Long distance friendships

Friendships that stood the test of distance.

Who’s in your innermost circle? What makes those friendships stand out?

There’s something deeply satisfying about saying, “we’ve known each other since we were 12.” It’s not the number of years that makes these friendships special; it’s the countless life experiences we’ve shared and the depth of connection that comes with knowing someone for so long. Time matters when it comes to forming deep bonds, no doubt.

When I think about my close friendships, distance has played an equally significant role. My most cherished friendships are those that have stood the test of distance, not just time.

On average, we can maintain about 5-15 close relationships. Of those, maybe 3-5 are friendships that make it onto the “innermost circle” list. I consider these the friends who’ve supported me through multiple crises and multiple versions of myself. They’ll tell me I’m being an idiot if that’s what I need to hear; they’ll also hold a soft space for my feelings during my vulnerable moments.

Most of my closest friends live in different places and have chosen different professions and lifestyles than mine. But despite differences in time zones, work problems, and life experiences, these friendships are going strong and feel effortless. They’re effortless precisely because both parties are committed to nurturing them.

Yes, long distance is hard but there’s a bright side to it. Distance actually helps create opportunities for deeper connection, and we should talk about this more.

Because we’re not constantly in touch, our conversations and time spent together are more meaningful. We want to make our interactions count, so it becomes easier to be fully present.

I have long calls with my special humans, paired with occasional visits or trips together, and there’s no need for constant texting. Sometimes we don’t hear from each other for weeks, and that’s perfectly OK. There’s trust that one of us will organically think of the other and reach out.

Trust is the cornerstone of any meaningful relationship, and distance is a big test of your trust in each other. And it’s not just about trusting that both of you will show up for the call. It’s also trusting that despite the differences in where and how you live, you want to continue deepening this friendship. It’s trusting that if you do disconnect at some point, you’ll find a way to reconnect again.

If this trust persists through time and geographical distance, that’s a special bond. And if you have one of these bonds please, please cherish it.

I’m so grateful for the ones I have (you know who you are).

Other thoughts