While I’m definitely not a relationship expert, I do know a thing or two about maintaining long term relationships even over long distances. Kristin and I, who are both 27 at the moment, have been friends for about 22 years! In that time we’ve been to different schools, lived over a hundred miles apart from one another, and taken completely different paths in life, but through it all, we’ve yet to even have a single fight. How do we do it? Let me tell you!
Respect, Don’t judge.
This is a big one, especially in today’s society. I feel like if someone doesn’t have the same opinion as you, society has taught us to argue and hate each other. This is so not necessary. Respect each other. Don’t judge. Differences are what make us so special and allow us to grow. Think about how boring life would be if everyone was exactly the same as you. In the parenting world especially there are so many different views and avenues to take, embrace it and learn from the other person. Even if you don’t agree or wouldn’t do the same, there is value there.
Stay in contact.
How many friendships have you had just disappear because you lost contact? It’s so common and sad. With technology today there are so many ways to stay connected. Kristin and I text each other all the time, even if it’s super random, just to stay in touch, and now with little Gideon here we make it a point to get together often. (One of my biggest fears when he was born was that he wouldn’t recognize me because of how far apart we are physically, but so far every time he sees me his face lights up and my heart absolutely melts.) It’s fun to change up the way we communicate too. We’ve been known to pen each other an old fashioned snail mail letter now and again.
Be a giver as well as a taker.
Have you ever met someone who just takes, takes, takes? At first, you might not mind, but it really starts to suck after awhile and you might end up resenting them. Not cool. It’s important to nourish your relationships by doing an equal amount of giving and taking. You can’t just give, give, give because that’s no fun either. A truly beautiful friendship is one with balance. Where you can lean on the other person when you need them, and when they can lean on you as well. When Kristin was pregnant I enjoyed spoiling her with adorable outfits for her baby (seriously, my husband got nervous every time I told him I was on my way to Target). I really enjoyed planning her gender reveal and baby shower with her mom. Now that I’m the pregnant one she has completely spoiled me with hand-me-downs, so much so that I’m almost completely set for when baby comes and I’ve barely had to buy anything.
Know each others likes and dislikes.
There’s nothing worse than when you know someone for a long time and they still can’t remember that you hate the color pink or can’t stand spicy foods. Kristin and I are both pretty picky, and our preferences have changed over the years but we’ve done a really good job at keeping up with the changes. There was a time when Kristin’s whole closet was blue and she wouldn’t eat fruit. Can you imagine if I showed up to her birthday party with a fruit tray and a pretty pink top? Not cool. Now if I did that, as long as the top was millennial pink, she’d probably love it!
Be there for each other.
Sometimes life doesn’t go like you expected. Sometimes you go through rough patches. Sometimes everything is coming up roses. And often times these times don’t match up with what your friend is going through. That’s okay. Kristin listened to me cry about not being engaged yet right after her beautiful wedding even though I’d been dating my now husband longer than she’d known hers. I was there for her when she thought she owed a bunch of money to her college all of the sudden. We cried on each other’s shoulders when we lost our first pregnancies early in just weeks apart. We’ve also got to share a lot of really special times together too. We stood behind each other when we got married. I was one of the first people to meet her precious son and she’ll be the first to meet mine. Long lasting friendship is all about being there for each other through thick and thin. It truly makes all the difference.
Be an individual.
We’ve all seen the movies where besties wear the same style outfits and are interested in the same things or even have the same name. It’s fun to watch the power struggle, but not so fun to live it in real life. Be yourself. Learn from the other person, but remain an individual. This is imperative for your happiness. Nobody outside of Hollywood movies likes copycats, even if the saying goes that it’s the highest form of flattery. Be yourself. It gives your friend inspiration as well as keeping you sane.
Did I miss anything? Do you have any questions about staying friends forever? If so drop us a comment, and don’t hesitate to Ask a Bestie!!