Here's How To Keep Friendships Over Text, According To An Expert
Trying to maintain a strong bond with a friend you don't see very often can be challenging for just about anyone. Between work and keeping up with your jam-packed planner on the regular, life seems to get in the way. But thanks to social media and cellphones in general, it's super simple to come up with a solid game plan on how to keep friendships over text, so you can let your bestie know they are still an integral part of your life, no matter how far away you may live from each other.
Keeping in touch with a long-distance friend shouldn't be taken lightly. It definitely requires more of a time commitment than a friend who lives right around the corner from you takes. Long-distance friendships can work if you perfect your text game to keep the good, genuine vibes alive.
To help give you a better idea of how you can maintain a friendship over text, Elite Daily reached out to relationship and etiquette expert and author, April Masini, who also runs her own relationship advice forum. Obviously, every friendship is so unique and special, but when you live far away from your friend, you can't go wrong approaching your situation with a variation of one of these text scenarios.
1. "Hey! I miss ya. What's new?”
Yes, this might seem super simple, but keep in mind that sticking to the basics can go a long way in your friend's eyes.
Masini tells Elite Daily, "By asking what’s new, you’re giving them the option to weigh in with pretty much anything. In other words, they can set or redirect the tone. They can chastise you for not returning their calls, or they can mirror your behavior by saying they miss you, too, and so much has happened, a text won’t do, so they try and schedule lunch."
No matter how far apart you are from this friend, reaching out to see how your girl is doing instills your closeness. You're genuinely interested in catching up, and she'll definitely take note of that.
Masini continues, "This text is great because it lets a friend know that you’re thinking of them and want to stay connected, [despite] any gap in time since you last talked."
2. "Sorry I've been out of touch lately. How's everything?”
Between work, school, and just life in general, it might be difficult to touch base with a friend who isn't as accessible as someone you see on the regular. Don't be afraid to be real with them, and own up to the fact that you've been out of touch.
Masini explains to Elite Daily, "This text acknowledges your responsibility for the gap in time that’s passed. You may have ignored a friend’s attempts to connect because you were too busy or you were depressed and in a bad place. Whatever the reason, you’re letting your friend know it’s your fault, not theirs, and that you’re sorry. This is important when you’re the one who’s dropped the ball in the friendship."
Make sure you are utilizing this route when you're really just falling behind. If you're blatantly ignoring communication, that's a completely different story.
Masini continues to tell Elite Daily, "Of course, if you abuse this text because you’re the one who drops the ball on a regular basis, and you send this text too often, the 'sorry' will ring hollow and feel fake. But if you’re usually a friend who stays in touch, the 'sorry' will feel genuine and be a great way to reconnect. Asking a question, like, 'How’s everything?' is a nice way to show you want to converse, not just report in."
3. "I bet you won't be able to keep a straight face during this vid :).”
The amazing thing about laughter is that it instantly connects you to the person who initiated it. Sending vids or memes can be your way of bonding over a hilarious moment.
Masini reveals, "This is a great way to connect with someone you’re usually in contact with. When you send these funny videos to people you’re typically out of touch with, it will feel weird that you’re trying to be familiar when you’re distant. But if you’ve got a friend you love and this funny video will genuinely make them laugh, send it — and connect by doing so."
Funny videos can also distract us from everyday life. Giving your friend a little laugh might be the best part of their day.
Masini continues to explain, "Sometimes when you have friends who are super busy or super stressed [and] a funny video is a great way to round out the relationship and connect at the same time."
4. "OMG, do you remember that one time we...?"
Reminiscing has a way of bringing people together, no matter what. Those times may have passed, but they're still locked in unforgettable memories between you and your friend.
Masini explains to Elite Daily, "This is a super fun text to get from a friend. It’s one that lets your friend know you’re reminiscing about the good times in the relationship, and thinking of them fondly. It doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, or even a quick response. It’s the kind of text you should try to send your friend about once every two or three months. It gives a friendship texture and depth and it’s a pleasure to receive."
A text like this will definitely put a smile on your friend's face. You don't have to be right beside each other in order to stroll down memory lane.
5. "Please tell me you are having a way better day than I am?”
Bad days happen, and while your friend can't extend a shoulder to lean on, you can always express your dilemma to them. Helping each other is a crucial part of a friendship, no matter where you're located in the world.
According to Masini, "This is a great way to let your friend know you need help. It’s not a 911 call, but it’s the kind of text you send to a friend when you want comfort — if they’re free to give it. It’s actually a very considerate way to say, in shorthand, I’d love to talk because my day is flagging, but only if you’re free. A typical response might be, 'What’s wrong?' or, 'I’ll call you in 30 minutes.' This is the kind of text you only send to a good friend — or to someone you hope to turn into one."
Introducing your current predicament this way gives you wiggle room. You aren't putting all of your misfortunes on your friend, but you're opening the discussion for some solid BFF advice.
6. "Was going through albums and found this old pic of us. Miss you tons!”
Childhood friends can be found in so many old family albums. You grew up with them, but just because you're apart now, doesn't mean you've forgotten about all of your epic memories.
Masini tells Elite Daily, "This is a really nice text to get from a friend with whom you have history. It reminds you both of the value of the friendship. Long-term friends with whom you’ve shared good times, bad times, and everything in between, are hard to come by and should be cared for. This kind of text is maintenance — but in the best possible way. It tacitly invites your friend to go through his or her images of the history that the two of you share, and send one back to you, in exchange."
A text message like this can really go a long way with your friend. Keep that golden friendship of yours alive, one character at a time.