• Keeping Friends

Long Distance Friendship Brings Challenges

Published: January 16, 2024 | Last Updated: January 16, 2024 By | 7 Replies Continue Reading
A long distance friendship can be challenging because proximity can play an important role in making or breaking a friendship. A reader worries about losing touch. 

QUESTION

Hi Irene,

My friend and I used to be really close, however, I live at least an hour away and I can’t drive. We’ve slowly drifted apart, she answers calls less, responds to messages less, and we talk a whole lot less.

Now it seems that she has a new best friend, one of my former friends whom I also could never see because of distance. I get a little upset when I see how close they are, because I feel like distance played a major role in this one, seeing how we could never hang out.

I will be moving closer to both of this summer. Do you think that will help with the issue? I don’t feel like she dropped me, I feel like I’m never there and have no way to get there, so she never asks.

Thanks, Wendy

ANSWER

Dear Wendy,

A long distance friendship can be challenging because proximity plays an important role in friendships. Living near someone or working with the individual not only gives you a common thread but also makes the friendship more convenient.

That said, living near someone isn’t sufficient to create an emotional bond between two people.

But living some distance from a friend or moving away doesn’t necessarily preclude two people maintaining a close friendship.

It’s natural to feel a bit hurt or jealous when a once-best friend of yours becomes more distant from you and closer to one of your former friends—but if they both are part of each other’s everyday worlds, it is easy to see how that happened.

I’m not sure how your moving near both of them will play out. I think you need to be open to strengthening both friendships but also, don’t be too disappointed if one or both friends have moved on from their friendship with you.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene


6 Tips for Maintaining a Long Distance Friendship

  • Stay connected by establishing a way to communicate regularly, even by texts or video calls.
  • Focus on what you still have in common (interests, lifestyle, careers, other friends).
  • Show interest in each other’s current lives by listening and asking questions.
  • Find ways to created new shared memories by getting together in-person periodically (your place, her place or a getaway in-between), reading the same book, watching the same movie).
  • Reassure your friend about the importance you place on the friendship.
  • If the friendship has a time lapse, reach out and try to re-initiate contact.

A few prior posts on The Friendship Blog about the long-distance friendships:

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Category: KEEPING FRIENDS

Comments (7)

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  1. Tanusri says:

    Same problem going. I really need help

  2. Anonymous says:

    No I am afraid there is no room at least not for people I meet on here .I’m all set thank you. I prefer to cultivate friendships with those i meet in my community. I am just on this blog to chat about friendship.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great monicker, sunset trail blazing, and other nice images, organic garden, friend fertilizer. Yes, friendships are like garden and orchard plants. Some just seem well suited and are happy and grow and bloom and thrive. Some just appear, a pleasant surprise. Others do well with a bit of nourishing and care. Some fail to thrive, and they wither even with the fertilizing, conscientious watering, sunshades, wire protectors around them, stakes, companion planting… I’ve finally learned not to try absurdly hard in the garden and instead to cultivate plants that like to grow there, and ones I like and want there, of course. Ditto for friends. I’m female, about your age. Is there room in your friend garden for additional friends?

  4. Anonymous says:

    a couple of friends that I do not live close to, and have maintained good contact with via emails and phone on weekends. One of them I had to distance myself from since she was way too demanding of my time. The other one, is such a kindred spirit of mine. Even at times in our friendship when we’ve not seen one another, we can just resume the friendship w/o all of the games, people play. When we do get together, we have a great time. But I also have a friend in a big city. We live across town from one another. We are both busy, but she has such a great disposition. She’s very interesting, we both have a sense of humor. Recently she’s facing some caregiving challenges. I too have been involved w/these issues, as my parent ages. So I feel that one’s friendships can be maintained when hopefully two friends put in at least some kind of effort. But also, it’s important if one has something in common.
    Try not to be offended that your friend has become close to your friend in common. Who knows, maybe once you are closer geographically speaking, the friendship can be resumed. If not, I guess you will have to find some new friends. Best wishes!

  5. sunset trail blazing says:

    Friendships are so organic, kind of like my garden, somethings take off and grow like crazy, and others just don’t no matter how much I nourish them. I have one friend I grew up with since 2nd grade (I’m 58 now) We live half way across the nation from each other. We write once or twice a year, call occationally if one of us are going thru something. Yet when we get together every few years we spend hours talking, laughing, as if the distance or years don’t exist. Then I have had many friendships that have withered away even with lots of care and attention. I wish I had friend fertilizer that worked on all of them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’ve noticed that true friendships prevail over time and space. I have a friend miles away from me in another city, and we talk by Skype every other day. Distance does make it harder to maintain a friendship but if it’s a close friendship, it shouldn’t matter. If it’s a casual friendship, distnace often does matter…one friend may not try as hard to keep up the friendship. At least, that’s my experience. Best.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well two of my best friends live in other countries. We work hard through Skype and email texts etc. so distance isn’t an issue. Sounds like you’ve been downgraded. When you move closer you can give it a go and see if the friendship picks up. If it doesn’t- it wasn’t the distance. She just found other friends and moved on like you will have to. Don’t cling to her if she isn’t interested. Be cool and polite and reciprocate what you want to buy don’t run about after her

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