Linsha Qi
October 26, 2015 8:48 am

When college started, I was forced to say goodbye to staying at my friends’ houses until late at night and spending a lot of time at the local coffeehouses just hanging out. Local friendships faltered in the face of college decisions, and everyone got split apart. Needless to say, this is a painful and irreversible occurrence; it is also really common. But, just because you no longer live five minutes away from your best friend, that doesn’t mean your friendship ends! Long distance love is a thing, especially when it comes to best friends. It’s not easy, though. Here’s what I’ve learned to deal with when it comes to long distance friendship.

You’re never able to talk at the same time

Maybe they’re in a totally different time zone as you, in a different state or on a different continent. Maybe they work at 8 AM while you have classes until 10 PM. Whatever it is, keeping up consistent communication becomes unbelievably hard. Facebook messages are left read but unacknowledged, texts are seen but not processed, phone calls are missed without any sign of a callback. Talking every day becomes a rarity when distance is in the way. (Remember: That doesn’t mean you don’t love each other.)

You don’t have the same breaks

So you guys are in different places. That can’t be so bad, right? You get the same winter break, or the same days off for holidays, right? Sometimes, you really don’t! They might be flying in the same night you fly out, or their hometown might have changed over time. Not being able to take your time off to spend with your old friends is always a potential challenge.

You’re always, always, always busy

Somehow, your days are filled without more than a few minutes to spare; and when you do have time, you find yourself busy within minutes. Even after scheduling Skype or phone calls, somehow your day becomes planned down to the minute, and finding the time to talk, even a bit, to a friend is an impossible task. The worst part is, when your life finally frees up, their life becomes crazy again. People get busy. It’s the sad truth. But, at least you can take heart in the fact that both of your lives are pretty full.

Your surroundings are sometimes weirdly different

Before, I was able to talk about everything in my life with my friends—the weather, our mutual friends, the clubs we were in, everything. Now, that’s become a lot harder. We’ve made new connections, become part of new organizations… Not even the weather is the same anymore. When trying to catch up with old friends, it becomes a task to explain all background information to each other, and sometimes that takes up so much time that you forget to talk about the point you had in the first place. Context is important and without it, conversations can become forced and unnatural. Hey, that’s what Skyping about the latest Netflix series is for. You can always find common ground with shared pop culture.

You miss them

This is the simplest and hardest aspect to deal with: you just miss them. They used to be a huge part of your daily life. Maybe you saw them every hour or talked to them nonstop, always. No matter what it was, there’s a huge hole in your life in the shape of them now. Things around you might remind you of them: inside jokes, old gifts or notes, etc. It’s okay. We know how you feel.

At the end of the day, being apart from a dear friend is a struggle, but it’s going to be OK. We have to support each other taking risks and making changes—even it means losing the physical closeness. Remember, once somebody’s taken root in your heart, they’re never really that far away.

Related:

All the signs you and your bestie are friend married

What I’ve learned from painful friend breakups

(Image via Warner Bros)

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