In an ideal world, you and your friends live in such close vicinity to one another that last-minute happy hour plans or TV show-watching parties can be arranged in seconds. But sadly, that doesn’t always happen.
Take Kyle Richards from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of New York City's Bethenny Frankel — these besties of 25-plus years live on opposite coasts, and yet their bond seems closer now than ever.
So how do you help friendships flourish as the distance between you and that person grows farther apart? Take a look at these four magic tips on maintaining your friendship when you live far away from your no.1.
1. Text Often
We all have our phones practically glued to our palms anyway, so instead of scrolling through our social media channels and feeling blah about friendships from the past with people who live far away, Ali Wenzke, author of The Art of Happy Moving, advises you to just send a quick text message.
"Even a 'Just wanted to say hi' text is enough because your friend will probably text back with some information about what's going on with her life,” noted Wenzke. “She might text back, 'Hi, Ali. I'm off to the doctor right now. Chat soon.' Now you know she's been to the doctor and you can follow up with her and ask how it went. It's the small details of people's daily lives that makes you feel connected, so keep in touch often.”
2. Make New Friends But Keep the Old Ones a Priority
Wenzke said that while it takes effort to main friendships, if you decide a relationship is important to you, you will make the effort to show your friend you care.
“Call her and listen to what's going on in her life instead of just keeping her updated on what's been going on with you. Keep up on social media with her, if that's your thing. Send her a book you just enjoyed or a box of cookies to let her know you're thinking about her,” Wenzke suggested.
3. Show Up for the Huge Moments
If making plans to see your long-distance gal pal often isn’t realistic, plan to at least be there for the big moments, no matter what.
Afton Strate, a licensed clinical marriage and family therapist, said that when we have built a relationship with someone, we know what matters to them.
“Be intentional about emotionally showing up for them when you can for the big moments in their life,” said Strate. “This may look like attending their family funeral to support them while they're experiencing a loss, sending a care package when they are having a difficult season, or mailing a greeting card to let them know that you're excited about their new promotion. If you miss something important, then make an effort to repair with them and ask for a do-over to show your love and support.”
4. Share Something Small
The “how are you?” check-ins can start to feel a little bit stale and before you know it, the friendship will, too.
Dr. Julie Gurner, a clinical psychologist, advises sharing something small together, like a TV show.
“Plan to watch the shows together - text, Skype, etc., every episode and have a blast,” said Dr. Gurner. “It offers both consistency in contact and a shared activity that keeps you connected regularly despite the distance.
Continue celebrating Galentine's Day with Bravo by watching The Real Housewives of Atlanta's Cynthia Bailey and The Real Housewives of Potomac's Karen Huger create magic as they interview each other on Housewife to Housewife.
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