The Two Week Rule
I'm in a lot of long distance relationships. My boyfriend lives across the country, I have best friends scattered from Houston to New York, and my siblings live in Louisiana and Montana. Thankfully, modern technology has made the world a lot smaller, but I still miss everyone. I've come to the understanding that maintaining these relationships naturally takes more effort than when my college roommates were one bedroom over or my sister was an hours drive away.
I wish I could corral all of my favorite people to a central city or even state, but since that's not going to happen, I have a trick for keeping these relationships alive.
Enter the two week rule.
I read once that to stay in touch with someone, you should try and touch that relationship at least every two weeks. So now I try and send a text, call, send snail mail, or get creative (my oldest friend and I watched this together using Rabbit after it ended its run in theaters) more often. I find this benchmark to be extremely helpful for staying connected. Do you have long distance relationships that you want to maintain closeness in? In case you needed them, here's a couple of reasons to keep those relationships alive.
Friendship is good for your health
We all experience loneliness, but it can actually have an adverse affect on our health. Meanwhile people with friends they can turn to suffer less when stress rears its ugly head. They also have stronger immune systems, and they may even live longer. Anecdotally, staying connected with my friends certainly has a positive effect on my mental health, and a lack of connection puts me down in the dumps.
Long-distance relationships are just as good as those that are geographically close
According to a 2014 study that looked at more than 700 long-distance partners and 400 geographically close partners, the two types of relationships don't have many differentiators. In fact, romantic partners who were separated by long distances were not statistically more likely to be unsatisfied with their relationships than partners who lived near to each other. The study found that "that relationship and individual characteristics predict relationship quality," not distance. I'm a strong proponent that this holds true for friendship as well. See, you really should keep in touch!
(Photo by Akshar Dave.)