The struggles of long distance friendships
“Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.”
I’ve always proudly worn the badge of a ‘girl’s girl.’ The one half of a ‘best friends forever’ necklace. The wearer of a facial expression that speaks volumes to my inner circle. Before I left Australia to move to London, I was lucky enough to revel in my own little fan club. A curated group of starred individuals who cheered me on from the side line and made me giggle at every moment.
In turn I were their biggest fans. I was lucky to have multiple Amy Poehler + Tina Fey style friendships. The kind that can solve problems with a simple ‘just come over, I’ll get some cheese’ rhetoric, and then I turn up to realise we’re wearing the same outfit or have the same song in our heads. Friendships built up on years, highs and lows and many random hair styles.
I knew that leaving my home would also mean leaving my friendships behind. It was made even more scary considering that most of my friends, for various reasons, aren’t the social media kind. One is a teacher and thus mostly shuns social media in order to avoid prying parents. Another chose her sanity over social media after a breakup and never really immersed from the online detox. While the others… well they’re just the free spirited social media types that commit the occasional instagram image when the mood strikes and nothing more.
So even with all the Facebooks and Whatsapps and Twitters and alike, keeping in touch isn’t as straight forward as it’s made out to be, because people aren’t always straight forward. Life isn’t always straight forward. And some of the best people don’t exist in the online world, but in the real life world. Have you even looked at your Facebook feed lately? It’s a baron wasteland.
Friends on my side of the world have been in the same long-distance friendship position. Even in this day and age of Skype and all, you’d be surprised how many close friendships have completely faded just because one of them hasn’t been able to keep in touch.
It’s easy for friends to slip your mind during the day-to-day, but in the long run it can take its toll. In fact, losing touch with friends is said to be one of the biggest regrets of people on their death bed.
Now I can’t blame my friends for their lack of trying. Keeping in touch is hard, I get it and am guilty of it too. It’s even harder if your not a fan of social media interactions or long winded emails. But I still can’t help but feel there’s got to be solution out there that doesn’t just rely on an Skype. Sky writing? Messanger pigeons? Barber shop quartet? Dare I ask, is their an app for that?
While I’ve made the effort to try various forms (maybe not barber shop quartet, but I’m open to it), I’ve come to realise that no matter how many forms of communication you try, the best way to maintain a friendship is to trust in your bond and aim to be in the same city at the same time as much as possible. I guess long distance friendships are costly ones to keep, but when its all said and done, they’re more than worth it.