If you have never experienced long distance dating, then you’ve missed out. True, most of the times, these relationships do not work, but there is no denying the experience has moments to cherish and presents a lot of opportunities to learn about yourself and your partner.

However, the fact remains that they’re incredibly difficult to keep going. Hopefully, these tips will push you to the finish line.

Write Letters

There is no denying the fact that opening a piece of handwritten mail is a thousand times more enjoyable than opening an email. There is something genuine and even nostalgia-inducing about see the person’s handwriting. Knowing they took the time to physically write these words, address the envelope, and put the stamp on it actually means a lot.

image
iStock

Writing has become a lost art so when we get the all-too-rare handwritten letter, we connect with it, and the person who wrote it. You can almost hear their voice as you read it as if they’re reading it aloud to you. Author Samara O’Shea wrote For the Love of Letters: A 21st Century Guide to the Art of Letter Writing and she adds, “People love to know how loved they are. And that desire is timeless, what will last, what will be remembered.”

image
iStock

In today’s rapid-paced world, the idea of having the handwritten letter makes us swoon a bit. Plus it will help keep that long distance passion alive—remember Noah and Allie from The Notebook?

image
iStock

And lastly, no matter what, letters last, so even if the relationship doesn’t, hopefully, the letters will serve as physical memories that you can look back on to remember those good times and to always know this person really loved you.

Customize Celebrations

Did your partner get a raise, or a new job, or finish a semester of school? If so, don’t just send flowers or something generic. Send something personal with a personal inscription on it.

image
iStock

Also, remember specific dates that mean something. If one of you moved to a new city, new friends may not know that a certain date means something special to you. So even though you’re far apart, if you remember those significant things it will make the distance feel less overwhelming.

image
iStock

If you really want to get creative, ordering something on a site like Etsy, where the items are handmade and completely customizable, it shows not only you care, but that you know this special side to them. Nothing like a personalized present to make them feel more at home in their new location!

image
Huffington Post

Or you can go the extra mile and make something on your own, like Grace Buchele did. When she wrote about her long distance relationship for the Huffington Post, she shared how she made chocolate Star Wars figures for her long distance boyfriend’s birthday. And now, they’re married. Because everyone loves chocolate.

Use Technology

It’s 2017. Our phones have become faster, our apps better, and our usage of our phones has definitely increased in the last few years. Use these things to help your long distance relationship not seem so long distance.

It may sound silly, but it helps to send a daily Snapchat of your outfit or a quick selfie before you go to sleep. FaceTime on Sundays to catch up about the week and weekend.

image
iStock

Tag each other in Instagram posts that are inside jokes to let them know you’re thinking about them. Keep those doors open and moving to stimulate the relationship daily and make the distance a little less far.

image
iStock

Mandy Stadtmiller writes for The Cut about her short-length, long-distance spells with her traveling husband, and makes a valid point about the normalcy of our phone communications, “Who am I kidding? Even when my husband and I are in the same city, I’m basically dating my phone. We all are.” She mentions a 2014 Baylor University study that showed the amount of time college women spend on their cell phone. The answer, 10 hours.

image
iStock

If you’re on your phone for that much time throughout the day anyways, then a daily FaceTime, some photos and texts, and a social media tag should be a walk in the park. You could also bring back Words With Friends to get that competitive spirit going!

Be Honest

According to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Communication, people in long-distance relationships were more likely to share meaningful thoughts and feelings with their partners than those who were not.

image
iStock

Maybe it’s because there is less time of talking about laundry or if one of you took out the dog—don’t get us wrong, those can be sweet moments. However, if you’re in a long-distance relationship you have to use certain things to your advantage, and look at it as a glass-half-full.

image
iStock

Cut down all the BS. If something is bothering you, say it. If something made you happy, admit. If you’re worried, tell them. Be real, because the last thing you want is to tell a lie while in distance, and then have the truth come out when you’re together. It’s a recipe for a disaster and also 50 percent of every rom-com out there.

image
iStock

Shante Cosme, the director of special projects at Complex writes about long distance and honesty, advising us to “Try practicing extreme honesty. Explain the things that are giving you trouble and the aspects of your LDR you find most difficult. She’s likely experiencing similar struggles, and by openly admitting what your stumbling blocks are, you can mutually work towards a solution.”

Have a “Date Night”

This may sound a bit silly, and if anyone walks in on you doing this, they’ll definitely think it is. However, it was one of the highlights of my long distance relationship a few years ago. I love to cook and she wasn’t that great at it, so we’d agree on a meal and a movie. We would set up our computers and Skype or FaceTime and we’d cook together. Making the same meal and talking about it as we were doing it felt like we were really together, but also added a sense of humor to it if one of ours came out worse.

image
iStock

Then we would sit down and have a drink together, cue up our favorite movie (Good Will Hunting) and press play at the same time. There was something sweet about eating the same food, watching the same movie, laughing at the same moment. Then we’d chat for a while, and eventually fall asleep. Sometimes while still on Skype. And yes, it all sounds a little ridiculous, but they were genuine moments of a wonderful date night.

image
iStock

Anna Genevieve Louise, blogger at The Wanderlust Collective, points out that sometimes simple conversing throughout phones won’t cut it, “It’s really essential that you and your partner have a schedule for when you’ll talk. We’re fortunate that we have so many different modes of contact these days, but texting is not enough to keep a long-distance relationship going. To maintain a strong relationship, you need to talk on the phone, but preferably something like Skype, as often as you can!”