Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Be a Good {Long-Distance} Friend

College friends reunited in March 2012.

We have friends coming into town this weekend. One of the perks of living in our college town is friends coming back for Homecoming. This year our friend Kelly and her two daughters who are my kids' ages are staying with us. I'm so grateful for these times of being able to catch up with people we don't see enough of in our everyday lives.

Two weeks ago, I posted How to Be a Good {Local} Friend. Better late than never, here is the next installment for those of you needing inspiration on how to maintain the long-distance friendship.

1. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatever else to spark real conversations. Those conversation may happen in emails, text messages, phone calls or Facebook messages, but go deeper than what's happening in the public profile of your chose technology, ask questions, swap stories or continue previous conversation on a personal level. {Holly and I have had real-life conversations in hundreds of emails.} Maintaining long-distance friendships is certainly aided greatly by technology, but you still have to make an investment.

2. Send care packages and real mail. Yes, do it for birthdays or other special dates. But also do it just because you two once bonded over the deliciousness of circus peanuts, share a special love for those seasonal Brach's Chick and Bunnies, and happen upon a bag of this candy while grocery shopping. Yes, that's a specific example from my life, right, Katie? It doesn't have to involve candy. You could send cards or photos or gifts.

3. Invite them over. Long-distant friends may not be conveniently located in your same town, but you can still invite them over. Get dates on the calendar and make plans.

4. Be willing to go see them. When we go on a road trip, often prompted by a particular event, I try to schedule dates with other friends who live in that area. It doesn't mean I can always see everyone I hope to see, but it's worth trying.

5. Tell your kids about these friends. My kids adore a few of my out-of-town friends. So when we do get to see them, they're just as excited as I am. Seeing my kids befriend my long-time friends' kids who live other places is one of the greatest joys of motherhood. And they adore the grown-up friends too when they know they're like family.

6. If you can't be there physically, send something. When my father-in-law passed away unexpectedly a few years ago, some friends journeyed to our small town to grieve our loss and celebrate his life with us. Others couldn't be here, which is understandable, but they sent flowers, pictures frames, cards and texts of prayers.

What else do you do to keep in touch with your long-distance friends?

Want more stories? Like 152 Insights on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin'. Subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

1 comment:

  1. KristinHillTaylor10/20/2013 4:17 PM

    Thanks, Beth! Yes, real mail is always good. :) Hoping God provides plenty of ways for you and your husband to communicate while he's away.