As Jenna would say in MTV’s TV show Awkward, the first thing a person needs to do is DTR (Define the Relationship). Is this person worth the time and effort to keep in contact with? Let’s be honest, you probably aren’t going to keep in contact with the guy you have a quick conversation with at the mailbox every other day. The people you spend the majority of your time with, the ones who know you the best, are the people you want to stay in contact with.
Next, it’s important to understand it’s possible to stay close and not talk every day. For this to work, you can’t be the needy friend. Life doesn’t stop because your friends are in different places; if anything you will all be very busy with new jobs, internships and relationships. I have personally seen friendships fail because of a needy friend feeling under-appreciated, when the other was merely busy with a new family and job. You have to work around each other’s schedules and pick up where you left off from the last time you spoke or saw each other. Just because a friend doesn’t have as much time to talk or hang out, doesn’t mean they don’t care about you anymore.
Finally, stay committed to keeping in contact; otherwise, it’s not going to work. If the friend is important to you, make time to keep in contact. Every conversation doesn’t have to be hours long, a simple text from time to time will suffice. Just stay committed. It’s not as hard as most people make it seem. With so many different social media outlets today, it’s easy to talk to friends in faraway places; use them to your advantage!
Here are a few ways I’ve been able to talk to my friends in different cities, states and countries:
- Call them! We all have cell phones; on your way home from work or on a quick lunch break, it’s easy to give your friend a quick call to say “what’s up?”
- Re-open your Facebook. A lot of people have transferred to Twitter, but I still find Facebook very useful. I know its cliche, many of us have hundreds of Facebook friends, but I literally only talk to about 30 people consistently. Everyone already has it, and we can post or message each other all kinds of information and check it on our own time.
- Learn to Video Chat. I recommend Oovoo over Skype because you can talk to multiple people at one time. Google also has a program to talk to friends (Google Talk). This is probably your best bet for friends overseas because it can become very expensive calling them by phone.
- Use your email for things other than work. Your email is used for everything nowadays, might as well use it to keep in contact with your friends. Whenever I need to vent or if I have a new crush, I always send my friends ridiculously long emails, which are easier for them to read rather than listening to me blab on the phone.
- Take weekend vacations; it’s not as expensive as you think. Megabus is a cheap ride to most cities, and the buses are pretty nice. I haven’t had a bad experience on one yet. No need for a hotel, your friends should have couches or the floor with blankets. Fairly in-expensive, it’s a great way for your friends to show you their city, catch-up, and have some fun.