How to Cope With the Difficulties of a Long Distance Friendship

We’ve all heard countless stories about the pros and cons of long distance relationships. The internet is filled to the brim with sweet and/or heartbreaking stories of LDRs. But what about long distance friendships? Surely they can’t be as intense, as important or as difficult as romantic relationships? In short: yes they can. Long distance friendships can be even harder than LDRs if the bond is particularly strong. Here’s a few reasons why LDFs can suck equally as much as LDRs, and a few ways to tackle these issues:

1. Timezones

Whether it’s a friend you’ve met online or a friend who has moved away that you still keep in contact with, timezones can be fatal. They hugely limit the time you can spend talking to your friend. With sleep, work, school, homework, family time, leisure activities and all else factored in, it often only leaves you and your friends a very small window of time to be able to talk.

How to tackle this issue:

If you’re like me and your best friend lives in a very different timezone from you, it can be very difficult to talk to them as much as you’d like. My best friend lives in a timezone five hours behind mine. I make sure I know his weekly schedules (e.g. school, extra-curricular activities etc.) and I try my best to work out times when we can talk. Plan and set out times that the both of you are free to talk or Skype. Sometimes, when I have nothing the next day, I even stay up past midnight to talk to my best friend. Larger time differences require larger compromises. I never take my time talking to my best friend for granted. It’s important to value every minute you have to talk to your long distance friend!

2. Being unable to hang out IRL

Being thousands of miles away from your friends means you can’t spend time with them in person. You can’t hang out with them and do whatever activities you want. This can really limit the number of things you can do with your friends.

How to tackle this issue:

Whilst you can’t go shopping with each other or go to a concert together, you can watch YouTube, Netflix and basically anything on the Internet together. A website called rabb.it allows you and many friends to share a “room” and stream videos together. It also allows you to voice call, use Facecam and/or use a Chatbox to talk to each other at the same time. Rabb.it is a great way to have online parties with friends! I love using it with my friends to watch cooking shows and really silly movies.

3. Loss of contact

Just as all friendships do, long distance friendships can fizzle and fade. As someone who has had countless long distance friendships, I’ve experienced this countless times. It can be really difficult, especially when you definitely don’t want to lose your friend. The long distance between you both just makes it all the more difficult.

How to tackle this issue:

Talk to them when you can. With everything going on in your life and theirs, and timezones added into the mix, it can be really hard to find the time to keep up with your friend. Explain your situation to them, and ask them about theirs. Just like in point 1, try organize times that the both of you are available to Skype/chat so that you can catch up with each other. LDFs are very difficult to maintain but can be kept healthy if the mutual effort is put in.

4. Being unable to meet

Due to distance, it can seem next to impossible to meet your friend. It costs a great amount to travel across the world, and not everyone can afford it. Parents are also often against the idea of internet friends meeting. Meeting in person can seem like a dream that’ll never come true.

How to tackle this issue:

My best friend is a boy I met online five years ago. We’ve wanted to meet for all of those five years, but due to financial issues and the 3.6 thousand miles between us, we just haven’t been able to. However, it’s becoming very likely that we will meet for the first time next year. We’ve been patient and we haven’t given up on meeting each other for the past five years and it’s definitely paid off. Because neither of us can afford to fly all the way to the other, we’re meeting half-way. Both of us will be making the journey, and this cuts the travel and hotel expenses in half for the both of us. We both also plan on working hard to earn and save up money in order to be able to afford the trip. It’s important to just remain patient and faithful; You will hang out in person eventually!

All in all, long distance friendships are very difficult. They can be tiring and stressful, but they’re not something to give up on. With billions and billions of people in the world, why limit your friendship circle to the people in your city? If you’re feeling a little down in the dumps about your internet friends, here is another Affinity article all about why they’re actually very important!

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published.

Click on the background to close