Long distance love

It’s not just the internet that’s come a long way in recent decades; travel availability, job diversity and schooling opportunities are all much broader than they used to be.

With all this coming, going and relocating, it’s only natural that you may find yourself displaced from your loved ones for a short or even an extended period of time. To keep the blues at bay when you’re missing your nearest and dearest, here’s some tips to help you keep you close even when you’re miles apart.

Stay in each other’s pictures

Naturally you’re going to want to see each other regularly, even if you can’t afford flights to visit each other in person. If you both pick up an app like Couple or Between, you can create your very own one-on-one social media connection which you can use to keep each other up to date with chat, photos and you can even use a shared calendar to plan big events or schedule online catch-ups.

An app like this can be useful if time zone differences or scattered/filled-up schedules make catching up for video calls difficult, because you can check it whenever you’re free. Best of all, it’s a private connection between just the two of you, so you’re free to use all the mushy pet names you want without being judged by your mates.

picture frame

Make time to hang out

Everybody knows by now that online video chat is much cheaper than long distance phone calls. Virtually every smartphone and laptop has a built-in camera these days, but webcam and microphone headset accessories are cheap and easy to buy if you use a desktop computer. While you may already know about Skype or Google Hangouts for 1-on-1 video chat, another option to consider is Rabbit.

This app, which can be used on most web browsers gives you a virtual room where you can invite up to 15 friends to chat in real time. What sets it apart is the ability to open a window for content such as Netflix, YouTube or Hulu. Because everyone in the room watches the same video feed, it means you can watch movies or listen to music together without having to hit the ‘play’ button at the exact same time.


Start a project together

Just because you’re physically apart doesn’t mean that you can’t learn, make or plan something together. Think about it – if businesspeople can remotely collaborate on huge corporate projects, there’s nothing stopping you from working on something fun or quirky with your long-distance loved one. What you do is up to you and it will probably vary a lot depending on your interests, but here’s a few suggestions:

  • If you don’t know how to cook, cooking is a great thing to work on together. There’s a wealth of online tutorials available for beginners, or more experienced cooks may like to try out new recipes and let each other know how they went. If your time zones line up well enough, you can both video chat while you’re in the kitchen and host your own private cooking show.
  • Get arty by drawing together in a private room on AnonDraw. If one of you is more artistically inclined than the other, consider making up some line art and post it over for them to colour in and send back. Both artistically challenged? You might like to hop on the recent adult colouring book trend and share your results with each other.
  • You could write a story together. If you make use of Google Drive and Google Docs, you can set it up to share access with each other. It doesn’t have to be exquisitely written, just do it for fun: make up a character, stick them in a setting and then take turns progressing the story or make up other characters for them to interact with.
  • Last of all, I probably don’t need to tell any gamers that you can play online multiplayer games together, but if one of you is relatively new to gaming, why not start them out with Minecraft and build something together? It’s fun, user-friendly, and affordable – they won’t even have to go out and soup up their PC in order to play it.


Send them a surprise

While you may prefer to stick to the traditional flowers or chocolates, with the advent of online shopping and payment services, you could remotely organise a surprise gift from almost anywhere, shipped straight to your loved one’s address. You could even hit up any of their local food delivery services – nothing says ‘I love you’ like surprise pizza or Chinese food.

Of course, it’s the thought that counts, so why not make them a care package instead? Some people might say that snail mail has gone out of style, but getting a hand-written letter or a parcel packed with home-made goodies is still really exciting. It’s these little things which can keep you on each other’s minds without feeling too lonely.


How do you keep in touch with your loved ones? Tell us in the comments.

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  1. Judith says:

    I love the IInet newletters, please keep them coming. A good way to learn about the internet.

  2. Gary Reith says:

    We use Line, which makes sense because it’s very popular in Asia (wife is Japanese)

    Also use Evernote to share/edit documents.