A good friend of mine dated her boyfriend for three years long-distance, although luckily they were just a train ride away (it panned out since they’re married now). During their time apart, they instituted what I considered a genius rule—they could never go more than three weeks without seeing each other—but since that’s not possible for all couples, there are fun long-distance relationship ideas you can try. Yes, it’s still important that you physically spend time together, but with the right amount of creativity and effort, you can keep the spark alive even though you’re miles apart.
Most people automatically think that technology is going to come in handy in an LDR (it is), but don’t let FaceTime and Gchat hold you back from romantic gestures to stay in touch. Because come on, charming things like snail mail or an old-fashioned surprise visit say I love you more than a text ever will. Below find the 13 romantic long-distance relationship ideas that will keep you close to your S.O. no matter how far apart you are.
Have a TV night together
Pick a TV show to binge-watch at the same time (or catch one when it premieres every week). Talk on the phone or FaceTime while you watch (we all know the couple who Netflixes together stays together).
Send snail mail
We’re not saying you should become all-out pen pals, but handwritten notes are the best way to brighten anyone’s day. You can pick up funny greeting cards or even sketch cute doodles. And if your partner likes it, maybe you’ll get some notes in return.
Snap some pics
You already know we’re going to warn you about sending naughty photos—be careful—so something suggestive without showing too much skin is probably your best bet. Or, keep it G-rated by just sending your S.O. photos of things you’re doing (an innovative meal at a new restaurant, a snap of you and your friends on wine night).
It makes it feel so much more special if your partner is getting it straight from the source than just from your Insta feed.
Start a countdown for your reunion
There isn’t anything much sweeter than having a constant reminder of when you’ll finally be back together. Download the Countdown+ Lite app for free, and you can customize everything about it, including having the countdown on your home screen.
Get competitive with online games
Just because you’re not in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t try to beat each other at a game. Websites like Pogo and Yahoo offer multiplayer options for free so you can connect through a little competition.
Have a book club
It can be challenging living in two different places for many reasons, one being that you have to do a lot of explaining about what’s going on (the subway was so slow today, this friend is going through a breakup, etc.). Whether you’re into nonfiction or the latest mystery thriller, you’ll always have something in common to talk about when you’re reading the same book.
Take a virtual excursion
You may not have the money to book an in-person vacation, so pick a fun destination on your bucket list to explore virtually as a pair. Quantas launched a cool virtual reality app to explore Australia, so take a peek if you’ve always wanted to take a trip Down Under.
Send your S.O. a round of drinks
Know where your partner is meeting their friends for drinks tonight? Surprise them with a round of drinks at the bar, and it will be like you’re there in spirit (plus you’ll earn some bonus points with the crew).
Surprise them with a visit
The fewer people you tell in advance, the less of a chance the secret will get leaked. Of course planned trips are amazing, but a surprise is even better (especially when your partner is having a rough week or has something big to celebrate).
Who says you can’t cook together? It can be hard for your partner to imagine the dish you whipped up without tasting it. So pick one meal a month that you’ll both make, and then take the time to discuss any possible improvements and wine pairings you’d try.
Send each other curated Pandora stations
Mixtapes worked to woo in high school, and a custom Pandora station can do the same thing today. Curate a selection of your partner’s faves, some that remind you of your relationship, and a few new tracks you want them to listen to.
Create a joint Pinterest account
Once you’ve made your joint Pinterest account, add different boards with things like “fun date ideas,” “vacation bucket lists” and the like. If you download the Pinterest app, you can stay in touch on the go.
Send them on a scavenger hunt
Yes, you will need the help of a willing friend in their area, but how cute is putting your partner to work on a scavenger hunt? Make them take pictures and send them to you as proof so you can join in the fun. PS: Don’t forget to think of a prize for the finish.
Have you ever been in an LDR? If so, share your top long-distance relationship ideas with us in the comments.