There are some people who enter our lives who we just can't let go of. They are the ones who have seen us at our worst and also at our best. Some of them even know us better than we know ourselves and are always there when we need a shoulder to lean on. People like these are friends we want to keep for life but factors such as distance, marriage, and jobs often threaten our ability to hold on to them.
How can we hold on to these life long friends?
Keep Communication Open
We are in the cyber age where communication has become much easier. Skype, Facebook, FaceTime, and ooVoo have made it very simple to keep in touch with the ones we treasure. Even if you are in different time zones, there is NO excuse for you to not leave your friend a message on any of these media just to show that you care and that you're thinking about them. Over the weekends you can also try to make time to have a Skype chat and catch up on what is happening in each other lives.
Don't Hold Grudges
There are times when our good friends will hurt us in order to help us. That sounds like a paradox but if a friend is really a true friend, he or she won't be afraid to tell us exactly what he or she thinks regardless of how it will hurt us. True friends are honest (sometimes brutally so) but they need to be in order to prevent us from making mistakes or cause us to wake up from the fantasy we're in. As a result, we shouldn't hold grudges just because something our friend said upset us. The friendship is too valuable for it to be lost over something so simple.
Support Each Other
There are going to be periods in your life where you are so busy that you can hardly find time for yourself much less someone else. However, it is important for us to understand that we need to make time for our friends. In the same way we want our friends to support us through our difficult times (as well as our times of celebration), we also have to be willing to support them when they need us most regardless of how busy we are.
There are also certain milestones in life that I believe all life long friends should ensure they are present at: graduation (if not at the ceremony then at whatever graduation celebration your friend may be having), marriage (if you honestly believe that your friend's fiance or fiancee isn't right for him or her then you NEED to make him or her know before a mistake is made) and the introduction of a newborn into a family (your friend is going to need lots of help....you're now an auntie or uncle). I am sure that there are more but these are the events that stand out to me. There is also the loss of a loved one...never forget that your friend needs support in his or her time of grief.
Good friends are one of the best gifts we will ever have on this earth. Learn to treasure them and keep the friendship alive.