Miranda Feneberger
January 15, 2018 9:00 am
Giselleflissak / Getty Images

Long-distance friendships can be tough, but your relationships don’t have to fade away just because of a few hundred (or thousand) miles. When your friends move across the world for grad school, or their parents find jobs in a new city, it can be easy to become disheartened. But even though there might be an entire country between the two of you, there are always ways to keep that friendship fire burning. When phone calls become the new coffee dates, and texts become the new sleepovers, the anxiety of keeping in touch with someone can settle in quickly. Next time you talk to your long-distance friend, keep these questions in mind and your conversations will be just as comfortable as they were when you were next-door neighbors or classmates.

Here are 17 questions to ask your long-distance friend to keep the magic alive.

1How was your week?

This question is obviously quite basic, but it’s a great starting point when you’re looking to get an update regarding what’s going on in your BFF’s life. Something as simple as this can really start your conversation off on the right foot.

2Have you read/watched anything good lately?

Again, another basic one, but people love to talk about the shows they’ve been watching and the books they’ve been reading. Questions like this can help you to find common ground with someone whose day-to-day life you no longer see every day.

3How’s your family?

Remember to check in on the other people in your BFF’s life. This can include significant others, roomies, and of course, family members. Asking about your friend’s loved ones reminds them that you care not only about them, but also about the people they care about.

4Soooo, how’s the love life?

This one’s pretty self-explanatory. It feels like there’s always something to gush about here, am I right?

5OMG have you seen Riverdale???

Okay. You don’t have to ask this question exactly, but bringing up something that everyone is talking about can be a great way to start a dialogue with your pal. The newest season of Game of Thrones or the last Fifty Shades movie are both excellent starting points, obviously.

6Remember when…?

Bringing up old times is always a great way to bring you and your friend back onto the same page. Nothing bonds people more than shared experiences.

7What’s your moon sign?

We’re all astrology nerds in 2018, aren’t we? Reading your horoscopes or natal charts together is such a great way to bond. And if you’re not into astrology, try doing a Myers-Briggs or love language test together!

8Have you seen any good movies recently?

Your BFF probably wants to tell you all about their life, but they might not know where to start. This is a good way to spark a conversation with someone, because it invites them to share fun anecdotes about things that might not seem important to them. In long-distance friendships, the insignificant moments are the things that matter the most. It’s those little intimate, intricate details that you end up missing more than anything else. Remember to ask for them.

9Did you see ____ got engaged/married/a new job/a pixie cut?

Talking about your mutual friends is another way to break the ice in a long-distance friendship. When you don’t see your companion every day, discussing people and places that are familiar to you both can get you back into your old groove.

10Want to FaceTime this weekend?

Blocking out time to see your friend, even virtually, can make a world of difference in a long-distance friendship. Whether you use Skype, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime, there’s nothing quite like looking your friend in the eyes and hearing them laugh.

11Follow up.

Okay, this isn’t a question, but it’s really important that you follow up about the things your friend told you the last time you spoke. If they were going through a tough time, or they started dating someone, make sure you ask them how things are going now. Your friend will feel super comforted by the fact that you remember things they mentioned last time.

12What are your plans for ___?

Whether it’s a birthday, holiday, or long weekend, ask your friend about their plans. This is a talking point that will invite them to share, but will also give you room to share as well. “Omg, you’re hosting a Galentine’s Day party? You have to Skype me in for a tequila shot!”

13Are you doing okay?

This question is a crucial one. Sometimes it can be hard to share our struggles with our friends — especially when it feels like catching up needs to be all smiles. We don’t want to be a bother or make others worry. But by asking directly, you can give your pal an opportunity to share the not-so-fun parts of their life.

14How is school/work/the job hunt?

Asking for a career or school update is a great way to get some basic info about how your BFF is doing! Are they super busy? Disheartened about the job search process? Waiting to hear about grad school admissions? This is a great opportunity to give your pal some advice or to reassure them that they are as amazing as you know they are.

15Can you help me with ___?

Lots of these questions are targeted towards helping your buddies, but it’s also important to ask for help when you need it. Whether you’re trying to figure out how to text someone back, or pondering some of life’s big questions, your pal will probably be happy to help.

16What’s the best thing that has happened to you this month?

This is a fun question to ask if you need to lighten the mood! Did your friend see the most beautiful waitress ever? Or the cutest dog? Making time to talk about fun, silly things can be super helpful in keeping your long-distance friendship feeling fresh.

17When do I get to see you next?

Lastly, the big question all long-distance comrades face: “When can I see you?!” Sometimes it’s not always possible to hang out in the next few months or even years, but it can be super fun to imagine all of the amazing things you’ll do together next time you hang in-person. And who knows, maybe they’ll have a work trip in your city coming up! You’ll never know if you don’t ask.