Distant describes something that's far away, like another planet, a ship far out at sea, or the cousin who never calls or shows up for family events.
Time, like miles, can make something distant. People get excited during awards season, but most have at best a distant recollection of who won Oscars two years ago — meaning the memory is remote. If you've ever been accused of seeming distant, how were you acting at the time? Distracted, not showing much interest or patience, bored? Too many experiences like that and once-close friends will become distant, meaning they'll drift apart.