Recently, someone asked me how I have such a great relationship with best friend who is in another province. We actually didn’t even see each other for almost 3 years prior to her wedding in October. While it feels almost natural for me, I’d like to offer some tips for people who’s friends are moving far away and how to best keep that connection.
Talk frequently, in whatever channel works conveniently for both you. It might be a phone call, text message, FB chat, Snapchat.
Be willing to listen. Just because you’re far away doesn’t mean you can’t listen and talk your friend through life’s problems. Don’t wait until everything is fine and dandy to chat.
Be there when they need it. This sort of relates to the last point but a friend will always value those that make an effort. Also if they really want you there for a serious life event like a wedding, you do whatever it takes to get on that plane/bus/whatever.
Take challenges together. Do you have a mutual goal you’d like to achieve? For Laura and I, it’s currently blogging everyday. Having a common goal can help strengthen the bond because you can also talk about that goal or hobby together.
Make sure the feeling is mutual. Long distance friendships aren’t for everyone. An important question to ask is why the other person is moving away. Some people just want to move away for a fresh start. In that case, the friend may not want to keep touch. But you can always offer them the chance to connect if they change their mind.
A few years ago, I was the person alone at a concert wasting time on my smartphone until the first band began. I was afraid to talk to those around me, even though I had an inkling of who they were because their faces matched their social media profiles. Sometimes nice people would try to make pleasant conversations but I shrugged them off and retreated to my phone.
In the past year, I’ve been better at this and particularly in the past few months I made it a general goal to attempt to talk to someone I didn’t previously know (or communicate with face to face) at a show. Believe me, this can lead to exceptionally awkward conversations such as “Hi, are you @thesupermaniak?”. It turns out she was and an incredibly nice person. But do you know what’s more awkward? Staring at someone and wondering if they are a certain person, and then not actually going up to them.
Another thing a friend and I did was go up to a random person alone on their phone. He ended up welcoming our conversation. In the end, he turned out to be a friend of somebody we knew!
Talking to more strangers has honestly heightened my concert going experience because less and less am I feeling like I’m in at a concert alone, but more like I’m in a community or a room full of my friends.
Mom told me never to buy a clock for a Chinese person. In Chinese culture, the words for “giving a clock” also sound like the ones for a funeral ritual. It also symbolizes that your time is running out and considered an offensive gesture.
When I was in high school I dated this guy for a couple of months. I saved up money for what would be our first Christmas to buy him this shiny GUESS watch. When I finally bought it, I’d take it out of the box occasionally to bask in the glory of its shininess. I gave it to him for Christmas and he was delighted. However, it stopped working after a week and a little while later we broke up. 14 year old me was devastated.
In college, I found the perfect gift for the vest-wearing guy I was with at the time. It was a pocket watch. The back had a hole that displayed the inner-workings of the ticking clock. The outside was a shiny silver with interesting carvings and the innards were gold. It was wind-up power so it never needed battery. I’m 88% I got it engraved. Anyways, I gave it to him, the spring broke and a week later he broke up with me for another girl. In hindsight, he was probably an asshole.
Now fast-forward and I am with somebody who appreciates me for me and I am the happiest I have been for years. Nash, you are stuck with me forever because I’m never buying you a watch.
There is a famous quote from Mia in Pulp Fiction that goes something like:
Don’t you hate that? Uncomfortable silence. Why do we feel it’s necessary to talk about bull in order to feel comfortable? That’s when you know you’ve found somebody really special. When you can just shut the hell up for a minute and comfortably share a silence
I’m surprisingly (or not really) a semi-awkward person. Are’t we all? When I’m in an uncomfortable situation I tend to feel obliged to talk , blurt out something even if it ends up being really stupid because silence as the alternative is just too uncomfortable.
Luckily, I found someone who I can have comfortable silences with. That doesn’t mean we don’t talk (hell we can talk for hours), but we can appreciate quiet moments. Whether it’s staring into each other’s eyes and smiling or sitting in the same room on separate laptops, talking is not a requirement.
Me and Nash’s anniversary is coming up. We think it’s tomorrow, but we’re not the type to count days. It seems more indefinite this way. Indefinite seems like a strange word. Like forever, but possibly a longer time. That’s a really long time to be with someone.
Then I realized, he must put up with a lot. The dude wrote me the most beautiful letter thing on my Facebook wall, so I thought I’d return the favor with this blog post thanking him for the myriad of things he must put up with while being with me.
Not sleeping and coming to late night shows with me. Many of which have probably made you question my taste in music.
Eating burgers with me. We’ll probably grow obese and both die of heart-attacks, but it’ll be the best death ever.
Waiting to meet parents. Asian parents, enough said.
Being patient and waiting to watch the latest episode of Breaking Bad and Adventure Time with me. Even when their facebook pages contain spoilers.
Dealing with my social media addiction. You’ve let me instagram my food, foursquare places and twitter our stories. This is probably the third wheel in our relationship.
Losing video games on purpose. You must be losing occasionally right? I mean you can’t seriously get beaten by a girl in Tekken.
Letting Teddy lick your balls