Long-Distance Friendship

I’ve realized in the past year that half – or maybe more – of my friends live far away from me, many on the West Coast. That’s a long trip from New York City. And due to work and travel schedules, sometimes it feels like my friends who are based in New York live far away, too!

Under those circumstances, it can be difficult to sustain a friendship. But it’s not a new problem; there are plenty of books of letters by writers and intellectuals that attest to the fact that sustaining long-distance friendships takes work, but can be richly rewarding (two of my favorites are Eudora Welty and William Maxwell’s What There Is to Say We Have Said  and Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop’s Words in Air).

Sometimes it’s easier to just let the friendship drift away – but in many cases, that would be a real shame. So I found Jennie Szink’s short article in Verily, “The Art of Long-Distance Friendship,” both inspiring and useful. Here’s a bit of it:

Staying close with friends can be hard, and at times seemingly impossible. But the truth is—between hectic schedules, different time zones, and new adult life responsibilities—it’s a struggle. Sometimes hurried phone calls and wedding advice via Pinterest has to be enough. We all relish connecting with our friends face-to-face—the miles erased when we take a long weekend together, or sit down for a drink after a long day.

But it is possible to feel connected, even when life and distance have gotten in the way. Here are some ways I’ve found that can alleviate the long-distance blues.

What do you do to stay connected to long-distance friends?


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