From college students living in different states, to young professionals working in different cities, to married couples separated due to work and travel, long-distance relationships are completely manageable when approached correctly. Ultimately, how you handle being apart will be a test of your relationship.
Unlike in the past, we now have much more advanced technology at our disposal, making staying in touch easier than ever. We can see each other's faces and hear each other’s voices in real-time, but it still doesn’t come close to being together in person, which is why it's important to continue to put effort into your long-distance relationship.
The most important things to keep in mind are honesty, consistency, and frequent communication. It’s crucial to be open and honest with each other, let each other know your thoughts, feelings, and ideas, what works and what doesn't work. Consistency is key. It’s easy to overthink things when you’re apart, so give each other peace of mind by responding to texts as soon as possible and by making and keeping plans. Finally, communicate often. Focus on the best friends aspect of your relationship and stay in correspondence every day.
Here are 13 ways to enhance your long-distance relationship.
1. Text Good Morning and Good Night
This is such a simple and loving way to show your boyfriend or husband you care when you aren’t there to say it in person. Texting good morning and good night shows that he is the first thing you think about when you wake up, and the last thing on your mind before you fall asleep.
2. Talk on the Phone or FaceTime Every Night
Every couple is different, but I’ve found it to be so beneficial to talk every day. Make time at the end of each day to hear each other’s voices, catch up about your lives, and say how much you mean to each other. Depending on your schedules, it doesn’t matter whether you talk for two hours or two minutes, but it's so important just to communicate.
3. Check In on Each Other
Make an effort to communicate a little bit throughout the day. Ask him how his day is going, tell him what’s going on in your life, send pictures, and share parts of your day with each other. If you have a question or decision, ask his opinion. Send a spontaneous and funny text now and then. What matters is that you’re on each other’s minds and including each other in your life.
4. Send Written Letters, Too
Corresponding with physical letters through the mail is such a classically romantic way to stay in touch over distance. Sending a handwritten letter with a thoughtful message is the perfect way to make his day. There’s just something about ink on paper in your own handwriting that’s more intimate and personal than digital text. You could also send a poem or a small gift through the mail.
5. Go for a Walk on the Phone
Since you can’t go for a walk together hand in hand, schedule a phone call and both go on a walk at the same time while you talk on the phone. This is a great way to get outdoors and catch up with each other. Plus, the walk will help stimulate your creativity and conversation.
6. Have a Book or Movie Club
Have a book or movie club with your boyfriend while you’re apart. Choose a book, movie, or show that you’re both interested in. Then, in your own time, read a few chapters, or watch an episode, and reconvene afterward over FaceTime to discuss what you liked and didn’t like about it. Alternatively, if it's a movie, you could watch it together over Zoom and react in real-time.
7. Makes Plans for When You Meet Up
Having an end in sight is psychologically important. Knowing the date that you can count down to gives you both something to look forward to and set your sights on. Even if you don’t know when you’ll next be able to see each other again, make plans together and discuss all the things you want to do when you do finally meet up.
8. Browse the Internet for Homes or Vacation Spots
This is a fun activity to do over FaceTime. Browse the internet for locations that you both like, and where you could see yourself either living or visiting. Online window shop for houses on real estate websites, explore google maps, or look at lists of top places to live and best vacation spots. Imagining being together in a new location is a good escape from being apart.
9. Date Night
Time and time again, we hear how important it is in a relationship to have a date night once a week. Schedule a once a week date night over Zoom where you order each other dinner, converse, and spend one-on-one quality time with one another even if you aren’t physically together.
10. Go Down a Wikipedia Rabbit Hole
Learn something new together by going down an internet rabbit hole together while you FaceTime. Think of an interesting topic, like shipwrecks, personality types, dialects, or structural failure. Research your topic, discuss it, and see where the links lead you. Who knows where you’ll end up.
11. Put Your Best Self Forward
Long distance, it’s impossible to see the full picture of who someone is, so make sure what you’re presenting is how you want him to view you. Be cheerful, funny, and enthusiastic, and don’t become lazy or complacent. Highlight the strengths of your personality and put effort into creating quality correspondence.
12. Continue To Learn about Each Other
Since you can’t be together physically, focus on the emotional and intellectual aspects of your relationship. A long-distance relationship is an opportunity to focus on each other’s personalities and continue to get to know each other on a deeper level. Ask each other thought-provoking questions to see the world through the other’s eyes and better understand each other’s unique thought processes.
13. Take Care of Yourself
Finally, use the time apart to work on yourself. Work on having healthy living habits and a positive outlook that you can translate into your future. Ultimately, become the person you want to be. Taking care of yourself is the foundation of having a healthy relationship.
It’s not ideal to be apart, but most relationships will go long distance at one point or another. The good thing is that you can still make so much progress in your relationship even over distance. You can get to know each other in new dimensions, learn together, and ultimately show each other how much the relationship matters to you.
In the end, the key to having a successful long-distance relationship is perspective. View it as an opportunity, and not an obstacle. Change your mindset to view your time apart as an occasion to get to know each other, to strengthen your connection, and to prove your love to each other. Not even distance can come between you.
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