It’s not that they care about me more than my local friends, but that I can often let myself be more honest with them about what I’m feeling.
I’m not putting on war paint and making sure that I look put together for them — I’m just real.
The fact that these long-distance friends, whether they’ve known you for ages or you’ve met in recent years, seem so far removed from your physical life means it’s easier to be yourself, to really find your voice, and to let someone get to know you without the walls and protective layers.
You can talk to them about everything, about anything, and not see their eyes glaze over because they’ve heard it all before.
And that’s part of what makes long-distance friends the best. If you can only afford to fly out to see them once a year, it makes your time together that much more precious.
My long-distance friends not only have physical distance from my life, but they have an emotional distance from the situations I describe to them that allows them to call me out on when I’m in a downward spiral, when I’m being an annoying pest, or even when they think I should unplug for an hour or two because, even over Gchat, they can tell that I’m stressed.
Being in our mid-twenties comes with responsibilities that we didn’t have at 18 or 19.
When we were younger, things were simpler — there wasn’t a fear that our friends were going to move to another city to go to a different school, be with a partner, or chase their dream job.
My own best friends are spread out across the country.
Have you really lived, after all, if you haven't searched for your beloved's face at an airport gate, cursing the flight delay because you have only a weekend before you must part again?
We should all be so lucky to seal in our memories the image of our lover on our doorstep, suitcase in hand, clothes wrinkled from a long trip, skin emanating a scent that we've forgotten but suddenly comes rushing back, bringing with it the recollection of the last time, which was too long ago and too brief, and ended with a tearful goodbye on this same doorstep.
After so much time apart, a suitcase itself is an aphrodisiac. Meghan Daum is the author of My Misspent Youth (Open City Press).
The care and keeping of friends can be difficult as we grow up.