Long Distance Friendship in Board Games
Working in the board game industry has brought me all over the country and a result I’ve forged hundreds of friendships with new people every year. Granted, I can’t remain close friends with all of them or I’d have no time to get everything done that needs to be done. However, I have learned a lot about myself and the value of communication both verbal and non-verbal with the people I care about. Sometimes, maintaining those friendships can be challenging. Here are some tips and tricks from me and my friends about maintaining those friendships and long term relationships with anyone too far away to drop in for a hug.
Share content with each other that you don’t post online.
Having something that’s just for you and the other person makes it special. Even if it’s a cell phone picture of a bee or a flower! Sharing is caring. Don’t forget to share music too! If you two share any musical overlap make sure you share songs with them. This is an emotionally intimate way to connect and nothing compares to the way listening to a song for the first time feels!
Learn their love language.
I know, it’s all pseudoscience but we’re all still certain of our Hogwarts houses despite JK Rowling being cancelled. Love languages are important because they tell you how the other person likes to receive and show affection. This isn’t an end-all be all but I found them to be helpful guidelines when looking for ways to connect with people I care about.
Make sure you schedule time to talk or skype with them regularly. I really love skype dates while using Board Game Arena to play Hanabi or Seasons together. It’s all in browser so you can make it happen even with the crappiest computer. If that doesn’t work for you maybe you can watch a movie together or have a meal over skype.
Consider small inexpensive items that remind you of them. Amazon has tons of inexpensive knick knacks that are geek-related. If you want a free gift you can always trade them Pokemon in Pokemon Go!
So this one is hard if you live far away from each other but my advice would be to buy your partner a weighted blanket. I used to HAVE to be touching my partner when I slept but now I have a weighted blanket and don’t mind at all that no one is there with me. It’s also great if the two of you can visit, but if you can’t you can always talk about wanting to hug them!
Words of Affirmation
NICE TEXTS FOREVER. Encouraging texts relating to whatever your partner or friend is working on is so essential. Once a day I text my close friends to tell them they are awesome (unless they already know it, in which case it’s just occasionally).
Acts of Service
This one is a bit harder from a distance but one great way to help out is to ask them what you can help with. Proofreading or editing whatever they’re working on can be helpful if that’s relevant to your friendship or relationship. If your partner hates grocery shopping maybe you can Amazonfresh them groceries! Pizza is also always a nice gesture if your partner or friend can handle gluten and cheese.
Living far away from your friends can be painful but it can also be incredibly rewarding. You never know what life is going to bring you. Maybe you live in a region that’s highly desirable and people will want to eventually move to your neighborhood. My friendships with other board gamers have been incredibly rewarding and there’s nothing quite like the high of seeing someone you deeply care about a couple times a year at a convention. My only love languages are coffee and board games so if you’re in the area, you know what to bring.
Brittanie Boe is a writer, photographer and video producer who founded Be Bold Games in 2018. Her passions include her cat Dax, her daughter Hailey, bouldering, and going on adventures to capture the perfect photos on her camera.
She writes about her perspective as a Latinx woman in gaming and is passionate about intersectional feminism as well as queer inclusion and advocacy. When she’s not tweeting she’s off in the mountains playing ukulele and singing at the top of her tiny lungs.