4 long distance BFF dates for your Friday night in
Having a long-distance friendship is hard. The person you rely on to comfort you during breakups, cheer you on during job promotions, blow off steam with and just help you make sense of everything is miles away and feels heavy on your heart. Missing them is a constant tug to see them, talk to them and share your life with them.
Honestly, I think it’s even harder than dating someone long-distance. Trust me, I dated my fiancé for one year long-distance. It was tough, but the end was in sight. But when your best friend lives halfway across the country, there’s a good chance that you’ll never live near each ever again. Coming to terms with that has been difficult for me especially as we get older and make plans to start our own families. I want to share every detail of my life with my best friend, and I want to know every detail about her life. But, the reality is that just doesn’t happen.
My best friend, Lillie, lives in Oregon. We grew up together, went to the same high school and spent pretty much every Friday and Saturday night together. She went out of state for college, and we haven’t lived near each other since. We usually reunite in person once or twice a year, but there are some things we do to stay connected in the meanwhile.
Face mask & chat
Who doesn’t love a good heart-to-heart and a face mask? Make a date of it by each going to Target, picking up a whichever face mask you fancy and setting a time to call each other. Get updated on each other’s lives and minimize pores? That’s definitely a win - win. Just add a glass of wine and I’m there!.
put together care packages
Say your friend is having a rough time; maybe she’s going through a breakup or doesn’t like her job. Use your Friday night to put together a small, but thoughtful care package of her favorite things. This doesn’t have to be expensive; just peruse the dollar aisle at Target. One time, Lillie and I exchanged “Sunshine Boxes” because we were both down in the dumps. You open the box and everything is orange or yellow. It definitely brightened my day!
Plan An Annual Girls’ Trip
This takes more effort, coordination and money but I swear it’s worth it! My BFFs Lillie, Ellie and I camp for one week at a national park every year. We pay airfare, food, and hiking/camping expenses but it’s relatively cheap for a week-long vacation with your favorite girls. I love it because it’s a week to get back into nature, talk incessantly with your best friends, and be sweaty and never wear makeup and basically just be exactly who you are. It’s so refreshing!
Netflix & Text
This is an easy way to relax and even spend time with your best friend and your significant other. Pick a show on Netflix or Amazon Prime to watch together at a specific time and then text each other about it! Such a fun way to decompress and yet get that quality, social time in. Our favorite shows to chat about are Queer Eye and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
These four BFF dates have helped Lillie and me become stronger and united in our friendship, and I hope they do the same for you. Sometimes, I think we can feel guilty for taking too much time or for not dedicating enough time to our friends. It’s hard to balance a full-time job, a side gig, family obligations, a significant other, household chores and friendships. I’ve often caught myself feeling like having a friend is yet another item on the to do list. The routine of life isn’t forgiving to making space for quality time, and I tend to fall back on spending time with my fiancé, my family or his family for social connection.
But what I’ve found is that by not dedicating pure, unadulterated time to cultivating friendships leads to a sense of loneliness that your significant other or family can’t protect you from. It’s the loneliness of not being with peers that deeply understand and empathize with you. The anxieties of being a twenty-something girl (or wherever you are in life) are only reconciled by a friend in a similar position saying, “oh my god, me too!!”
And those two words, “Me too” not only hold the meaning of an entire social movement, but that of a life-long, unsinkable friendship is built upon.
So, taking time for friendship isn’t selfish or meaningless — it’s self-care and teaching yourself to thrive. Friendship makes you feel grounded, supported and less alone in this vast universe. Whether your BFF lives one door down from you or in a completely other country, give them a little squeeze (digitally or IRL) and plan your Friday night in together.