stay close across the distance.
Free programs like Skype make staying in touch with your pals and loved ones a cinch. Unlike impersonal textual communication, video chat allows you to see your friends' faces and hear their voices. Plus, Skype and similar programs allow you to chat with multiple people simultaneously through video conferencing, so you and your entire group of buds can catch up together.
Make an effort to set aside a scheduled Skype date with friends for a designated day and time each week, and adhere to it as you would any other plans. Having a regular outlet to update one another about your lives with face-to-face dialogue will help keep your bond strong across the miles.
Create a blog
If you have a group of friends, creating a blog where you can all post updates about your daily lives and other interesting tidbits can be a fun and creative way to keep in touch. Use a free program such as WordPress or Blogger and try to contribute as often as you can. Unlike your scheduled Skype dates, blog posts can be made at any time of day or night--while you can't call your best pal at 2 a.m. after coming home from a crazy night out, you can log on and post your hilarious story on the blog for your friends to read the next day.
When busy schedules don't allow for more personal forms of communication, the world of social media is a highly effective tool for keeping in touch. Shooting your friends a quick message on their Facebook wall will let them know you are thinking about them, even if you don't have the time for a formal phone call or video chat. Conversations can continue over the course of days through comments on status updates, and you can share nostalgic memories by posting old photos of you and your friends together on your profile. While social media outlets have certainly facilitated long distance communication in our day and age, they are also rather impersonal and should not be the only method used if you wish to maintain healthy friendships.
Don't forget to call
Technological advances sometimes make us forget about the significance of a phone call. Make it a point to give your pals a ring whenever you have a free moment to show that your friendship is still important to you. Don't look for excuses not to pick up the phone--it's silly to blame your friends for not taking the initiative to call you. Someone has to make the first move, and it might as well be you. Even if it's just for a quick ten-minute chat on your walk to the bus or train after work--a little effort goes a long way. If you and your pals tote iPhones, you can even take advantage of the Facetime software for a quick visual gab session.
Plan a visit
Nothing helps keep a relationship fresh than a little quality time together. Depending on your respective finances, schedules, and the distance between you, planning frequent visits may not be practical. However, even if you can schedule a weekend together once a year, it will strengthen your bond. Living such a great distance apart will make you cherish the time you do get to spend side-by-side even more.
Send some mail
In the age of email and social media, letters and cards have essentially become extinct. Sending a friend a tangible reminder of your connection via a heartfelt card or handwritten letter will surely brighten his or her day. No need to wait for a holiday--a surprise in the mailbox is a rarity nowadays, and is certainly a great way to show your faraway friend that he or she is missed.
Long-distance friendships can still be incredibly rewarding and as valuable as they were when you lived nearby. However, while geographical distance may not change how much you care about each other, it is inevitable that the dynamic of your friendship will be different. You may no longer be the first person your pal calls to vent to about his or her bad day, or the first one to find about exciting news. You should remember not to take this personally, and embrace the changes happening in your friendship. Even though you may no longer talk every day, the distance between you and your friends may force you to appreciate your relationships more, and cherish the moments you do get to spend together.
Photo by: Nenetus (Freedigitalphotos.net)