Overcoming Long Distance: 9 Tips for Making It Work

Global Citizen By Stefan Zechner October 8, 2017

Conflicting time zones, lonely nights, heartbreaking goodbyes – long-distance relationships can be tough. While 14 million couples claim to be in a long-distance relationship, 40 percent of those end in breakups. But there are ways you and your partner can overcome the long-distance scaries.

1. Communicate with Apps

Living apart makes staying in touch difficult – and expensive. Try one of these free apps to make it work:

  1. Skype: With internet connection, you can call, message, and video chat anywhere in the world without the extra cost.
  1. Viber and WeChat: Similar to Skype, these apps let you talk for free around the globe.
  1. Without: This app is specifically built for long-distance relationships. Exchange selfies with intimate notes and see each other’s location, local time, and weather.
  1. Couple: Create a private social network to share photos, videos, to-do lists, even date-night spots for the future. Best of all, the app’s ThumbKiss feature sends a little buzz when your fingers touch the same place on the screen.

2. Establish Trust

Every relationship gets a visit from the green-eyed monster once in a while. Add long distance to the mix, and jealousy can start to take center stage. Combat it with open, honest communication. If you’re questing something – ask, don’t attack. Feeling secure in your relationship starts with trusting your partner.

3. Watch the Same Series

Whether it’s binging on Netflix or tuning in weekly, watching the same show is a fun and easy way to remain intimate from afar. It gives you and your partner a chance to laugh together, cry together, and occasionally scream at the characters together.

Pro Tip: Use the Gaze app to watch in sync and video chat simultaneously.


4. Send Surprise Gifts

It’s not about what you send, but the act of sending something that makes all the difference. Whether it’s a bouquet of flowers or one of their favorite t-shirts, think of a little pick-me-up you know your partner will love. But save the big surprises for special celebrations and holidays.


5. Share an Online Calendar

Different time zones and work schedules make constant communication nearly impossible. A shared calendar lets you see when your partner is busy and provides a place to secure your own video-chat dates.

6. Plan Visits Ahead of Time

While technology helps you feel close to one another, nothing beats the real thing. Give yourself something to look forward to by planning visits far in advance. Decide what restaurants you’ll hit and what activities you’ll do in the weeks leading up to the trip.

7. Interact on Social Media

Liking photos or tagging your partner in memes sounds trivial, but it shows them they’re on your mind. The occasional throwback post can have the same effect. Just remember to use social media for playful communication, not as a tool to keep tabs.


8. Send Letters in the Mail

A “good morning” text will help your partner start the day with a smile. A hand-written letter is a whole new ball game. It doesn’t have to be iambic pentameter; just bringing your pen to paper adds some “Notebook”-level romance to your relationship.

9. Learn How to Cope with Goodbyes

There’s no getting around it: separating for weeks or months at a time is brutal. To alleviate some of the pain, figure out a way to cope. Treat yourself to a wellness retreat or make plans to catch a movie with friends. The goodbyes won’t get easier, but knowing how to deal with them will help.

Planning a romantic getaway for your next trip together? Check out these European cities that’ll have you falling in love all over again – without emptying your pockets.