Weekly Devotional: Long-Distance Friendships

Girl saying hi to her friend over the phone

Going to college is a great way to meet new people, but you may also find yourself hundreds of miles away from some of your closest hometown friends. Having and maintaining a long-distance friendship isn’t easy and can require a shared effort from both parties. This devotional will look at ways you can overcome the challenges of a long-distance friendship and help you find encouragement when it starts to feel difficult.

In This Devotional:

Maintaining a Long-Distance Friendship

Friends can be so important and valuable during every stage of your life. However, the way your friendships look could change during different stages in your life. Your time in college may be the first time you are experiencing a long-distance friendship. It can be difficult to maintain a strong friendship when you are separated by so much distance.

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. - Romans 12:10 NIV

A key to maintaining a long-distance friendship is to continue valuing your friend. Learn how to put effort into your friendship and do things to show you care for one another despite the new dynamic you have.

  • Communicate: Stay in touch with your friends. There are lots of creative ways to communicate despite the distance. Phone calls, texts, social media, and even writing letters are all methods of communication to try.
  • Be thoughtful: Remember details about your friends and and reminisce about your friendship together. Reminding them of a special memory or calling to check up on them when you know they are experiencing stress or sadness can go a long way.
  • Listen well: When you don’t see someone as often, you need to learn to listen well and with intention. Keep in mind important things they say about life events, their feelings or their daily routines. It could take more effort than you are used to but it is essential in all friendships.
  • Give love: When you are able to, give them the kind of love you know they might need. Plan an exciting visit, send them a thoughtful birthday gift, or anything else you know that may help you to connect with them on a personal level.

Lows In A Long-Distance Friendship

Long-distance friendships are not easy. This doesn’t mean you should give up or feel like your friendship is falling apart. All long-distance friends face similar challenges in their friendships. It is normal for there to be lows in your friendship while you are experiencing this separation.

A friend loves at all time, and a brother is born for a time of adversity. - Proverbs 17:17 NIV

Lows in a long-distance friendship might be:

  • Feeling sad or frustrated: You might feel frustrated that things don’t feel or look the same anymore. Feelings of sadness are also going to be very common since you are going to miss the people you really care about.
  • Feeling disconnected: You will have days when you feel disconnected from one another. You might even go days or weeks without having a conversation. This is normal and you don’t need to talk all the time in order to still have a strong friendship.
  • Feeling jealous or insecure: It might be hard to be away from your friend knowing that they could be finding new friends to spend time with and do the activities you used to do together. Communicate your feelings and always make the other person in the friendship feel special and loved.
  • Feeling hurt: You might just feel hurt at times due to normal disagreements or struggles in your friendship and it can be hard to heal that hurt when you aren’t near each other. Getting over hurt feelings might require a different approach.

Encouragement For Long-Distance Friends

Friendships are such a blessing, and it was God’s design that we not have to walk through life alone. God designed humans to desire close friendships and to rely on one another during the good times and the bad. Having friends that live far away can be challenging but can also strengthen your friendship. Being a good friend isn’t always easy but putting effort into being a good friend can be a rewarding experience.

If either of them falls down, can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. - Ecclesiastes 4:10 NIV

Physical closeness doesn’t mean a better friendship. Use this time to grow in closeness, trust and understanding about one another. You can work through problems and still be there for one another in significant ways even if you are far apart. You can also look forward to the joyous reunions you will have when you find time to visit one another. This time can build loyalty and connection in an even deeper way than you thought possible.

Grand Canyon University offers lots of opportunities for you to embrace a new community of potential friends. It can be hard to be away from old friends, but joining clubs or attending events on campus can help you foster new connections. Check out GCU’s wide range of clubs, organizations and student engagement to help you find community and build new friendships.


Approved by the local outreach coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on September 20, 2023

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.