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Long distance friendships

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
Hi,

This is just something I would like to discuss.

Don't know if people out there are in the position where they know a lot of people who don't live close to them, but how do you keep the friendships alive ?

Is it possible from your experience to keep a long distance friendship going despite the obstacle of miles between you ?

Personally I think it's a challenge.

Over the last few years things have inevitably changed a lot - leaving university, people starting their careers.

Unfortunately I think that it's inevitable that I'll lose touch with a percentage of the long-distance people - it's pretty tricky to keep up with them - I guess they are very busy with new jobs/new lives and they don't have much time.

Or then again have people found that they have been able to have long term friendships despite distance ?

Also is it normal for there not to be that much contact in long distance friendships ? What I've always found as a general rule is that you hear from local people, but not those further away. I don't think I have very high expectations as people are quite far away. Maybe it's just like that, but if you are able to meet up things would go well and it's just that people are leading separate lives.

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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Im in a similar position. I went away to uni, made loads of friends from all over the country, then upon coming home 2 out of my 3 original friends from home moved away to Brighton and Kent, so only one of my friends lives nearby. Most of my close friends now live miles away and i have other friends who im not close to but see quite often at gigs etc. The person i spend most of my social time with now is my sister.

    As for my long distance friends, we dont stay in contact that often but i know thats because of time etc, and as you say, leading seperate lives. I still know though that we remain close and good friends.

    Its just a case of making more effort. When my 'original' friends are home for the weekend to see their parents they let us know and we meet up for a drink or a night out, and i have another uni friend who i occassionally text and chat to.

    I think it is possible to keep long distance friendships going. Like i say, just because we dont speak 24/7 i know that the friendship is still there.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If it's a long distance friendship I see no problems. Friendships can easily be paused if there is no real way to stay in contact. Only real problem is, if you can still connect when you are in each others vicinity again.

    Regarding long distance relationships. I went off them, because I had a couple go wrong and it's just too emotional taxing for me. If you have been with your partner in a relationship for some time and then he or she is gone for a couple of months it's no biggie, but starting to "go out" with someone who lives a couple hours of plane flight away became a unwise concept to me. There are so many people in your own country and/or city and you pass up on all of them, by holding a promise to someone you basically never see.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I have a very close friend who I've never lived any closer than 70 miles away from her. At least once a month we'll talk on the month for about an hour, and we send each other boxes of goodies (started out when I lived in Spain and she'd send me British chocolate and sweets, and mix tapes periodically) once every few months, and we talk on facebook when we can. We probably only see each other a couple of times a year (I have some very good friends I haven't seen in years). Its just the nature of our modern day society and thats what social networks were built for!

    Like StrubbleS said long distance relationships are a different ballgame, but you can still use the same techniques. It works better if you can still see each other at least a couple of times a month - i.e. live a few hours drive away rather than in a different country - I did that too, and that was very hard!
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Around the issue of communication : I find that I'm generally the one who puts the effort in to trying to keep in touch with the long distance people.

    Is the reason I don't hear from them because of the distance/time constraints ? How is it best to view the nature of one sided contact in quite a few instances ie I contact or attempt to contact them and they don't contact me.

    Or should there be more balance in terms of who keeps in touch with whom ?

    How do you know if a friendship is over ? That's a question I need to ask as it's not immediately obvious to me when a friendship is over or not. With some people when I've messaged them and consistently got no reply I thought that meant it was over or if they have deleted me off facebook I've taken that as an ominous sign.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I find that life more than distance gets in the way. I had one very good friend who's drifted away after his marriage, the distance had nothing to do with it. It would have happened had he lived three streets away. Equally I have friends who live three miles away and we see them about once a month because life gets in the way.

    It's easy to overanalyse things, especially if your friends are also shy. Sodbaby's Godmother is like that, never stating she's wanting anything but making "random" holiday trips to places like Bradford. Equally im not alwaysbrilliant at contact, there's one good friend I speak to about every nine months as were both as hopeless as each other. Crucially the conversation picks up exactly from where it left off.


    I don't think friendships "end" that often, so much as gradually get leas close until little binds anymore. If you're not getting replies to emails that's a good sign contact has gone, although don't look at Facebook in isolation. I delete my account every so often, when I'm bored, but that doesn't mean anything about people on that website.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My two closest friends live in Cardiff and Leeds, I'm at least 4 hours away from them. But we do just fine.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So from what you are saying it's often the case that life gets in the way - people are busy with this that and the other and this gets in the way of friendships.

    So if there's a lack of contact it could just be down to their busy lives I suppose or that they are bad at contacting others.

    If however, people aren't replying that's possibly a sign that things may be ceasing.

    I possibly overanalyse, but I don't find it easy to think about these things.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Friendship is hard work, nearby or half the country away, or sometimes half the world away. You've got to put the effort in.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've got a friend in the Navy. We email each other from time to time, and when he's back in the area we meet up. We've known each other since primary school, and I suppose the good thing about being blokes is we just pick up where we left off, even though we might only see each other once a year.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think I agree with everyone, its really life that gets in the way. If you want a friendship to endure the distance, you both have to a) want it and b) be understanding. A very good friend of mine I met 3 years ago, we worked and lived together and then she moved back to Canada. Its been over a year since I last say her but we are still very much friends, the key as mr roll says is being able to pick up where you left off.
    The way I see it these days, there are so many different methods of communication it is easier to have long distance friendships - they just become a different kind of friendship.
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Sometimes people who live far away from each other have better relationships than those living near...If friends are real they'll be able to find time for meeting..these meetings will be rare however they 'll be very significant and full of emotions:)
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    Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    So how do you view it that it's me that puts the effort in to keeping in touch with the long distance people and that I don't hear from them much ? This doesn't seem to apply to people who live nearby.

    I have fears that I may lose a number of long distance friends - I haven't seen many for ages, but it's more the fact that I put the effort in and they don't that gives me doubts. Or is it just the distance factor that is responsible for the general lack of contact - I get contact from local friends, just not the long distance ones really.
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