I’m at a phase in my life, like most of my friends where change is happening at a rapid pace. Whether that is changes in our personalities, physical appearances, or changes in locations. You should know change is not something I’m very fond of as it pertains to my friendships, and right now most of my friendships are long distance, something I am not accustomed to. For me, distance has always been something that I feel is a threat to a relationship and believed the only thing distance would do to a friendship is weaken it. The thought of all of my friends being far away from me was devastating, and I worried about these friendships a lot. Though now that I am accustomed to the distance, being away from my friends has taught me two things. 

1. That it’s okay to grow out of friendships. 

2. Distance has nothing to do with physically being with someone, but the emotional connection you are wanting to preserve.

Now, the idea of outgrowing friendships was something that took me a minute to really comprehend. Whenever I think of relationships there is always a negative connotation associated with this thought. This idea that friendships could or should only end if something terrible happened in the friendship was the last thread some of my friendships were holding on to. Surprise, that idea is totally false, and a lot of the times friendships end because there’s just simply nothing there anymore, or because a person needs some space. Which is completely okay, there is no rulebook that says why friendships should end or that you have to hate the person after your relationship ends. If someone that you care about needs some space from you or doesn’t feel a connection anymore it will probably hurt, but in the end, you should do what you feel is best for that person or yourself.

Distance is a scary thing when it comes to people you’re used to being around and deeply care about. Whether someone is 3 hours away from you or 25 it can affect you, but distance can strengthen these friendships. When it comes to my long distance friendships, most of them have been strengthened by the distance. Seeing my friends experience new things in life without me, and experiencing their excitement when sharing these with me has created a different type of happiness for them. Having to be there for my friends in a way that isn’t physical like giving them a hug when they’re sad or going to their house to comfort them, has made these friendships grow emotionally.