Our culture is very fluid these days. I look back at my childhood where I spent my early years, ages 6-24 in the same town. Most of my family lived in the same state that I did. However, in our culture today many families not only live in different states; but on different continents. More and more people are finding themselves in long distance relationships that will require real intentionality to maintain. I have many of them myself and I always appreciate learning new ways to remain connected!
I would like to give you some tips I’ve learned of and some tips I’ve used to help my long-distance relationships flourish!
1. Set calendared phone /Skype appointments. Putting a bi-weekly or monthly call on your calendar will save you from the “dreaded” term; “We should talk again soon………”. Then it never happens.
2. Send a written card. Everyone wants to be remembered and even in this culture of automated interaction, there is still something to be said for the written word. When I receive a card I actually save it because it feels so special to me.
3. Send videos or pictures of your children or hobbies you share. On your iPhone this will take about 10 seconds. Even this small “soft touch” can make you feel closer in the middle of a busy day!
4. Plan ahead to visit one another if possible. I have a sister who has served over-seas much of her adult life. Though I haven’t gotten to see her as much as I would have liked; I have been able to visit her in England and in France. Those visits to see “her world” drew us closer and were well worth the finances it cost to get there.
5. When you do get a chance to talk or visit; take time to talk about “the good ol’ days ” and memories you have shared. These memories create laughter and remind you as to why your relationship is valuable and worth working on.
6. Remember birthdays and holidays creatively. These times, especially when you are apart can feel lonely and disconnected. Making a personal effort to remember them will help keep your hearts close.
7. Sometimes, out of the blue, just pick up the phone and call–even if you just get the message machine, you can still let them know that they were on your mind. I’ve had that happen to me and it’s such a boost!
8. Facebook–messages, wall posts–pictures. All these possibilities will keep you both connected to how you are doing on the day-to-day!
9. Send a care package just for fun. I remember that when I was in college and a package came in by surprise it just rocked my world–even if it was something tiny. It meant so very much!
10. Pray for one another. Knowing you have this rich type of support is priceless.
All of us have friends and family who are far from us! Grab a few of these ideas, test them out, and see if your relationships begin to grow and flourish in fresh ways!! They are worth it!! 🙂