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Long Distance Friendship

My best friend Katelyn just came to visit me in Nashville for a long weekend. When we both lived in Portland, we were pretty much inseparable, and ever since I moved away a year ago, it’s been hard. We’ve been doing pretty good at the long distance friendship thing, but man, seeing her in person made me realize just how much I miss her. No matter how many new friends I make or how often we talk on the phone, there’s something so uniquely wonderful and satisfying about in-person friend time. After dropping her off at the airport (so much tears), I couldn’t resist compiling a list of some of the things I miss most about living in the same city as my beloved BFF…

1. Talking almost entirely in inside jokes. Ah, the unique language of best friends: a jumbled collection of made-up words and catchphrases that make sense only to the two of you. And it’s even better in person, because it includes the added benefit of facial expressions and body language. Most people would see that twitch of your eye and think you had a piece of dust in it. Your best friend knows you’re referencing that weird guy who hit on you at a bar five years ago.

2. Never having to explain. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of the newer friends who have come into my life, but they’ve only known me for a few months or a year. This means I usually have to pause when telling a story to fill them in on details or clarify why, exactly, I harbor such intense feelings of loathing for terrycloth robes. My best friend has known me so well for so long that a back story is never necessary. Convos can flow freely, no questions asked.

3. Complimenting each other’s outfits. A couple weeks before Katelyn came to visit, she called me one day and said, “I just saw these two girlfriends telling each other they looked cute, and it made me realize I don’t even know what you wear anymore!” We started texting each other daily outfit photos to compensate (because we’re dorks like that) but still, she’s right — not being in person, you lose out on the very important confidence boost of in-person BFF compliments.

4. Belting out pop songs in the car. Another experience you can’t replicate on the phone or via Skype? That moment when you’re in the car together, and “Jar of Hearts” comes on the radio, and you both start humming along, and then singing along, and then pretty soon you’re belting it out with the windows down, cursing ex boyfriends between lyrics and laughing hysterically.

5. Switching back and forth effortlessly between deep, serious topics and ridiculous, superficial ones. I don’t know about you guys, but most of my friends tend to fall into one of two categories: Very Deep And Serious or Goofy And Fun. It’s tough to find people with a healthy balance of the two, or who can effortlessly switch back and forth between the two. My best friend is one of those people, and we feel comfortable enough together to fully express both sides of our personalities. One second we’ll be discussing past lives and higher consciousness, the next we’ll be trading tips for concealing zits or making the perfect denim cutoffs. So refreshing.

6. Hugs. Physical affection is obviously very important in romantic relationships, but people underestimate how much it adds to our platonic relationships too. If you ask me, best friend hugs are the best kind of hugs, and damn do I miss them when we’re apart!

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