Did you know that the average American has three to five close friends? Having good friends can reduce feelings of loneliness, reduce stress, provide emotional support, and give you a sense of belonging.
There are many benefits to having friends, but staying in touch can be difficult. If you have a full-time career, children, pets, or other responsibilities, it can be hard to find time to talk to your friends.
If you don’t talk to your friends regularly, you may lose touch or feel lonely. Are you wondering how to stay in touch with your friends? If so, keep reading to learn about different ways to communicate with friends and family.
Communicate Your Needs
One of the best ways to make communicating with your friends easier is to talk about your needs. Every friendship is different, and some relationships need more attention than others.
Some friends may want to make time for a weekly phone call, while others would prefer to visit you in person once a year. Some friends prefer check-ins less often, while other friendships require constant communication.
Ask your long-distance friends how much communication they prefer. If you are both clear on your expectations, you will be on the same page about when to communicate.
Not being on the same page can cause people to feel lonely because of a lack of connection or overwhelmed because of too much communication.
You also should discuss which communication methods are best. For example, if your best friend has a family and a full-time job, they may prefer texting instead of meeting up every week.
Meet Up in Person
One of the best ways to stay in touch with your friends is to meet up in person. While phone calls and texting are great when you are busy, meeting in person allows you to connect on a deeper level.
If you can, try meeting up with your friends in person at least once every couple of months. If you live far away or are busy, try meeting at least once a year.
If you live close to each other, you can visit restaurants, coffee shops, or malls. You can set a goal to try all the new food trucks in your city or visit a bookstore and pick out a book for each other.
For long-distance friends, consider inviting them to your house or planning a vacation. Spending a weekend at the beach will allow you to catch up, have fun, and make new memories.
Try FaceTime or Skype
Another of the best long-distance relationship tips is Skype or FaceTime if you can’t meet in person. While calling your friends is nice, it can be better to see their faces over the phone.
If you and your friends have an iPhone, you can use FaceTime to schedule virtual meet-ups. If you have an android, consider using Skype instead.
One of the best things about video calling is that you can talk to more than one person. If you have several long-distance friendships, arrange a time to video call together.
This allows you to virtually cook dinner together, play a trivia game, drink wine on a Saturday night, or go on a walk around the neighborhood. You can show your friends your pets, house, and hobbies you are working on.
Talk on the Phone
One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with your friends is to talk on the phone. Talking on the phone is quick, convenient, and easy for almost everyone.
If you have some free time, ask your friend if they have time for a quick phone call. You also can schedule phone calls to keep in touch with each other.
If you are short on time, send a quick text instead. Texting only takes a few minutes and lets your friends know you are thinking of them. You can send funny gifs, memes, or jokes to brighten your friend’s day.
To talk to your friends on the phone, you will need a reliable cell phone and service plan. If you don’t already have a phone, this affordable connectivity program could be a good option.
Connect on Social Media
If you and your best friends have social media, take advantage of it to stay in touch. Some of the best social media pages to use with your friends include Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
If you use Facebook, you can create a private page for your friends to communicate. On this page, you can schedule meet-ups and virtual calls. You can even use Facebook Messenger to video call.
Instagram is a great way to stay in touch with friends because you can like and comment on their photos. You can also use Instagram stories to post inside jokes and tag them in pictures you find interesting or funny.
TikTok is a short-form video app that allows you to create content and connect with others. Because making TikTok videos is so fun, it can be a great hobby to do with friends. You may even go viral or start a new trend.
Send Old-Fashioned Mail
Did you know that only a third of Americans have sent a handwritten letter in the past 12 months? While writing letters may seem a bit old-fashioned, it’s a great way to stay in touch with long-distance friends and family.
Writing letters can feel more personal than sending a text or scheduling a phone call. Writing a letter takes more time, is done in your handwriting, and acts as a keepsake item.
When writing letters, you can choose fancy paper, write in different colored pens, add fun stickers, and use a unique envelope. You also can include photos, your favorite recipes, and stickers.
If you are visiting somewhere cool, consider sending your friends a postcard. You can even make it a goal between you and your friends to connect unique postcards from around the world.
Play Online Games
If you enjoy playing video games, one of the best things to do with friends is to play online games together. Some of the best gaming consoles for online games include Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.
If you and your friends have the same gaming console, you can schedule times to get online and play together. Whether you prefer shooter, sports, or classic games, this is a great way to bond over something you both enjoy doing.
Plenty of online games also allow you to chat with each other, giving you and your friends the chance to catch up. If you don’t have a fancy gaming system, you can use your computer or cell phone to play games together.
There are plenty of free cell phone games that allow you to keep in touch and have fun with friends. You can play board games, cards, trivia, and drawing games with friends on your phone.
Around 3 billion people play video games, so the odds are good that your friends will enjoy gaming with you.
Start a Book Club
Do you and your friends enjoy reading? If so, you should consider starting a book club.
Starting a book club is fun because you get to partake in a hobby you enjoy and connect with friends. Reading also can reduce stress by up to 68%, making it a great addition to your everyday life.
You can meet up with your friends weekly or monthly to discuss the book you are reading. If you live in the same city, you can meet at a coffee shop or brewery.
You can also travel to local bookstores to pick out the next book. If you live far away, schedule a Skype or Facetime call instead. If you and your friends have a favorite genre, you can stick to that type of book.
If everyone has different preferences, take turns choosing the books. This will get you outside your comfort zone and allow you to learn more about your friends.
Remember Important Dates
One of the most important things about friendship is paying attention to details that matter to someone else. To maintain a healthy relationship with your long-distance friends, remember dates that are important to them.
Some of the most important dates include birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Some people may have other dates that are significant to them, such as the passing of a loved one or their child’s birthday.
On your friend’s birthday, consider sending them a birthday gift or a card. Choose a gift that is thoughtful to them.
If you and your friend love visiting coffee shops, send them your favorite coffee beans. If your friend loves knitting, send them some yarn you think they will enjoy.
When money is tight, sending them a text or calling them is a great way to show them you care.
Some people have dates that they dread because of a tragic event that happened in the past. If your friend has a time of the year that is hard for them, reach out and ask if they need any support.
One of the best ways to maintain long-distance relationships is to create habits. Without habits, you and your friends may forget to contact each other, which can turn into losing a friend over time.
To make habits with your friends, be clear on your expectations, schedule times to call, and stick to it. If you have to cancel plans, don’t feel guilty, but be sure to follow through next time.
One of the easiest ways to create habits is to add reminders to your phone. While you may not feel like reaching out when it’s time, it will be worth it, and you won’t regret making time for your friends.
Avoid the Avoidance Cycle
If you haven’t contacted your friends in a while, you may feel guilty about not reaching out. Feeling guilty can make you procrastinate reaching out again, which will continue to make you feel worse.
Instead of avoiding your friends because you feel guilty, go ahead and reach out to them. Most people understand that life can be hectic, and they won’t be mad at you for failing to reach out.
The longer you avoid reaching out to friends, the more likely the relationship with fizzle out. If it’s been a while since you talked, send them a quick text message.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when maintaining long-distance friendships is that you need to stay flexible. You and your friends have busy lives, so talk when it’s most convenient for both of you.
This can mean calling each other while driving to work in the morning, while on your lunch break, or while walking the dog. Whenever you have some free time, send your friends a text and ask if they are available to chat.
If they aren’t available, don’t make them feel guilty. Plan to talk another time, or keep trying until you find a time that works.
Keep in mind that it’s important to keep your plans flexible. With a family and a job, you never know when someone will have to cancel plans last minute.
With that said, if your friends aren’t putting any effort into the relationship, it could be time to move on. True friends will always find ways to make it work, even if that means talking on the phone while running errands.
Are You Ready to Stay in Touch With Friends?
Staying in touch with your friends can boost your mood, give you a sense of belonging, and improve your mental health. If you are wondering how to stay in touch with friends, try meeting in person, scheduling phone calls, using social media, and playing online games together.
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