Long distance relationships are hard, whether they are romantic, platonic or familial. There is just no substitute for a warm hug, an echoing laugh or the gentle touch of someone you really care about. Distance can make those kinds of connection challenging, but not impossible. Our list of six creative ways to connect can help you maintain strong bonds over thousands of miles.
Thanks to smartphone technology, it’s easier than ever to have a face-to-face conversation with a long distance loved one. There are tons of free video conferencing software out there that can connect you more deeply with family, friends and partners at a distance. While a good old-fashioned phone call will always work, video calls can add strength and security to your relationship.
Letter writing seems like an ancient art lost in the age of email and text. But there is something so special and joyful about receiving a handwritten letter or thoughtful card in the mail. Consider purchasing a stack of pre-stamped postcards. You can jot down quick notes about something special that happened during your day, or just let your loved one know you are thinking of them. Research shows that people feel more loved and cared for with a letter than an email or text.
When you are in a long distance relationship, connection through deep conversation is crucial to the strength of your bond. But you won’t have time every day for these heart-to-hearts. Some days, a quick check-in call is all you might need. Be sure you’re both on the same page about what kind of conversation you are having. If your partner needs to vent, but you just want a quick “How’s it going?” then your phone call could go downhill pretty fast.
Using video chatting software, you can enjoy meals with your long-distance loved one. Couples may find it romantic to not only eat together, but even to cook the same dish together. Sharing meals is an anchor in almost every culture on the planet. We celebrate over food. We share our sorrows over meals. Eating together is a time to connect and to normalize the distance. It’s a way to say that even though we are apart, we can still be together in the same ways other couples are.
Long Distance Tech
There are a lot of fun gadgets you can buy to help you communicate more effectively in a long distance relationship—whether with a partner, friend or family member. You can wear bracelets that vibrate and share a sweet message to your partner every time you tap it. Friendship lamps are connected by wifi and allow you to change the color of the other lamp to let a loved one know you are thinking of them. Dual display watches, like the Apple Watch and The LDR Watch by Kitmen Keung, allow you to keep up with multiple time zones.
Nothing says “I miss you” quite like presents in the mail! You can delight and excite your long distance loved one by sending them a thoughtfully curated package of their favorite books, snacks, spa products and other goodies. Kids can really get into this care package activity by helping to choose the contents and make handcrafted letters, art and cards. If you are short on time, take a peek at their Amazon wish list and send them a few items from it. Not only will they be joyfully surprised by your thoughtfulness, but you know they will be getting gifts they actually want and need!
Try a few of these ideas to help keep the spark alive with your partner, show comfort and care to a family member or give support to a friend. Keep your bond strong and stay connected with a little proactive planning and creative thinking.