With all the mobility that we have today, there’s a high chance that either you, or someone you know, is in a long distance relationship. Even though you may have heard that things are harder when you are apart, with the prevalence of the internet and near instant communication, there are still lots of ways in which you can keep in touch and even grow your love.
Start by Getting a Webcam!
This is basic! Most computers and laptops have this as a standard feature, but if you think you need something better, then there are plenty of add-on models to choose from. Get one that you’re comfortable using and is easy to set up. Set up time for a daily video chat, arrange for “dinner dates” when you eat with each other except that it’s across the screen and not the table.
Discover Multi-Player Games and Virtual Worlds Together
Many popular games and virtual worlds exist in multi-player modes as well. Pick one that you both like. These run the whole gamut from simulations, adventure, real time strategy, puzzles, action-combat-shooter games, sports, role playing and educational games. Even old-fashioned board games like scrabble have had a makeover and can now be played on a variety of mobile platforms.
Playing a multi-player game means entering a virtual world, and it is one of the most effective ways to melt the barriers of time and space which are keeping you apart.
Sign Up for an Online Class
Learning something together is always fun and just as there are long distance relationships, so too are there long distance learning courses! Sign up for an interactive one together for a more traditional “classroom” style of learning, or take a free online learning course. Websites such as OEdb.org feature more than 10,000 free online courses from schools such as MIT, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, Cambridge and many others.
Watch Movies and TV Shows Together
You know how couples often sit down to watch TV together after dinner? And even though it seems like such a sub-urban, ho-hum activity, it is strangely, a great way to bond? Well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t continue to do this. Pick a TV show or rent an online movie at the same time. If you have a subscription to an online streaming channel like Netflix, Amazon or Hulu, then watching TV together is as simple as pressing the “on” button. Set your webcams up or open a chat window and get ready to watch TV together!
Yes the virtual world is exciting, empowering and allows you to fly through the universe and save mankind from evil, but sometimes, you still want something real to keep you grounded. So, send flowers, or for that matter, cards, videos, photos, handmade gifts and anything else that’s tangible to your loved one!
Create a Shared Journal
If both of you love to write and you either don’t have time, or you live in incompatible time zones, then you might want to consider sharing a journal. Place it in a cloud document or sign up for one of those mobile apps which allows both of you to have access and take turns writing and adding pictures to it every day. It’s a wonderful way to share deeper reflections and thoughts with each other.
Share Your Calendars
Less maintenance than a journal, but still of a similar intent; set up a shared online calendar. Keep it updated with all the things you are doing each day. Just as couples often keep each other in the loop and share mundane details of their day, so too can you!
Plan Your Next Vacation Together
Hope and love go together. Most couples who are apart long to be together. Turn those feelings into something productive. Plan your next vacation together!
Design Your Dream Home Together
As your relationship becomes more serious, you may spend time discussing where you would like to settle down, how many kids you might want to have and what your ideal home will be like. Add a touch of reality and fun to this and create a 3D model of your dream home and even furnish it together. There are several free open source design programs such as sweethome3D.com and homestyler.com which allow you to do just this.
Being apart does not have to mean that your interactions will be less rich or meaningful.
The internet is your friend – learn to use it!
Be prepared to be flexible in planning time spent together and use cloud and other sharing platforms to make the most of your time.