Long distance relationships are tough. There is no need to sugarcoat it. Being miles away from one another puts stress on the relationship because it requires an extraordinary amount of trust and dedication. It can be so frustrating to keep the connection you once had when the two of you were right beside each other. Fret not. There are lots of ways to keep the romance in long distance relationships.
How do I know this? I speak from personal experience.
It was not easy, but we made it work. We had already been dating for two plus years seeing each other every day. Then he got a big boy job and had to travel, living out of hotels for two brutal years. Our time being apart seemed like it would never end until one day we found out he received a permanent job assignment. We are still together, living under one roof six months later, so I would say we had success with the whole long distance thing.
One tricky thing was keeping the romance. You cannot look one another in the eye, much less give hugs, kisses or go on a romantic date. We had to get creative. Without romance, the relationship is basically only a friendship, which is not a bad thing, but many people crave something deeper. Here are some ways I found to have romance in long distance relationships.
1. Send good morning text messages.
It sounds sappy, but we almost always texted each other good morning and good night. It is good to let your partner know that you are thinking about them when you wake up and when you are going to sleep. If you are feeling super ambitious, ask a couple of thoughtful questions such as “How was your sleep?” or “What are you up to today?”
2. Plan date nights.
Sure, you cannot sit in the same room, but maybe you are able to watch the same television show at the same time. Some of the most fun memories of long distance dating was curling up on the couch with my phone beside me, texting my boyfriend comments on the show we were watching.
3. Send photo texts of your day.
In today’s world, it is easy to communicate all day if you wish. Try to remind your lover you are thinking about him or her by sending an occasional photo text of something you are doing. I am pretty big into food photography, so he would send me pictures of his meals if he had the opportunity to eat somewhere fancy. He even did a whole blog post for me about food he ate on the road. If that isn’t love, I’m not sure what is!
4. Pay attention on phone calls.
There is a tendency when you are dating long distance to want to spend as much time on the phone together as possible. Since there are many things to be done around the home, we might also be doing the laundry or dishes or glancing at the television. What is better: a short amount of quality time or a long period filled with distractions where neither party is paying attention to one another? Try just planting it on a chair and giving him/her your undivided attention. You would be surprised at the difference it makes!
5. Send a care package.
I think I only did this once since he was bouncing around to so many different hotels, but it was so fun! Keeping the secret and having him find it on his own to bring up to me later kept things exciting for a little bit. Plus it showed him I was thinking about him.
6. Surprise him/her with a visit.
This one you need to be careful of as you do not want to be an inconvenience. Hosting someone takes time and planning, so do give them a little warning.
7. Always have the next visit planned.
Along with occasional “surprise” visits, make sure you know when you will see one another next. It gives both of you something to look forward to and you can count down the days until you see your loved one next.
8. Make sure to laugh together.
Send him a joke. Send her a link filled with funny cat pictures. There is an emotional connection formed when we laugh together, so keep that connection alive.
9. Video chat with one another.
This was an activity that was either a lot of fun or quite frustrating. Neither of us had phones that would do video so we had to use Skype, which relied on possibly crappy internet service. We finally figured out that having Skype up on our laptops and chatting on the phone was the best solution. It really does help to see your partner face-to-face, so try finding a good video app you can both use.
10. Send an e-mail or snail mail love letter.
Texting is great, but you can only say so much. Phone conversation is lovely, but you might not be able to articulate what you are feeling on the spot. Take time to put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) to express exactly what you love about one another.
11. Lastly, talk/text/e-mail romantically.
Hopefully you are attracted to one another, so do not forget to express that attraction no matter what the distance is between the two of you.
Romance is one of the hardest things to keep alive in a long distance relationship, but do not forget about it. Months could go by before seeing one another. Sometimes you can get so caught up in your own life that you forget about the other person. This is understandable at times, but review this list of ways to have romance in long distance relationships when you feel like you are losing touch with the romance. Long distance relationships can be a true pain, but there is also the phrase, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” Remember that and push on!