Long DIstance friendsSometimes it’s tough to be a better friend when girlfriends live far away.

Meet my college girlfriends Rhonda and Deana. In college we were next door in our college dorm but now they live hours away. I’m happy that we’re all still good friends and we all want to stay that way. Being long distance, makes it a bit of a challenge to be a better friend.

“Distance means so little when someone means so much”

So, here are some ways that we’ve maintained our friendships and been able to stay in touch with our girlfriends who live far away. And here are some additional ideas on how to be a better friend with long distance girlfriends:

  • Use Technology to stay in touch – Email, Twitter, Facebook are great ways to stay in touch with long distance friends. My friends Deana, Rhonda and I send an update via email every Friday to just stay in touch. From what we’re doing for the weekend to family updates, from career status and girlfriend advice, we keep our friendship strong by being aware of what’s going on in each other’s lives. Twitter and Facebook are wonderful ways to find, follow, friend and stay in touch with girlfriends. (We’ll have more blogs about how social media can help us be a better friend in the future. Please share how Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools have impacted your long distance friendships.)
  • Get on a Schedule – Like I mentioned above, my college girlfriends and I stay in touch every Friday – it’s our Friday Friends Update. One of our Girlfriendology girlfriends shared that she and her BFF talk every day on their drive into work. (I’m not advocating talking or texting on your cellphone while driving, Oprah wouldn’t approve! Perhaps you can practice safe driving/talking with hands-free cell phone tools.) Make a commitment to stay in touch with your girlfriend(s) on a regular basis – Even put it on your calendar. Like my college girlfriends, every Friday – email. Or, call each other every Sunday night. (Possibly use the same cell phone service provider so you never have to worry about long distance minutes or plan to call on weekends when your minutes are free.) If you’re not too far away from each other, plan a GNO (Girl’s Night Out) for the Final Friday of the month or a monthly game of Bunco with the girlfriends. Just make a plan and stick with it.Girlfriends from college
  • Make the effort to be a better Friend – Personally, I think that the responsibility for staying in touch often falls on the friend who chose to move away. So, if it was you – make a double effort to stay in touch. Your friend(s) may take your leaving as a sign you aren’t committed to the friendship so show them that’s not true. Call, write, visit, plan trips together. Be the kind of friend you’d love to have – long distance or not.
  • Remember her birthday and other special events – Life is hectic and remembering birthdays and anniversaries may not always ‘top of mind.’  Everyone likes to feel special. Milestones and memories are best shared with our favorite female friends. So, make a special effort to send a gift in advance to get there in time. Or arrange for someone to deliver a surprise to her office or home. Don’t let the distance keep you distant. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries and life together. (And remember milestones like new jobs, being cancer-free, quitting smoking, etc.) And, if it’s an extra-special birthday, plan extra-special ways to celebrate – like sending 40 cards on the 40 days before her 40th birthday, surprising her with a party or trip, making a special handmade gift for her special birthday or other creative ways to make her feel as special as her friendship is to you. (See some creative girlfriend gift ideas below.)
  • Plan Girlfriend Getaways to spend some quality time together – Friendships are different when you can’t sit across from each other drinking coffee or wine and just talk about your day. Yes, there is some communication lost when we’re not face-to-face. Reconnect with each other by planning an annual girlfriend get-away. Visit each other home’s or go on a vacation together. Make sure and leave time in the travel itinerary to just hang out. Take pictures, talk about old times and have great conversations. Continue to make memories together and keep the girlfriend travel tradition going for years and years.

I’m thankful Rhonda and Deana want to make the effort to stay in touch and continue our friendship until we’re too old to even remember those college days. Make an effort with your long distance friends. It’s definitely worth it. Who else knows your past, your family, your dreams like they do? Don’t lose touch – make an effort to be a better friend.

What other ideas do you have for staying in touch with long distance girlfriends?

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Here’s more girlfriend advice and blogs from Girlfriendology on how to be a better friend:

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