8 Ways to Help Your Long-Distance Friendship Thrive

Keep your long-distance friendship stronger than ever with these creative tips and strategies.

Published October 10, 2023
Woman messaging on phone while leaning on friend

Most of my friendships are long-distance ones since we’ve all moved for various reasons or connected virtually in the first place. Even though it's hard not being able to see each other as often as we’d like, we’ve still remained super close.

Between FaceTime dates, friendship lamps, and annual trips, there are plenty of ways to maintain strong long-distance friendships. Use these tricks to stay close to your best buddies wherever you find yourselves.

Tips for Strong Long-Distance Friendships

Navigating a long-distance friendship is a little different from an in-person friendship. Instead of being able to meet up whenever you like, you’ll both need to put in the effort to keep the relationship going. Make it easier with these strategies.

1. Send Spontaneous Messages

Staying in contact is key to keeping your long-distance friendship alive. Whenever you see something that reminds you of your BFF, tell them! Shoot them a “thinking of you” message or send them a photo of whatever you’re doing. They’ll appreciate the thoughtful gesture.

Quick Tip

Snapchat is a fun way to send photos and videos to your besties all over the world. Definitely check out their silly filters if you think they need a laugh (they work on pets, too, FYI!).

2. Schedule Regular Chats

Teen girl talking with friends on distance video group conference call

It can be tricky to work around different time zones and busy schedules, which is why having a standing phone date is a great strategy. Look through your schedules and pick a one-to-two-hour time chunk when you’re both free. Block it off as “bestie time” and treat it like a standing appointment.

3. Send Them a Surprise

Who doesn’t love getting cards in the mail? Send your long-distance friend a postcard, greeting card, or fun trinket out of the blue to brighten their day. You could also send them flowers or have their favorite treat delivered via Uber Eats as a delicious surprise.

4. Be There for Each Other

Even if you can’t physically be there with your long-distance friend, you can still be there for them. Provide emotional support when they’re going through tough times and celebrate their wins. They’re sure to do the same for you.

5. Have a Watch Party

If you and your friends love movies, a Watch Party is a great way to do it together from afar. Most streaming apps have some sort of Watch Party capability that’ll allow you to watch a movie or episode together and chat at the same time. Pausing it will pause for everyone, so you can get up for snacks without missing a beat. Browse these timeless sleepover flicks for inspiration!

Quick Tip

Not into movies? Have a virtual game night instead!

6. Get Friendship Lamps

Friendship Lamps are a super sweet and creative way of staying connected with your friends. Each of you gets one that’s connected via Wi-Fi. Anytime you touch the lamp, your buddy’s lamp will shine a specific color, letting them know you’re thinking about them. How cute is that?!

7. Take an Annual Trip Together

Traveling to see each other at home is great, but there’s just something extra magical about taking a vacation with your bestie. Pick a place that’s an equal distance for each of you to get to, then get exploring! This way, you can catch up and indulge in some well-deserved relaxation at the same time.

8. Get a Permanent Reminder of Your Friendship

This certainly isn’t for everyone, but my best friend and I have matching tattoos as reminders of our friendship. The design was inspired by an inside joke we shared, which morphed into a term of endearment we call each other. Even though we live in different states, anytime I look at the tattoo, I’m reminded of our friendship.

Questions to Ask Your Long-Distance Friends

Everyone grows and changes, but you want to make sure you’re growing together rather than growing apart. Use these questions to catch up with your buddy if it’s been a while or reignite a long-distance friendship that might be fading.

  1. What was the highlight of your week?
  2. What is something you’re looking forward to next week?
  3. What is your favorite memory from our friendship?
  4. What is your biggest fear at the moment?
  5. What is your biggest aspiration?
  6. What’s the best advice you received recently?
  7. Would you like to plan a trip together soon?

Stay Connected With Your Long-Distance Friends

All relationships take work, but long-distance friendships often take a bit more effort. Check-in with your distant buddies regularly to stay connected and make plans to see each other whenever you can. It’ll take work, but it will be so worth it.

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8 Ways to Help Your Long-Distance Friendship Thrive