Long distance relationships are notorious for the strain they put on romantic partners. The further and longer couples are apart, the more fragile a relationship can become, like pulling a piece of taffy in opposite directions. In order to have a good batch, it is essential for the taffy to be pulled in circles on hooks, coming together at intervals to mesh and mix and become strong again before separating. If each member of the partnership doesn't put forth an effort to show the other(s) that they care, then there will be a point where the relationship will break apart. Here are a few things to consider doing with your partner(s) that can help keep your relationship strong, rich, and long-lasting.
Send each other letters in the mail
In the age of electronic communication, physical letters (that aren't bills or junk) are a special thing. Sending your partner even just a one-page letter (signed with a kiss!) can help them feel loved and cherished, even from far away. The physical letter is, in a way, an extension of yourself, and receiving something like that can really make your partner's day. Alternately, you can also surprise your partner(s) on a rainy day by having a pizza or tasty food delivered right to their door.
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Have clear and honest communication
It's important to say exactly what you're feeling in a situation where traditional modes of communication, such as body language and facial expression, are not accessible to your partner(s). Given the strains long distance can put on a person over the course of time, it can be tempting to pout or be vague about what the real issue is to "catch their attention" better. Do not do this. This behavior is a breeding ground for miscommunication, hurt, and heartbreak. Also, it's inconsiderate of your partner's feelings (not to mention rude). It's not fair to them to assume they'll "just know" what's going on. Be mature in how you handle the situation. Be respectful when choosing your words and when addressing your partner(s). Most importantly, remember that you and your partner(s) care about and love each other. If you keep this in mind when issues arise, you'll be more likely to survive the bumps in the road.
Make time to call each other at least once a week
Hearing each others' voices can really help feel less alone at the worst of times. Taking time each week to dedicate to catching up and listening to each other can help maintain a healthy and solid connection. If your phone service has poor quality, try using Line Messenger. The call quality with Line is a lot clearer than my regular phone app and facebook messenger; when I call with Line it sounds like the other person is right beside me. Plus, Line encrypts all of your messages so what's private stays private.
Find something to do together while you're apart
A great way to have fun with each other is to play online games together. This gives you a chance to put aside things like work or school, which by itself can be refreshing, and also lets you enjoy playing with the other person. If app-based games (like Chess or Words With Friends) aren't your thing, there are a few pretty inexpensive multiplayer games available on Steam.
Another thing you can do is answer questionnaires together like this, this, and this one. They give you and your partner(s) a platform to learn more about each other and provides an opportunity to share about things that matter to you.
If these aren't your thing, you can also try finding a podcast to listen to together. Sharing a podcast can be a great way to learn new things, laugh about funny skits, give you something to talk about, or just experience an incredible new story together. There are loads of wonderful podcasts available to listen to for free on Maximumfun.
Try to visit each other as often as you can (without breaking the bank).
While this one is obvious, visiting each other it is often the most difficult thing for long-distance partners, particularly if you are students or have lower incomes. Even with money, it can be hard to take time away from school and work to visit each other. If you can find a time frame that works for both of you, there are a few ways you can travel at lower rates. If you subscribe to deal updates from certain airlines, you can find deal fares for certain weeks. (Alaskan Airlines sometimes offers $59-$79 one-way fares to and from major cities.) If you live near an interstate or U.S. highway, you may be able to find inexpensive bus fares and train routes to and from each others' cities. A great deal of the time, the cost of travel depends on when you check and on what website you book through. Try and be careful returning to the same search more than once, as search engines report your return visit and automatically bump prices up each time you refresh the page. If this happens, clearing the cookies on your web browser can help, or changing browsers altogether. You can find some reasonable travel fares on Greyhound, Boltbus, and Amtrak websites.
It can be difficult to find a work-school-life balance that lets you see your loved one(s) regularly while staying within your budget, but the precious time you spend making memories together will make you feel like it was no trouble at all.