I have been in a long-distance relationship for about seven months. In January of last year, I met my girlfriend on a chat website, where we shared a common interest. We talked for months as friends, but when we finally met in person in July, we could no longer deny the spark that was definitely there. Of course, we knew how difficult things were going to be from the beginning. With her in New York and me in Massachusetts, we don’t get to see each other nearly as often as we would like. Still, over time, we have learned a few things we can do to make that time apart go by a little faster.
1. Make plans to see each other
Nothing will make time go by faster than having something to look forward to. My girlfriend and I created a system where we can see each other once a month, taking turns with who drives where. While I realize that not all couples can see each other that often, I still recommend making plans for a visit. Even if it will be a few months or more until one of you can make the trip, having that date on your calendar will make time go by much faster. You and your partner can start a countdown together, something as simple as posting the number of days on each other’s Facebook walls. Whatever you decide to do, I can promise that it will always help to have plans made for a visit.
Nothing makes a long-distance relationship easier than having a webcam. While you may not be able to see your partner in person, webcamming is the next best thing. While texting is beneficial, it is impossible to read someone’s mood through a text message. Through a webcam, you are able to receive verbal and physical cues that will make communicating much easier. My girlfriend and I Skype for hours each day. Most nights, we will sleep with our webcams on. That may sound a bit strange, but it is the closest we get to sleeping next to each other when we’re apart, and it really does help. If you’re in a long-distance relationship, a webcam should definitely be your first investment.
3. Go on “dates”
During the time that my girlfriend and I are apart, we like to plan “date nights.” While we can’t actually go out somewhere together, we can do things from home that can be fun. Have a movie night! There are plenty of websites, such as Netflix, where you can stream a movie. Use a program such as Skype to share the screen with your partner so you can watch at the same time. This way, you are able to talk while you watch the movie together. Get takeout! You and your partner can order food from a restaurant and eat it together while you webcam. Sure, it’s not the same as going out somewhere, but cute ideas such as these will change things up and give you and your partner something to do together.
4. Send cute packages
While you might not be able to see your partner, you can certainly send them something in the mail. Put together a care package for your significant other. Fill it with things like their favorite candy, stuffed animals, or personal letters. Send them something to remind them of you, such as a shirt of yours or something else that you know they will associate with you. Get matching necklaces or bracelets and send one to them. Make them cookies or send them flowers. Getting something in the mail from your partner that you can hold in your hands will help you to feel a little closer.
5. Keep reminders of your partner
There are many things you can do to remind yourself of your significant other throughout the day, even when they aren't there. Print out pictures of them and frame them, or hang them on your wall. Wear their clothing out somewhere. Put a picture of them as your phone or computer background. While your partner may be far away, seeing them at various points in your day might make the distance seem a bit smaller.
While long-distance relationships will never be easy, there are always things you can do to make things better. If you follow steps like these, the time will pass quicker and you will be in your partner’s arms in no time.