Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Topic Tuesday - Long distance friendships

Do long distance friendships work?

I didn't used to think that it would be possible at all but I have proof that they do. Here's my story..

As a young child I had a lot of friends but didn't really feel close to any. As a twin, my sister was everything I needed and I knew from a very young age that I didn't like the tittle-tattle that little girls tended to do in my school so I was a bit of a tom boy and that wasn't very popular!

When we went to secondary school my sister and I decided to go into separate classes so we both made new friends. I really wasn't keen on my sisters choice of friend and so many times I have regretted the decision we took to be in separate classes! - She had a horrible school experience!

I, on the other hand, didn't really enjoy the beginning of being at "big school" but it was the first years trip to France when I founded a friendship with Leanne. This girl was my total opposite! we were chalk and cheese - she was quiet and reserved (although had a huge rebellious side) whereas I was quite loud and a bit of a goody goody! Typical teachers' daughter! Leanne found the rebel in me and I loved it!  We went through the whole of school together, she saw me start to shift from tom boy to girly girl and eventually we both worked in our first jobs together in the social club. It was a lot more my bag than hers - I regularly made her blush.  We drifted away from each other when Leanne left work and I continued studies and went to uni... We never fell out to my knowledge and have recently been in touch! I'd love to meet up with her and her family one day!

My uni friends are the ones that make me really believe in long distance friendships. I was friends with lots of people on my course at uni but three of the girls on my course became really close friends. I lived with one of them, another was an honorary housemate (I think she lived with us more than at her house) and the other lived with her parents down the road. We were close then and when uni came to an end I was terrified that the friendship would dissolve. This year marks 10 years since we left uni and we have celebrated birthdays, Christmas', new homes, post grad degrees, new jobs, performances, engagements, weddings, babies, christenings and even managed a holiday over the years. We have supported each other through tough times and always been available for each other in some way, shape or form. I think there have been periods of ebbing and flowing if that makes sense? It is important to recognise each of the friendships individually as well as as a group so that group politics don't take over - obviously arranging meet ups etc there's always group politics! There are a lot of people to consider now not just us four girls.  I feel closer than ever to them despite the miles that separates us.

Yes, it is sad that we can't just pop over for a cuppa or to watch a film. I get lonely when my best friends are so far away it takes planning for us to catch up but I'm so lucky to have the most amazing friends who don't see miles as hurdles. Who embrace the fun times and who have grown with me for all these years! I'm totally blessed to have them and my best advice is

  • Use whatsapp - set up groups and use individual chats
  • face time - always a giggle. You can always do this on whatsapp too
  • plan, plan, plan.... set out approximate dates you want to meet waaaaaay in advance and review closer to the time.
  • meet in the middle. It evens out the travel - helpful if you have little people.
  • Know that if you drift away, it's okay... no-one said you have to stay friends forever! friendship is a two way street.
I guess with experience and age, I have learnt that if a person matters then it really doesn't matter what the distance is. I know my friends are in the same country but should they wish to move abroad, it would not affect how I feel about them. If we come to the end of our chapter naturally, then I have learnt through my experiences that it's okay for that to happen. Maybe this could be a blog of it's own

Do you have any tips on what makes your long distance friendship work? 
How do you feel when you have naturally drifted apart from a friend?

I guess this is a chatty part of the blog so what topics of discussion are you covering? Pop a link to your blog and I'll grab a brew and join the natter.

Speak soon

1 comment:

  1. Oh I thought I'd commented but it's not here ☹️

    Happy mail is great too. Even if it's just a card to say I'm thinking of you. Super spesh all the same.