When you start a long-distance friendship, you must be realistic of all the difficulties ahead. You may have left your girlfriend or boyfriend back in your hometown while you headed to college. You both may have left your hometown to attend school in completely different parts of the country. You may even attend the same school, but one of you is studying abroad this semester. Whatever the situation is, maintaining a long-distance friendship while in school can be quite a challenge. There are, however, some things you can do to make the experience a little easier for both of you (and your hearts!).
Time Required: Varies
Here’s how to give you every chance to survive and thrive
Use Technology to Your Advantage
There are countless ways to use technology to keep in touch with someone, which you were no doubt using before you arrived on campus. Text messaging, IM-ing, sending cell phone pictures, talking on the phone, sending emails, and using your videocam are only some of the ways you can help stay (and feel!) connected to your far-away partner. Make times with each other to meet up online, and view it like a date. Don’t be late, don’t forget, and try not to cancel.
Try to Send Old-Fashioned Mail
As simple as it may seem, getting a card, gift, or care package in the mail always brightens someone’s day. For partners who are separated by long distances, these little gestures and mementos can provide a physical connection of sorts. And besides, who doesn’t like getting a cute card or cookies in the mail?!
Make Sure to Visit
It may be hard — financially, logistically — but visiting a partner who is away at school can be really important to maintaining your friendship. You can meet his or her new friends; see where he or she lives; take a tour of the campus; and just get a general feel about your partner’s new life. Plus, when you both are back at your regular places, you can picture more about your partner’s life when you’re talking on the phone or chatting over the internet. Despite the distance, visiting also demonstrates your interest and commitment to your partner (and might be a great Spring Break idea).
Pay Attention to the Details
You may not want to spend the limited time you have with your partner talking about the details of your life, but these are often the most important things. Hearing about your weird Biology lab partner, the English professor you love, and how you can’t get enough of the dining hall waffles are the things that make for you. Your partner will want to hear all about the details of your new life. So settle in for a long conversation about the things that seem most ridiculous, but that may just end up being the things that keep you together during your time away at school.