by: Rena Spangler
Long distance relationships can be tough. Here’s some ideas on
how to make them a little easier.
Long distance relationships can be extremely difficult at any stage or time in your
life, and sometimes it’s more difficult than others. This is something I completely
understand, as my fiance and I are long distance until around next spring. Due to this,
we’ve had to be creative in our relationship to keep our bond strong and make sure that we
always feel comfortable and secure with each other. However, we still have struggled here
and there, like every couple does. We learned what worked and what didn’t, so here are
three tips for how to make long distance relationships work, and three date ideas you can
do while being apart.
Tip #1: Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Communication is needed in every relationship to keep it healthy, but it’s especially
needed in long distance relationships. Both people in the relationship have to be open
about how they’re feeling, whether it’s good or bad. Never be afraid to communicate your
feelings about something, because that can also cause a rift if one person knows that
something is wrong and the other person won’t tell them. That can cause anxiety, stress,
and confusion, which can take a serious toll on both people, making the relationship
strained. Communicate happy things, sad things, things that make you feel weird, literally
anything and everything. Communication is key, and that will help both people feel more
secure and confident in your relationship.
Tip #2: Talk to each other on the phone
While this still technically falls under communicating, it’s something to look forward
to as often as you can call, text, or video chat. When you’re in a long distance relationship,
not having physical touch can take a toll. While you may not be able to hug or cuddle your
person, hearing their voice or seeing them is the best thing in the world. Make sure that
you make time together to call or video chat when you both have time in your day (or week
depending on what your work schedules are like), and text whenever you can. Even if it’s a
“hi honey, I hope you have a great day today, I love you” text in the morning and that’s all
you can do for the day, that’s still something that’ll put a smile on their face. Like I said
above, communication is key!
Tip #3: Get cute gifts for each other
As someone whose love languages are gift giving and physical touch, gift giving is
one of my favorite things in my relationship. When my fiance and I know that not seeing
each other is taking a toll on us more so than usual, we usually try to get each other
something as a small reminder that we think about each other all the time and we love
each other to pieces. It’s something that makes us remember that we’re always here for
each other, even if we’re not there in person. We have Bond Touch bracelets, which are
bracelets that when one person touches their bracelet, the other person receives the same
touch. You can set patterns on the Bond Touch app for certain touches to mean certain
things (three short touches means “I love you”, two long touches means “call me”, etc.), you
can set your own colors on them, and you can even send private messages that disappear
within two days in the app as well. Other little things we have bought or made are
keychains, jewelry, flowers, and shirts, which both of us love and look at daily. These little
things can be a staple in long distance relationships, because even when the distance feels
long, having those things reminds both people that they’re still there.
Date Idea #1: Play online games together
Whether you’re competitive with each other or you like playing calm games
together, playing games is such a fun way to spend time together, even when you’re apart.
iMessage games are fun because it can be a quick game throughout a busy day, or you can
play them while you’re on a FaceTime call together. This is especially fun when you get to
see each other’s reactions to winning or losing the game. If you both have consoles, you can
also play video games together and talk to each other while you are in multiplayer mode. A
personal favorite of mine is Minecraft, which is fun because while I run around in circles
because I still have no idea what I’m doing, my fiance is building a four story house with
mines going down a thousand steps and finding hundreds of animals for me to play with.
Whichever kind of games you prefer, this is something to bond with each other over and
have fun with!
Date Idea #2: Do an online escape room together
Escape rooms are super fun, as I’ve been to many for birthday parties, bonding
activities, or school activities. While you and your partner may not be able to go to one in
person, you could do an online escape room together. There is a site called
www.enchambered.com, which has four escape rooms you can choose from, and then you
have 45 minutes to try to escape the room. While it’s a challenge, it’s a great way to test
your communication skills and have some fun at the same time.
Date Idea #3: Have your own “book club”
I used to LOVE reading when I was younger, but once I got older and started
working, going to college, and having more responsibilities, reading is something that has
fallen off of my list of priorities over the years. If reading is something that you and your
partner are passionate about or want to start doing, you could start your own little book
club with the two of you. Choose one book that interests both of you at the beginning of
each month and give yourselves until the last week of the month to finish it. Once both of
you finish reading it, pick a day where you can FaceTime and discuss some things about the
book. If you liked it or not and why, how you felt about the ending, if you liked the
characters and how their character development was, etc. Reading can be a chore when
you have to find time for it, but if you have something to look forward to together, it can
make it a rewarding experience for both of you.
While long distance relationships can sometimes be difficult, frustrating, or just plain
hard, there is always something that can make it a little bit better for you and your
significant other. From communicating clearly with each other to smiling at a keychain to
maybe being a little competitive with Cup Pong, there are ways to make your love stronger
than ever before and make the distance seem a lot smaller every day.