Dear Therapist: How can I maintain my long-distance friendships?

Dubai - Our weekly Dear Therapist column responds to your day-to-day mental health challenges

By Prateeksha Shetty

Published: Thu 29 Jul 2021, 5:14 PM

I went to university in a different country and came back home after graduation. All my friends are around the globe and it’s hard to keep in touch with them with the busy schedules that all of us now have but I really miss them. I feel like I’m not making adequate effort. How do I maintain my long distance friendships? — Name Withheld

Dear Writer, maintaining friendships when they are scattered around the globe will require conscientious efforts on both parties involved. Thanks to the technological advancement, it is easier to keep up with friends using social media, calls or emails. You can explore the idea of having regular video calls or contact with a friend maybe once a week or a month, depending on convenience. Travel plans or social events can also be arranged (keeping in line with the safety guidelines) if your friends are willing. Making an effort to remember important dates (birthdays, anniversary, healthcare procedures) or checking in regularly to see how they are doing will also help. Showing your friends that you are fond of them, expressing affection and reminiscing about moments spent together can also motivate them to make efforts on their end. Be mindful of the fact that sometimes relationships change despite your best efforts and that while they can change form, you can still make them flourish.

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