A long distance relationship is hard. You don’t get to see each other as often as you’d like, most of your communication is virtual and none of their recent photos or stories on Facebook involve you.
I get it. I totally do.
A few years ago, one of my best friends moved to Hong Kong. Disappearing halfway across the world can be a bit of a death sentence for any relationship – even if you don’t intend to, it’s easy to speak less and less until you’ve drifted apart. Lucky this didn’t happened with me and Queenie.
With travelling and working abroad becoming increasingly common, long distance friendships are an issue a lot of us face at some point. So, I’ve given it some thought, and I think this is how we’ve kept our friendship alive.
- We talk nearly every day. Despite the eight hour time difference, we make it work. When I get up, Queenie’s usually finishing teaching. When I come home from work, Queenie’s getting ready to go to bed. And there’s always the odd lunchtime we’ll manage to catch each other. Oh, and the weekends. Luckily, everything seems to run later in Hong Kong, making the time difference less noticeable. When we can talk three times a day (and we sometimes do) it doesn’t feel like we’re 6,000 miles apart.
- We still have a lot in common. We’re certainly not peas in a pod, but we always send each other links to our favourite blog posts, suggest films and TV shows for each other, discuss our favourite books and so much more! Queenie encouraged me to start watching The US Office which I fell in love with (JIM AND PAM!), and I persuaded Queenie to push past the ‘meh’ first season of Parks and Recreation. She’s now finished the whole show while I’m stuck on season 5!
- We even managed to go on holiday together! Remember our romantic getaway to Paris? That was actually the first time I’d seen Queenie for three years, but it didn’t feel like any time had passed at all! I’m going to make sure we don’t have to wait ’til 2018 for our next meet-up. See each other whenever you can!
- I tell her about all the little things (sometimes stupid, probably embarrassing) in my life. Crushes, what I’m doing at work, what I’ve been up to that weekend. She tells about the latest places she’s visited, the newest restaurant she’s tested and – most importantly – what she chose for dessert.
- And, of course, the big things. Dreams, hopes, aims, relationships, careers. Don’t forget to keep sharing these. I think feeling like you don’t know what’s going on with your friend can be a very distancing experience that causes you both drift apart. Keep each other in the loop.
I didn’t set out with a list of ways to keep Queen in my life – none of this was a conscious effort. If I’m honest, the thought of losing her from my life didn’t even cross my mind. It just wasn’t going to happen.
But now that I look back on the last few years, I realise our friendship works because we make time for each other and we know what’s going on in each others’ lives. And we love each other. I think that’s the secret.
And if I didn’t have Queenie, who would stand on my right side in pictures?