It can be hard when some meaningful friendships become long-distance. As you and your friends grow up, life can take you separate ways. After all, some friendships are those once-in-a-lifetime friendships. The ones where you can be completely yourself with no fear of judgment. The ones where you can finish each other’s sentences. The ones where you can argue but be friends hours later. 

But then there are some friendships that make you feel anxious. The ones that you may not share everything with them and choose what they know about you. The ones that start off rocky but someday may grow into something meaningful.

Here is what I have learned: Friendships are a beautiful thing. They can be complicated, and messy, but also safe, warm, and a second home. 

As humans we need connection with others. That’s why friendships are something a lot of people value. As we get older, friendships and the meaning of friends can take on a new definition.

Long-Distance Friendships are Tough

I am entering a time in my life where my journey has brought me a few long-distance friendships. It isn’t easy seeing your friends have separate lives without you or building a life for yourself without them. It is also very strange to go from being a 10-minute drive from one of your best friends to having to communicate through your phone. 

Growing up is a fun and enjoyable time but it can also be something that tests a lot of our strengths and weaknesses. Friendship is something I treasure, and I always find myself working hard to keep my friends as close as possible to me, even the distant ones. Whether that is doing a monthly check in on how things are going, or setting aside time on Sunday mornings to call while going for a walk. I try to remember that I can still share news with them when something special happens.

As a therapist for young adults in Atlanta, having these experiences allow me to relate to my clients when they share their difficulties with maintaining a long distance friendship. With that said, I wanted to share a few things I didn’t really think about when my friendships became long-distance:

  • You start to miss the important things in their life, and they might miss yours. 
  • Your daily phone calls might turn into weekly, or monthly calls.
  • You will start creating new circles of friends.
  • You will get sad and miss your friends more than you know.

The upside

The good news is, distance can create an opportunity to nurture your friendships in a way you may not have when they lived closer. Sometimes we take people, events and get togethers for granted when we think our friends will always be around. Quality relationships, over quantity of friends was something I learned to value more as I got older. I had a new appreciation for these relationships, especially when my friends and I started to move away from each other. 

It can be a sad time in your life, but it can also be a time for growth and new things to look forward to. It can be a season where hanging with your friends turns into a yearly vacation. It can be anopportunity to get excited to hear about what their life has been like the past month. It is most definitely a time to enjoy and know it will all work out for the best.

Friendships will ebb and flow and some will become more distant than others. Whether they are old friends or new friends, some will even last a lifetime. 

If you would like support on how to navigate long-distance friendships, reach out to a therapist for young adults in Atlanta today.