Making friends as an adult can be challenging. I especially felt this as a self-employed entrepreneur mom, working mostly from home. When I left my corporate role, I left with it a lot of the steady, daily interactions that sustained the friendships I had loved for so long.
In 2018, through a mastermind group in NYC, I got to meet some amazing, like-minded women, all on their own entrepreneurial journey. We worked together for about a year, getting to know the ins and outs of each other’s businesses and lives through our biweekly calls.
From that group, I found a few dear friends I’m still connected to, one of who has become one of my closest inner circle and best of friends. All the while we’ve lived across the country from each other.
Through creativity, intentionality, and a heavy dose of technology use, we’ve found ways to build our friendship AND support each other’s entrepreneurial journey, becoming besties and work wives along the way. These tips aren’t too different if your bestie lives around the corner or the country—but with the distance, a little more planning is needed!
Here are five ways to stay connected in a long-distance friendship.
1. Schedule dates.
Protecting and growing a friendship, at any distance, takes intentionality. We schedule monthly Zoom calls with our other entrepreneur friends to chat all things business goals, growth, and blocks. We take weekly walks together, while on the phone, to catch up on the more mundane. And we have movie date nights or coffee FaceTimes to just stay connected.
2. Share experiences.
We’re often watching the same show, ordering or cooking a similar dinner, or swapping articles, Instagram posts, memes, podcasts, and books back and forth—just as we’d do if we were in person. These small, shared moments throughout the days and weeks keep us connected between our more infrequent in-person visits.
3. Use ALL forms of communication.
Voice notes. Texts. Instagram messages. Instagram voice messages. Quick FaceTimes for pre-date outfit check-ins. Phone calls. Zooms. Snail mail. ALL forms of communication are your friend for both short and long-distance connections.
4. Hold space.
We know the big dreams that each of us is calling in and all the challenges that come with that growth. We hold space and check in on health, family, relationships, and work so that we are able to support, cheer, nudge, and walk beside each other for all the big and small things coming our way.
5. Be each other’s HYPE person.
Okay. Seriously. We all need a hype person, that friend who pumps you up for ALL THE THINGS. Whether near or far, it doesn’t matter. Like their posts on social media. Send them good morning voice notes. Compliment them on their hair/art/business. Pep them up for their date/workout/interview/nap. Just be all in and make sure they know.
We show up and hold space for each other through challenges. We cheer and inspire each other in our business and life goals. And we find time to have fun, no matter the distance.
Finding true friends, near or far, is such a gift at any age. Staying connected across the distance definitely takes work but is so worth it.
Feel free to follow our friendship journey at @plsdotell and @colorkindstudio on Instagram and share your best tips with us!
Jill Elliott is an artist, wallpaper designer and writer constantly seeking inspiration and balance. You can find Jill’s wallpaper and original art at Color Kind Studio. She can often be found making art and messes alongside her daughter and puppy.