February 2021

Going the Distance this Galentine’s Day

When it comes to long distance relationships, I have a well stamped passport worth of experience.  And whilst I won’t be unpacking any advice on the romantic variety (single for life), I do have some tips for going the distance with the only ones really worth it, your girls.

I have best friends in some really amazing places.  From Palestine to Palermo,  Tunisia to Turkey, London to Leith – and that is a truly beautiful thing.  But God, do I cherish the times however short, when we’ve lived in the same flat, gone to the same university, shared public transport (if only to keep away the strangers who insist on sitting next to you), grabbed a coffee or sat for hours with a shisha pipe.  Living without my leading ladies on a day to day basis in some way prepared me for the craziness of the last year.  I know what it means to miss the little things, and I’ve learned to have patience, knowing they are very much worth the wait.

Here are 4 tips for making sure you’re still each other’s Galentine in 2022.

1. Respect Tradition

Maybe you only see your friend at Christmas or on your birthday.  Maybe you call each other on your way to work each morning or meet for breakfast the last Sunday of each month.  Whatever it is there is a Zoom, socially distanced equivalent.  Normally meet your friend at a spa (can I be your friend?)?  Get in your bath, bikini and candles on and ‘join meeting’ – just don’t mistakenly join your team meeting, especially if it’s a Tuesday morning.  Awkward.

2.  Love Letters of Great Women

My friend Mariem & me have been writing each other letters back and forth for several years now.  We gave up on snail mail as neither of us was at a fixed address for too long.  And although I’m a sucker for anything handwritten, seeing an attachment pop up knowing it is filled with her stories is just as good.  We both choose a nice place to sit and read them, somewhere quiet enough to drown out everything else and just hear my friend.  Her happiness, her apprehension, her heartbreak.  Only ‘listening’ adds another dimension to your friendship and a new depth.

3.  Share a Crisis

In the last year I think a lot of us have carried stuff alone.  Dark, difficult, heavy stuff that we would normally at least partially offload because your best pal would drag it out of you after one look at your miserable face.  I’ve been guilty of it too, knowing that everyone is struggling to manage & not wanting to be a burden.  But you do those closest to you a disservice when you don’t give them the opportunity to love & support you.

4.  Have actual photos up.  Like on your walls.

If you’re roughly my age you’ve probably had glossy magazine centre spreads of Guinea Pigs & A1 up on your walls so your pictures from that time in Magaluf are nothing to be ashamed of.  Your girls are still here, your memories and moments together are just as meaningful after a year apart and you will definitely be making some more very soon.

Happy Galentine’s Day when it comes.

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