Many people have a misconception that long distance exists only in romantic relationships. But that isn’t true because long-distance friendship is also a reality and challenging to tackle. We miss having our friends for those impromptu coffee dates or shopping sprees. Yes, the struggles are natural; therefore, we are listing some of the challenges long-distance friends face.
Struggles of long-distance friendships
1. Lack of communication
Communication is crucial when it comes to friendship. The more you communicate, the more intense the friendship grows. But it could be a challenge in long-distance friendships. Your friend probably moved to another country, and you are both staying in different time zones.
When you are up, they might be sleeping and vice versa. Due to this, phone calls happen at weird hours. Also, having a standard time for communication could become a tad tricky, thus minimizing your interaction. It could become a barrier to friendship and a key culprit in long-distance relationships for staying connected.
Solution: Don’t think negatively and turn to the positives. There’ll be one hour of the day or night where you both are comfortable having a conversation. Find that hour and set up calls without fail. Try to share everything that happened in the day as if you are physically in front of each other. It will help in bridging the communication gap.
2. Miss having a friend around
The most obvious challenge of long-distance friendship is you miss your friend uncontrollably. You physically cannot go out on long walks, have a gossip session, or plan dinner. There are chances of friends experiencing loneliness and sometimes being unable to make new friends. They have a set of expectations, which they cannot witness in anyone else.
Solution: Change is always difficult to accept, but there is no way out, and you have to embrace the situation with a positive outlook. You might not find a friend like them, but you may mingle with some like-minded people to waive off loneliness. It will help you cope with the challenging situation.
3. Jealousy takes over
Jealousy is a prevalent problem in long-distance friendships. When one friend witnesses their BFF with someone else, jealousy is bound to brew. Not just this, even when you see their social media updates of hanging out with a bunch of acquaintances, you tend to boil in anger. You wish why you couldn’t be there. Mind you; this attitude can lead to a tiff in a relationship.
Solution: If they hang out with their colleagues, you should try doing the same. Not to make them jealous but to let go of the jealousy part for your good. After all, if you stay happy, your friend will also be happy. Most importantly, share every minute detail, so they’ll be no room for misunderstandings.
4. Bottling of emotions
Now they are far from you; you might not find it appropriate to load them with your troubles. You might miss telling them about the bullying you faced in the house or how you were mistreated at the store. Due to this, emotions can get bottled up and hamper your physical and mental well-being. Such a situation is common in long-distance friendships.
Solution: We would suggest – talking about it. Some studies reflect that talking about negative emotions can be productive for your well-being. Don’t talk about everything at once. Instead, go step-by-step. Start with less sensitive topics and then talk about the bigger picture. Precisely, they might understand you well.
5. Memories become the villain
When in a long-distance relationship, sometimes memories play a villainous role. You remember moments like the drunk Saturday night or extravagant skiing trip and start missing your friend terribly. Some moments bring joy, but some may bring loneliness, thinking “why they aren’t around you right now.”
Solution: Walk down the memory lane with positivity. Yes, they will make you sad but remember, they will make you laugh too! For that moment, cherish the good times and think about what you’ll be doing when you meet.
6. Financial constraints
Long-distance friendships can lead to several financial constraints. Sometimes you might not have enough budget to send a gift to your best friend on their birthday, or you may exhaust your internet plan and might not be able to connect on Skype. All this may create a ruckus in your “friendly” sphere of not being able to give your 100%.
Solution: Stop being judgmental and speak your heart out about the budget. We would insist that you save up your expenses side by side to come up with a nice gift for your friends. Giving a grand gift doesn’t decide the credibility of true friendship. Instead, small gifts like customized coffee mugs can do wonders as a long-distance friendship gift.
7. Your life becomes a standstill
Life feels empty when you grow apart from your friend, and everything stalls. You don’t feel like indulging in any activities and don’t feel like mingling with anyone. You impatiently keep waiting for their message or a call. There is constant unrest until you meet them and talk about the things happening. Amid this, you tend to ignore your family, work commitments, and even hobbies.
Solution: Do not think about your friend all the time. Take a break from phone calls, and do not keep relying on them for your happiness. When you are lost in the sadness of your long-distance friend, you tend to forget about other priorities quickly. Instead, focus on them and do things you always wanted. Probably that will add to your happiness.
8. Misunderstanding becomes prevalent
Misunderstandings and miscommunications become part and parcel of any long-distance relationship – romantic or friendly. Since we cannot see them physically, cannot guess their body language, or maintain an eye-contact, these problems tend to arise. Even their jokes hurt us and all these situations brew misjudgments and lead to hampering mental peace.
Solution: When you are confused or hurt about their remarks or attitude, take a pause and speak to them. Tell them how this situation hurts them. Even a minute explanation from them can clear the air. Besides, it is best to stay calm and not respond in such a situation. Give them some time, and you take yours, and things will improve!
Stonewalling is a familiar scenario several individuals may face when maintaining a long-distance friendship. In such cases, many friends use silence as their weapon to escape from the friendship. Furthermore, distances make this a cakewalk because they know no one will question them physically. They just have to stop answering calls; that’s it!
Solution: If you realize that your friend is stonewalling, question yourself: Is this friendship worth all the challenges and pain? Do you deserve this? Once you sort your emotions, and if the friend happens to connect with you. Ask them the reasons for their actions and let them know the aftermath of their stonewalling. Give them a piece of advice on how to deal with situations instead of disengaging.
On a parting note
We live in crazy times and suffer crazy situations but staying calm is the only mantra for a fulfilling life. Yes, long-distance friendship is challenging but easy with simple tips.
Staying connected with not just your long-distance friend but also with your friends and family is equally important. Despite this, the pain overburdens you; then we suggest you get in touch with a psychologist and friendship expert who will help you sail through!