I’ve moved around a decent amount in my life. I left home (Minnesota) to go to college out of state (Kansas), moved to Chicago after school, spent a few years in Nashville, and then made the return to Chicago.
In that time, I’ve “left” a lot of really close friends. I remember those first weeks of college trying to keep in touch with all of my high school besties—talking about our dorms, classes, and which sorority everyone was in. I recall feeling like life was moving way too fast to clue them in on every detail (something that was the norm just months ago at home), so I would panic at their phone calls, thinking I didn’t have two hours to explain every facet of my new life.
Hands down one of the biggest friendship lessons I learned in my young adulthood was to allow friendships to transition and change. That I shouldn’t try to fit a friendship into the mold it used be—and instead to appreciate it for what it is (even if it’s way different than it used to be).
What I’m saying is I’m sort of a pro at having long distance BFFs. (OK, maybe not a pro, but definitely a fan.) I’ve learned a ton over the years about the beauty of these relationships and how they require a special set of rules in order to keep them strong. I’ve learned to really appreciate the few people who have stayed close over the miles and years and big, fat, life changes. I’ve learned that it’s worth the work, the calls, the distance traveled in cars and on planes, the incessant texting.
And I’ve learned that a long distance friendship won’t look like the one with close friends whom you see daily, weekly. It can’t, and it shouldn’t—but will stand alone with its own really wonderful qualities.
So I’m going to name a few things I’ve experienced and appreciated about long distance best friendship, and I’m ready to do it ode-style (that’s a thing, right? Yes.). Without further ado, may I present An Ode To Long Distance BFFs. (You know who you are.)
Here’s to finding the crazy balance between mundane life details and big life moments.
To never beginning calls with “How are you?” Instead promise to dive right into whatever is happening, or bugging you, or on your mind. It’s this level of comfort and intimacy that makes it OK (most of the time) that you’re no longer in the same city and can’t just grab a drink tonight to vent.
Here’s to FaceTime, Snapchat, and Instagram direct message—and gifs, text chains, and voice memos.
These glorious gadgets help bring us into each other’s daily world. They’re great instant ways to let your bestie know you’re thinking of her, or that she should buy the shirt, or that you remember her favorite show. And I know I’m not the only person who has gotten out of a meeting or class and seen 57 text messages and known it wasn’t an emergency—just your BFF group text.
Here’s to the bevy of wonderful friends where you live.
And here’s to the pangs of envy at the Instagrams you each post—wishing you were there for that moment, but being grateful you (and she!) have wonderful people in your life. And ALSO here’s to embracing her local bestie when you visit and beyond…because they’re there when you can’t be and you both share a really rad common interest (your BFF, duh).
Here’s to spending all of your extra money on visits or trips together.
To a constant back and forth of photos of where we’ll go next, or fun things going on in our respective cities that we should experience together. Here’s to creating countdowns leading up to the next visit and here’s to knowing her city almost as well as you know your own.
Here’s to inside jokes that just get worse with time.
Here’s to almost an entire lexicon of words and phrases that only we can interpret. To texts out of nowhere with just those words, knowing that it’ll make the other laugh no matter what they’re doing.
Here’s to being the person your BFF needs, no matter what.
Here’s to being there when life is an asshole and throws a major curveball. Here’s to that pang when the only person that would make you feel better is miles and miles away. Here’s to letting yourself ugly cry on FaceTime together.
Here’s to never being embarrassed to express how much you miss them and wish they were here.
Here’s to ending a call with “Love you, text me forever” (I just did this to my sister—one of my ultimate, long distance BFFs). Here’s to wishing almost every weekend that they were here just so you could grab a drink and make fun of each other. It’s truly one of those things that never gets easier.
I spend a lot of time dreaming about buying a plot of land and making a slew of those “tiny houses” and having all of my long distance besties in one place and how incredible that would be. Except they’d all want their besties there too… so what I’m saying is I’m about to become the mayor of a really cool tiny town.
And mostly? Here’s to being proud of how hard you work on your relationship.
Here’s to the peaks and valleys, the weeks where you felt a little distant because one of you was swamped at work, or one of you just got into a new relationship. Here’s to communicating and forgiving, to trying harder, to picking up that phone (but for reals, not just the keyboard section).
And here’s to the person who knows you best and likes you anyway.