There’s no doubt that being in a long-distance relationship can be tough. If you’ve been doing it for a while — or if you don’t know when it will end — it can feel difficult to keep that closeness alive. But when you’re in a long-distance relationship, it’s crucial that you commit to making it work. “Rule number one for making a long-distance relationship work is believing that it’s the right answer,” relationship coach and founder of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. “As simple as that sounds, the number one killer of long-distance relationships is skepticism. Couples who ‘try it’ but do not have a lot of confidence in them will turn any snag in the relationship to a rationale for having the skepticism and thus the relationship is always going to be one foot out the door.”
So, no matter how hard it can be at times, putting in the effort is important. If you or your partner start to feel lonely or disconnected, it’s easy for the relationship to drift or for resentment to grow. That means you might have to get a little creative when you come up with ways to show that you care — but small gestures can make a big difference. Here are 25 little things you can to make your partner feel less lonely and keep your relationship strong when you’re in a long-distance relationship.
1. Leave Voice Notes
Obviously, communication is key to keeping a long-distance relationship alive. You should keep texting and Whatsapping, but leaving voice notes can be a more intimate way to say hello. Hearing the voice of someone you love can make a huge difference, especially if your partner’s having a rough time.
2. Get A Couple’s App
Making a little digital home to the two of you can be a nice touch — and there a lots of apps for long-distance relationships that can help make you feel closer together. Couple — also known as the “App for Two” — is a big one, but it’s worth looking around to find one that fits you relationship style.
3. Send Care Packages
Care packages are one of the best surprises you can get — fact. Fill up a box with half candy and half sentimentality and you’ll make their day.
4. Leave Surprises When You Visit
When you do visit each other, make it count by leaving little surprises around their place for them to find after you leave. Maybe it’s their favorite snack or little notes or pictures of the two of you — just hide a few little things to make them smile.
5. Treat Them With Their Favorite Meal
Fun fact: you can order delivery from anywhere you are. If you know your partner is at home having a kind of hum-drum day or going through a stressful time, their favorite pizza showing up at their door can totally make their day.
6. Send Flowers
If your partner isn’t the type to find pizza romantic (because they are wrong), then good old-fashioned flowers and chocolates can be a great treat. A little old-fashioned romance can go a long way when so much of your relationship happens through technology.
7. Keep Making Future Plans
One of the hardest things about long-distance relationships is that they can feel interminable, so keep talking about the future and making plans. Even if you don’t know exactly when you’ll be in the same place, start talking about trips you’ll take, how you want to decorate your apartment, or things you’ll do once you’re living in the same area. It may just be theoretical for now, but it can help you feel closer.
8. Tag Them In Social Media Posts
Social media shout outs can be a nice little surprise — just take it easy on the cringe factor if you know that it’s not really their style.
9. Give Them A Subscription Box
Subscription boxes are amazing. My friend got me a vegan goodies subscription box and every month it puts a smile on my face. You can get subscription boxes for basically anything and it’s a way to treat your partner every single month, whether they like artisanal whiskeys or sheet masks galore.
10. Plan A Surprise Visit
The easiest way to make your partner less lonely? Make sure that they’re not alone. Plan a visit to surprise them — and just hope they didn’t plan to surprise you the same weekend or you could end up in opposite cities. But then you’ll basically be in a rom com, so win-win.
11. Plan A Vacation
Browsing for Airbnb options and booking flights can actually be a lot of fun, if it’s something you’re looking forward to. Send each other links and plan the vacation of your dreams — the buildup can be almost as satisfying as the trip itself.
12. Take Chores Off Of Their Hands
It’s amazing what you can organize from another city — or even another time zone. If you know your partner is really stressed, you can organize a cleaner, laundry service, or whatever else they might need. It will make their life easier and be a great reminder that someone’s in their corner.
13. Send Photos Of Where You Are
It’s easy to get lazy in a long-distance relationship, but the more you share of your life then the closer the two of you will feel. Send little photos as you go about your day so they can feel closer to you.
14. Write A Letter
Who says the love letter is dead? Some emo song lyrics and some snail mail combined will have you acting our your own little Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy moments.
15. Play Board Games Together
You don’t need to be in the same place for game night. Play a board game online together or use Facetime to play Battleship — that way you can get all of the competitiveness and fighting, wherever you are.
16. Watch A Movie Via Skype
Go for a classic date night option with a bottle of wine and a move. Skype always works, but apps like Gaze let you watch movies together in real-time, no matter how far apart you are. Plus, you don’t have to fight over popcorn.
17. Start A Countdown
When’s the next time you see each other? Start a countdown. Send a daily update to your partner or mark it in your calendars and build the excitement as the day approaches. It gives you something to look forward to and can show your partner how much you can’t wait to see them.
18. Come Up With A Routine
Rituals are important in a relationship and when you live in the same place you come up with them naturally. Maybe it’s a silly dance you do while brushing your teeth or a routine you have for making breakfast together. When you live far apart, you can still have routines and rituals, you just have to be a little more creative. Maybe it’s a quick good morning phone call or something you text every morning or every night or a silly inside joke — whatever works for you.
19. Leave Emergency Notes
When you see your partner, give them a stack of little notes for emergencies, sealed in envelopes. When they’re feeling stressed, blue, or really lonely, they’ll have a little stash to go to for a pick me up. It’s a thoughtful gesture and one that helps when they need it the most.
20. Get Some Accomplices Involved
If you get the sense that your partner is struggling, try to get other people involved. You can team up with family or friends they have in the area to try to organize something nice for them — or even find out their schedule from a coworker so you can send their favorite lunch one day.
21. Send A Cozy Gift
Often we miss our partner when we’re going to sleep and we feel like we should be in the same bed. Try sending a blanket or a pillow — something cozy — that they can have near them at night.
22. Invest In The Right Sex Toy
There are plenty of sex toys for long-distance relationships — toys that you can sync to an app or control remotely. You and your partner can feel closer than ever.
23. Send Them Your Perfume
Smell is incredibly evocative, so if you have a signature scent then your partner will recognize it. Leaving a little of your perfume or body wash means that they can feel close to you whenever they want.
Yup, don’t underrate the power of a good old sext. You can go totally filthy — or just a little flirty so they remember how much they turn you on.
25. Get Soppy Once In A While
When you’re in a long-distance relationship, keeping things alive can feel like admin — so, every once in a while, just get really soppy. Call them out of the blue just to say I love you, send a cheesy text, or just a heart-eye emoji. Whatever your way of gushing is, make sure you keep it alive.
Being in a long-distance relationship isn’t easy, but committing to making it work is key. Take the time to make your partner feel loved, supported, and make sure they know they’re not alone — it’s the best way to keep your relationship alive.
Originally posted on Bustle