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22.5.15

Five Things | Long Distance Friendships

Today I get to see my wonderful beautiful friend for the first time in SO long. I'm not really allowed to be all soppy about her, she'll slap me if I do, however if there is one positive thing for me to take away from blogging it would be her. Meeting her at Britmums in 2013 was the highlight of my year, and our friendship was totally unexpected.
Everyone needs a Hayley in their life...but not my one. You'll have to get your own.

I do think it is hard to maintain a long distance friendships. There has to be a real commitment and a real bond there to keep it going. I suppose it's like a long distance relationship really, or similar to one at least.

With a close friendship for almost two years now I think we're doing quite well. In fact for me this friendship has been a complete surprise as I certainly didn't expect to quite happily share a bed with someone when I've always hated sleepovers and sharing a room with someone else...yet I've shared a bed twice with Hayley now.


Whatsapp


Whatsapp is probably the best form of communication. Being able to send videos, photos, voice notes, messages, seeing when the other person is online or if they have read your message, makes it really easy to maintain regular communication. 
It doesn't have to involve super long chats and messages. Just a quick chat in the morning, or at any point throughout the day is enough to just keep that friendship fresh.
I think that Whatapp is also pretty much the virtual way of living a couple of doors away from someone. You are easily able to ask their opinion on things, or to rant or ask any kind of question. Or simply just to have a chat.

Skype


Because sometimes Whatsapp isn't enough and you miss seeing the other person and hearing their voice, and laughing at their mannerisms, eyerolls and their serious resting face.
I think you have to be pretty laid back when it comes to Skype calls and to treat it like your friend is actually sat there in your house. So leaving them to pop to the toilet is totally fine, or letting them watching you make lunch or make a coffee, answering the door to the postman, and even checking your emails and online shopping whilst you chat is totally fine.
It's also a great way to keep children interested in each other. Our children are all similar ages and get on well, yet have only met up twice in two years. However, being able to Skype and just see each other through the computer is a nice way for them to communicate, they are able to show off toys, share stories, pull faces at each other and just generally be pretty silly. It can be very noisy and very full on though.

Weekends and Mini Breaks


I remember when Hayley first mentioned a sleepover to me. I honestly thought it would never happen, and that she was a bit bonkers. However, it did happen and it was wonderful. I realised that the drive to her house is pretty simple (I don't even need to use a sat nav to get there now. Which is a win!!) despite taking 3 hours.
Last Summer we even managed to fit in a mini break as me and the boys visited Hayley and her family for a few days. It was a little stressful at times but it was lovely to visit some lovely places and to all spend quality time together. 
Although we last saw each other in October which seems like SO long ago we do regularly talk about making time to see each other and I think that as long as that thought is there, and that you both put in as much effort as you can to make it happen then it doesn't matter (too much) how long there is between seeing each other. 
Oh, and a big hug and kiss when you do see each other is essential.

Support and Expectations


The blogging community and blogging world can be competitive and there can be jealousy. One of you will get better opportunities than the other, one of you might have better ideas, more interaction, might be a bigger blogger than the other and one might just simply be more popular than the other as a person...or on social networks. 
I think from the get go the best thing about our friendship in particular was that we accepted what kind of blogger the other one is. We worked out boundaries, and also promised that if we were to share ideas that the other one would give their true, honest opinion. 
For example when it comes to Living Arrows photos I can send one over to Hayley and ask if it is awful. So far she hasn't said yes so I've been lucky. I have asked her opinion on a post and she will tell me if she thinks it is silly or a bit inappropriate. And I like that. 
I think it's nice to have a friend who understands blogging. They understand that creative side, the community, reviewing, and everything else that comes with it. And to have a friend who supports your blog, and doesn't get jealous or will celebrate and praise your achievements is a wonderful thing to have.
However, it's also nice to be able to be confident that if the blogging stopped for one of you or both of you, that your friendship would survive without that.

Privacy


Hayley subtly set ground rules at the beginning of our friendship in that we should keep it private. I am super soppy and she knows perfectly well that I would talk about her every day and have conversations on Twitter etc. And I almost felt a little offended at first, as if she didn't want people to see or to know we were such good friends. However, now I can see why she wanted it to be like that.
Our friendship is a private and personal thing. No one needs to know what we talk about, how often we talk, how many hours we talk for, what we do when we met up. When we had our family break there last year we kept Instagramming to a minimum. We wanted to more concentrate on spending our time together, and enjoy that face to face communication and to not just take photos of each other to post on social media for people who probably weren't particularly interested to see.
The occasional photo, and update of "this is what I'm up to" is totally acceptable.

Now, today I'm off to have a mini stay at Hayley's house. Which I will probably share a couple of photos of...but I may not (depends on whether or not she gives me the wifi code).
But wifi code or no wifi code, I am looking forward to lazing around in pjs and contemplating the possibility of an afternoon nap (woohoo, no children!), watching Eurovision, and clinking our glasses to another year of friendship.