In today’s day and age, it’s not uncommon to meet your partner online. In fact, many people meet their romantic partners through social media or online dating sites. Because of this technological advance, more and more long-distance relationships are made possible through the use of the Internet. We have the opportunity to connect and interact with anyone around the globe right from our computers and phones and it’s making long-distance relationships a much more manageable concept than in the past.
As with any relationship, communication is the most important aspect to maintaining a healthy dynamic. However, with long-distance relationships, it’s often very difficult to spend physical time with your partner, so there is a lot of focus on other means of connecting with them. Find little ways of always keeping in touch that work for you. Also, be sure to have a back-up method of getting in contact in case the application you usually use is being updated or has technical issues.
- Skype: Skype is an absolute godsend when it comes to maintaining good communication in a long-distance relationship. Skype is a free program that allows you to make live video calls to anyone in the world. It’s also available for Apple and Android phones so you can stay connected anywhere.
- Couple: Couple is an app available for Apple and Android products that keeps you and your partner connected in a private platform that no one else has access to. You can use Couple to send texts, photos, audio messages, Facetime (if both are Apple users), doodle with your partner, and even Thumbkiss—a form of connecting by having both partners place their thumbs on the same area of the screen until it turns red and vibrates, simulating a kiss. (Fun Game: What other body parts will Couple detect as a kiss?)
- KIK: For those who want something simpler for free texting, KIK is a great alternative. Simply add your partner and enjoy free messaging by using data instead of being charged expensive international texting rates.
- Facebook Texts: Don’t have a data plan? No problem. To avoid international texting rates, change your (and your partner’s) Facebook mobile settings to send Facebook messages via texts to your phone. You can send a message to your partner, which your partner can receive on their phone as a local text. Avoid the extra charge by using Facebook as a facilitator!
If getting together for a date-night isn’t possible on a regular basis, there are other ways to devote a night to each other’s company. Plan to spend some time with just each other with no other distractions every once in a while, whether it be a little time every day or a whole day together once a week
- Netflix: Almost everyone has access to a Netflix account. If you don’t, you should hit up your friends for their password. Netflix is a great tool for doing movie nights with your partner. Simply find the same movie (the offered titles may differ by country so find one you both have!), microwave some popcorn, get cozy in bed, and start the movie at the same time. Skype with each other during the movie to share in the laughs.
- Dinner/Drinks: Devote a night to each other by setting a date and freeing your schedules. Skype together and catch up on your day/week in detail like you would in person. Order delivery together and have a little Skype date. Crack a bottle of wine or make some mixed drinks and just relax with each other like you would on a date in-person.
- Game Night: If you are your partner are into video games, check out multi-player options! Steam has a host of free-to-play games that you can enjoy with your partner, as well as tons of titles available for purchase. (You can even gift a code to your partner!) Anything from classic board games, casual browser games, to massive online player games can be a fun bonding activity with your partner—regardless of where in the world they are.
- Book Club: If you and your partner both like reading, grab a copy of the same book. You can Skype while you read together or hold a weekly discussion to talk about how you like the book so far or what your thoughts are.
- Sleepovers: If you’re craving that closeness of being with your partner, try leaving Skype on overnight. While some people won’t like the idea, others find it really cute to wake up to their partner’s face or watch them doze off. See how late you can stay up together and enjoy the idea of sharing a bed with them.
When you’re not able to see your partner all the time, little care packages can really, really make someone’s day. They don’t have to be big or filled with expensive items. For many people, a little note alone is enough to put a giant smile on their partner’s face.
- Candy: Chocolates, gummies, hard candies—basically any kind of candy is exciting, especially if you’re in another country. Keep the weather and shipment time estimation in mind when sending things that can melt, freeze, or go bad.
- Postcard: Go to a nearby landmark or big city and find a postcard to mail your partner. It serves as a fun little reminder that you’re thinking of them.
- Pictures: Sure, you can send your partner photos on the Internet or through social media, but sometimes having a physical photo to look at makes a huge difference. Sending a photo of yourself in a little frame is a nice gesture to let them look at your face every day—even when you’re not on Skype. Want to share more of your life with your partner? Take photos around the place where you live and put the ones that mean the most to you in a little photo album to send to your partner.
- Sex toys: Want to send something a bit naughtier? Get a new toy for your sweetheart—or if you’re worried about customs or state laws being a problem, try a gift card.
Looking for something more personal?
- Something that smells like you: Hear me out! It sounds really creepy at first but if you send your partner a sweatshirt, pillowcase, or stuffed animal that you’ve been in close contact with, it’s going to smell a lot like you, which can really help partners with separation anxiety feel better by cuddling up with it. Smells are heavily tied to memories, so something that will remind your partner of you can be a really romantic gesture.
- Your favourite snack: Have a favourite snack you want to share? Most grocery stores sell little single-serving packs of crackers, cookies, etc. that you can easily send to your partner instead of paying shipping on a huge container of something they just want to try.
- Something hand-made: Do you crochet? Paint? Sketch? Write poetry? Make something cute for your partner to show how much you love them. There’s nothing like being sent a hand-knit pair of gloves or a work of art made by your partner!
- Love notes: Love notes are a great way to let your partner know you’re thinking about them and that you miss them. It doesn’t even have to be long—short and sweet will put a smile on someone’s face just as easily.
- Mix Tape: I know it’s not 1982 anymore, but having a playlist made just for you is still super sweet! Burn a CD or copy a list of music files on a USB drive to mail to your partner for an adorable way to share the music you love with the person you love. That cheesy 80s-romance aesthetic never goes out of style!