There's no getting around it — when you live far away from your best friend, the struggle is real. Sure, you can call them after a rough day and they'll comfort you over the phone, but it's not the same as an actual cry fest on your BFF's shoulder. When you have reason to celebrate, they're the first person you call and they share in your joy, but going out for impromptu drinks is not an option. If it weren't for the wonders of modern technology, I have no idea how long distance best friends would even be able to handle the pain of separation.
When I moved across the country this year, the hardest part was leaving my good friends behind — especially my BFF. As I stressed about logistics (such as, you know, not having a full-time job lined up), the biggest nagging concerns on my mind went more along the lines of: who is going to watch Disney movies with me on a Friday night, complete with a sing-along? Who will accompany me to horror movies in the theater? (Yes, our tastes are diverse.) I wasn't sad about leaving New York City, but I was devastated to leave behind nights of drinking wine and playing board games with my best friend while we shared all the details of what had happened in our lives since the last time we saw each other (which was typically yesterday).
Luckily, we are creative and resourceful — and technology is on our side. Although we still haven't worked out the logistics of going to haunted houses together and holding hands as we proceed in fear, we have mastered the art of (sort of) spending Friday night together. Here's how:
1. Plan All The Logistics Ahead Of Time
Spending Friday night together yet apart takes considerably more planning than a text saying "hey, meet at my place at 7?" But it can be done! What movies or TV shows will you binge watch? Will you be drinking wine or margaritas? What's on the menu? If there's a time difference, one if you is going to have to either stay up really late or kick off Friday night fun on the early side.
Personally, my vote is for the person in the earlier time zone to start drinking and binge watching early. That person is me, and I'm willing to make those sacrifices. Being on my couch with a glass of wine and Netflix queued up by 6 p.m. is difficult, but what can I say? I'm a really great best friend.
2. Begin With A Phone Or FaceTime Session
Sure, you're texting and sending SnapChats all week, but Friday night means it's time to actually speak about every aspect of your week in great detail. You definitely need to discuss all the things you would talk about in person — what's going on at work, a blow-by-blow of your love life (or lack thereof), and any family or friendship drama. If one of you needs serious advice, now's the time to discuss because it should be done in actual conversation, not a text message exchange.
3. Prepare Your Food And Drinks
This should be no big deal since you've already agreed on what you're going to eat and drink during your Friday night together. You've got the same brand of wine, and there's no shame in eating all those mozzarella sticks, tortilla chips with guacamole, and cupcakes. Now's a good time to put your phone down and connect to Skype. That way, you can properly say "cheers" to one another and move on to the next phase of your evening, which is...
4. Turn On Your Movie Or TV Show
Okay, this part's critical: make sure you both hit "play" at the exact same time, otherwise you're going to be hearing what sounds like a weird and annoying echo. It may take a few tries, but don't worry — you'll master the skill after a few Friday nights. I'm currently an expert and I feel this should be a more marketable skill to list on my resume.
Keep each other on Skype (obviously) so you can turn to each other and make the snarky side comments you normally would. If someone needs a quick break, don't forget to hit "pause" and "play" in unison, for the aforementioned reasons. Caveat: this does get increasingly difficult after a few drinks.
5. Begin Game Time
When your movie is over or you've watched enough episodes of Lost, it's time to switch over to playing a game. I'm not going to lie, I'm definitely partial to old-fashioned physical board games. But the ones in the App Store aren't too shabby, either. Words With Friends and QuizUp are the personal favorites of my best friend and I, but there are countless possibilities. Be sure to keep your Skype session connected so you can contest your friend's victories and gloat during your own path to a win. Hey, a little healthy competition never hurt anyone.
6. Call It A Night
All that chatting, wine, TV, and game-playing is bound to wear you out — even if you did it from the comfort of your bed. The best part? Neither of you has to get in a cab or hop on the subway home. So send your bestie a virtual goodnight hug and bid them goodbye for now.
Sure, nothing replaces the in-person company of your best friend and that's why your long-awaited reunions are the epitome of perfection. But this option is its own kind of super fun and enjoyable — and it's a great way to make the opposite side of the country feel not quite so far away.