Recently someone asked me a question on Quora (I’m quite active there) about surviving a long distance friendship. It took me some time to answer because I never gave it a thought. I always believed that the friends I have (near and far) were great even with the distance or lack of time these days. But honestly, being friends for a long time takes something, especially when it’s a distant one.
Some friends are in a bond since school and it sees everything from getting married, having kids and getting them married too! Some friendship start from school and end when the schooling is over. What kind of friends you have?
Being active on relationship forums, I keep reading multiple questions like, “has my friend forgotten me?”, “is she/he no more interested in my friendship?”, “did they get new friends?”, etc. I understand the insecurity while trying hard to keep the friendship alive in a long distance, but all you need to do is ask them yourself! It’s that simple.
Friendship is not always based on how much you see of each other; ‘once you are out of sight, you are no more friends’, that’s not how it works, really. Besides, you too as a part of this relationship, have to take an initiative to keep the communication happening.
Now, what do you consider an effective communication here? Talking every day? Talking every week? Every alternate week? Month? Half year?
But it’s actually only about one of those communications that say, “I’ll be there for you”! Are you making sure of that?
Talking, chatting, mailing, messaging, might be important but let’s not put those on top of everything. Even if you talk after about a year, you should know she/he hasn’t forgotten you. That’s exactly where your trust on this bond should be placed.
Call a friend today who hasn’t been in touch for over six months and ask for a favor. A true friend will do anything for you, but if someone hasn’t responded the way you were expecting, don’t just judge! Everyone needs a down time, maybe they are having one right now and you don’t know yet. You need to empathize then… that is why you guys are friends. Aren’t you?
So what is Friendship? For me, it means calling after months and still talking as if it was yesterday we met; as if nothing in the world changed since the last time we talked; like even today we would fly across states to smoke a cigarette or drink a bottle of beer and bitch about the ninth grader who was so mean as a monitor, or the hot hunk/chic who turned all heads in the college! That’s the spark which keeps the bonding fresh and breathing for us.
Mere assumptions only bring doubts which kills the essence of any relationship and gradually turns the best buddies into “hi-hello” friends. To keep your friendship alive, you need to believe first that you are a true friend. If you expect only them to work on the distance issue, they would gradually lose interest. You just need to clean your mind, do what you need to do and keep them in your heart without judging!
I have some really close friends; some from school, some from college, some since my first job and few I met post marriage. I know I haven’t been a great friend who stays in touch throughout the year, but I ensure to be there for them in need, always.
And though I’m busy with my life and family, I still miss the little fights we (friends) had, the silly misunderstandings, then making up to each other, sharing the same ice creams and notes, copying projects (LOL).
However, I know of one thing for sure… they are my Friends, and they will remain so forever, no matter where they are, what they do, when they talk to me or why they’ve called me after months or years. We will still long for that cup of tea together in the winter evenings outside the college, the useless trips to riverside, the summer afternoon at a friend’s house, the college socials, the freshers’ party and the farewell too! Many more memories to cherish and build.