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10 Things to Do Together in a Long-Distance Relationship

Emily is an expat, a writer, an editor, a vegan foodie, and a bookworm.

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1. Talk Every Day

Your relationship will fall in your list of priorities if you are lax about keeping contact. If your relationship is important, put it first and make time every day to talk. My husband and I were both working and had a six-hour time difference, so sometimes we would have to set an alarm clock for 1 am or 6 am in order to make time. It is worth it to hear your loved one's voice.

2. Make a Reading List

Whether you have to read a chapter on your commute or listen to the book on tape while you're doing the dusting, having your own private book club means you're doing the same thing even though you are apart. A long-distance relationship can often drive people apart because they are living different lives. If you're both geeking out over the latest Netflix series, there is less risk of losing the things you have in common.

3. Have a Movie Night

You may not be able to watch it together, but you can keep skype chat open while you watch your movie and write comments to each other, or watch it apart and then talk about what you thought. You might even be glad your honey isn't there to see you blub your eyes out at The Notebook.

4. Capture Your Lives on Camera

If you don't have a great deal of time to spend talking to each other, take photos of the things you are doing apart and send them to each other. When my husband went rafting for a weekend with his friends, he sent me several photos every day of his shenanigans. I, on the other hand, made his mouth water by sending him pictures of all the tasty meals and desserts I was making.

Mini Golf: Wish You Were Here!

Mini Golf: Wish You Were Here!

5. Create a Competitive Element

Sometimes just talking, talking, talking can get a bit stale. When you are together, you can do all sorts of fun things but being apart means most interactions begin and end with talking. We had a running Words With Friends competition the entire time we were apart, so when we weren't feeling particularly chatty, we'd battle it out on the scrabble board.

6. Get Creative

My husband and I invented what I like to call the draw-off. One of us would come up with a word, such as "clock," and we'd both have five minutes to draw something inventive which related to that word. It was a fun thing to do together, and we came up with some crazy things.

A Draw-Off Winner: The Clocktopus

A Draw-Off Winner: The Clocktopus

7. Plan a Trip Together

One of the most important aspects of a long-term relationship is breaking it down and making sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if you're not in a situation where you can be together permanently just yet, planning a trip together can give you something to look forward to.

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My husband was in America, and I was in Germany, so we were a long way apart and couldn't afford regular visits. My trip to Pittsburgh was something we planned constantly, from places we would go to restaurants we would eat at. It was a fun way to feel like we would be together soon.

8. Schedule Some Romantic Time

Sweet talking a computer screen may not sound like your ideal romantic evening, but it's important to keep the romance alive a little. It's a touch embarrassing for some, but it's an option worth exploring because it will bring you closer together and may even broaden your sexual horizons. Whether you opt to have a little fun with the webcam, send each other naughty emails, or snap a few raunchy shots on your phone, don't neglect your love life even if you can't share the same bed.

9. Keep Each Other Guessing

I always knew that my husband was thinking about me like crazy because every morning when I woke up, there would be a surprise waiting for me in my inbox. You can find ways to be spontaneous and make each other smile even when you're not around each other.

Whether it's a simple note to say "I love you" or a link to a picture or article you think your loved one might like, make getting up without you a little easier on them by giving them a present each morning. My husband loved to send me encrypted notes. I still don't know what some of them mean!

Any Guesses? One of the Encrypted Notes

Any Guesses? One of the Encrypted Notes

10. Go Shopping

When we lived together in Prague, my husband and I loved to visit markets and browse through shops looking at clothes, trinkets, and other interesting things. Living apart meant we couldn't go out and do those things, so instead, we'd browse websites together looking for things we thought the other would like (or get a good laugh out of).

We were too poor to buy each other real presents, but linking my husband to a really gorgeous le Creuset casserole dish (we are both cooking freaks) or a delicious recipe I wanted to make for him (yeah, we are both cooking freaks) was almost as good.

What Do You Do for Fun?

Can you think of any other fun things to do together when you are in a long distance relationship?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

Questions & Answers

Question: How do I convince my significant other in a long distance relationship to make me happy?

Answer: I'm not an expert on the subject, but I don't think it's possible to "convince" someone to make you happy. If they are not willing to take your happiness into consideration, it might be time to reconsider your relationship. Try to have open, honest communication with him and work out a solution that will make both of you happy. If you still feel unhappy, again, it might be time to reconsider your relationship.

I also strongly advise you to talk to friends and family about the subject, and possibly a therapist, if that is a possibility for you. You should always take care of your personal well-being, and sharing your concerns with others is important.

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