We’ve all been told that distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it’s not something you believe until you experience it yourself.
We assume it applies mostly to romantic relationships, but I’ve learned that’s not even the half of it.
Moving, graduating, starting new life chapters – all that usually comes with some distance between you and people and places you love. And boy does it make you appreciate all the things you once took for granted.
As you get older, 60 miles is nothing but a short drive, but it also starts to feel like a million miles away. You realize how much you’re missing out on by not being next door or in the same building as your people.
Graduating from college and moving to a new city can be one of the scariest, most liberating events of your life. It can be one of the hardest too.
You have moved away from the comfort of your family as well as your very best friends. Sure, you’ll make new friends, but it won’t be the same as it was in college. You may even meet the best friend you’ve ever had, but the way in which you are friends cannot be the same as it was with your friends in college.
In college, you lived a mile away from or in the same building as your friends. You would stay up for hours talking or doing stupid stuff and not worry about getting up for that 8 a.m. class because you knew you wouldn’t be able to do it forever. (And because you could come home and nap in between classes).
Once you enter the real world, you can’t stay out all night without really feeling it at work the next day. And if you go home and nap, you actually just fall asleep for the rest of the night.
So, it’s harder to make friends outside of work. It’s possible, it’s just not as easy as it once was. In college, you saw your friends almost every single day. You were in class together, at meetings together, and then at home together. You made memories all the time because you were sharing your life with them.
While you’ll always be friends, you won’t always all live in the same city forever. And it’s especially hard when you’re the first one to leave the group and start a new chapter.
1. You miss out on all the new memories.
All your best friends are attending parties and events while you’re working and watching Netflix for the fourth day in a row. It’s hard to hear about all the things they’re doing that you used to do with them. You will feel left out and like they are moving on from your friendship. That’s not the case; you just happen to be in different parts of life, and that doesn’t mean you aren’t friends. You’ll miss out on the times they’re having, but the time you get to spend with them will be even more special.
2. Distance makes the heart grow fonder.
I’m sure you got in your share of little fights with your friends when you spent every waking moment together. You got on each other’s nerves occasionally and needed time apart. Now that you have all that time apart with your separate lives, you are extra happy when you get to see them. Instead of seeing each other every day, you might get to see each other once or twice a month, and it’s always the best time when you’re together. You realize how wonderful they are and how much you appreciate them. I guess it’s true, distance does make the heart grow fonder.
3. A long distance friendship is better than a long distance relationship.
Long distance relationships are hard to do, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible. All relationships take work, but luckily, friendships are usually pretty easy to pick up where they left off. Romantic relationships aren’t always easy to leave alone and pick back up. However, friendships, really good friendships, don’t have to be watered and tended to every single day. Friendship can be fun from far away sometimes. You can send letters, talk on the phone, or FaceTime and set time aside to do so. It can make your long days of work much brighter when you have those FaceTime dates to look forward to.
4. Your weekends are full of fun.
Luckily, weekends are still a thing. When you and your friends both get free weekends, you get to travel to see each other or plan to meet in the middle. And when it’s been a month or so since your last reunion, you end up having the best time. And even if you see them three weekends in a row, you act like it’s the first time you’ve seen each other in months every single time, complete with screams and lots of pictures. Those reunions have never felt better because you get to be a part of your group once again, even if it’s only for a day or two.
5. Time goes on, but so does the friendship.
Years will pass and you will lose touch with many people, but you won’t lose touch with everyone. You will have those friends you keep up with forever. You’ll plan getaways together, even when you’re married with kids, and you will always call to catch up and see how life is going. The every day swing of things will get in the way at times or make you feel like you’ve lost touch with all your closest friends, but those phone calls and yearly trips will rekindle those connections you had and remind you why you became friends in the first place.
Moving on and moving away from your people doesn’t have to be a bad thing. It’s not always fun and makes you feel like everyone has forgotten all about you at times, but there will be those people who let you know they’ll never forget you. They become like family to you, and you make time for them and they make time for you. That’s what friendship is all about – making time for the people you want to give a part of your busy life to.
You may never live in the same city or state again, but there will always be those common places you share where you will reconvene. There will always be letters and phone calls and Facebook posts that keep you connected. And you can’t ever really escape the bondage of the best friendships of your life because you wouldn’t be you without them.
You might leave your friends and move on physically, but that doesn’t have to mean you move on for good.