When the beginning of the pandemic started, everyone I knew was complaining about how little they got to see their friends, and how it was so difficult for them. I could never really sympathize because my best friend and I have been making long-distance work for some time now. When I moved away from our high school town we texted, facetimed and planned things out to do together online. Obviously, the distance is hard sometimes (we’ve definitely had our moments) but we’ve just come to make it work; we know we’ll end up seeing each other sooner rather than later.
I love telling people the story about our friendship because it’s really a great story. We actually went to middle and high school together, played on the same rugby team in our senior year, and became friends at the end of that season. It’s still crazy to us how long it took for us to become friends, but here we are!
After I moved away things were really good, we stayed in touch and bonded over all kinds of things. I took a gap year, and she started her first year of university. I know for a lot of people their support systems need to be close around them (physically), for us, I guess not so much. We both always know that the other is just a text or phone call away and I think there is some kind of relief in that. We have a lot of facetime study dates, just random facetime calls and even when she lived somewhere with terrible service all summer, we called as often as we could.
So, for the past two years of COVID lockdowns, our friendship was only minorly affected, meaning we only saw each other once each year. It kind of blows, but we still make it work, nonetheless. Every year when she makes her cross-country drive back to school, we meet up somewhere for a night or two. Last year was Toronto, this year we met up in Ottawa, and next year… who knows! I think being able to explore new places with someone special to you, especially someone you rarely get to see is a really fun experience.
I know that with people getting vaccinated and life slowly returning to our new normal we will be able to see each other more often throughout the year, but even if it’s only once, I’ve never been worried about the state of our friendship. I think it takes two people who are willing to put in the effort, even if it means driving hundreds of kilometres to meet up once a year with your Christmas gifts that you both forgot to mail (we definitely didn’t do that).
Long-distance friendships require special people, I don’t think they require a lot of work. We have busy schedules, all kinds of things going on and we’ve always made it work between the two of us. I think it just comes down to the people we both are and how much we care about each other, the effort we both put in reflects that. I think your friends will be your friends no matter where you are in the world and that’s a special thing. So, yes I think long-distance friendships work, but only with the people, you are really meant to have in your life.