Embracing the Long-Distance Love Life

It’s 2021 and against all odds, you’ve found somebody amazing ... but they live far away. It’s not the end of the world—and it definitely doesn’t have to be the end of the relationship. If 2020 has taught us anything, we’ve learned just how possible it can be to maintain and nurture a long-distance relationship with a little creativity (and a great wireless plan).

Set Yourself Up for Success
Here are a few undeniable tips you should consider when you’re trying to make long-distance work:

  • Get the best possible wireless & data plan so you can always stay in touch.

  • Get a great pair of headphones so that your video calls are free of any unwanted background noise.

  • Find a great messaging app that works for both of you.

While those are useful tools to have, they’re not the make-or-break element of your relationship: just like dating IRL, you need to dedicate some time and energy to learning about your partner and what they like. The next time you’re on the phone with your sweetie, open up a laptop and go through the love languages profile for couples. Once you know what matters to both of you, it’s easier to plan things that make everybody happy.

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Plan Your Time Together
When you’re dating someone face-to-face, you don’t just show up at the movie theatre and hope to run into them there. But that’s pretty much what you’re doing if you call your long-distance partner and expect them to be available at a moment’s notice.

It’s great to maintain contact through impromptu calls, habitual “I love you” wake-up texts and quick conversations about your day, but you need to mix it up sometimes. We’re talking about intentionality here. We suggest using your impromptu calls to make time to focus on each other and do something planned once a week—you know, like a date.

Yeah, that’s right: a date.

Go Out by Staying In
After tackling 2020, we can all relate to “going out by staying in”... but let’s spice up the classic dinner-and-a-movie date with some creativity. The movie part is fairly straightforward: browse your favourite content collection (we like Crave + Movies + HBO On Demand) and find something you both want to watch (okay, that part may be slightly less straightforward). As for dinner? You have some options.

If you’re feeling tired after a long day of Zoom calls, takeout or delivery is your obvious friend. And instead of picking up fast food individually, check out the local restaurants that deliver where your significant other lives and treat them to dinner by ordering their favourites. Just make sure you order from somewhere that lets you pay in advance, or it loses some of the date quality.

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Or if you’re both interested in channeling your inner chef, select a menu in advance and make a meal together. Talk each other through the steps of the recipe, send pictures of the process, and then sit down and enjoy your meal. We recommend switching to speakerphone while you’re actually eating, unless you really like the sound of other people chewing … that’s going to be a no from us.

After dinner, gather your favourite snacks, curl up on the couch (with no fighting over the best spot), and start the show.

The best part? You can do all of it in your comfy pants!

Enjoy Common Interests Together
What do online gaming, reading books, and board game nights have in common? Believe it or not, you can do all of them as long-distance activities. Online gaming is the most integrated one on the list, since chatting is built into game play, but browsing bookstores together (or sending each other titles from your Amazon wish lists) is a great way to find out more about your date’s personality.

Speaking of finding out more about somebody’s personality: playing a board game together is a surefire way to uncover an unknown competitive streak. There are tons of apps and websites that will let you play board games against friends (or in this case, your significant other). While most of the apps are free, some may need to be purchased, so it’s worth doing a little bit of research in advance. Fortunately, there are a lot of YouTube channels that can walk you through gameplay so you don’t have to puzzle it out yourself.

Show Each Other Around Town
It’s time to brush up on your photo-journalism skills! Take a walk to one of your city’s favourite monuments and use your phone to snap some meaningful shots along the way: the takeout cup from your favourite coffee shop, a mural tucked away on a side street, or that really cute neighbour cat that enjoys sunbathing in the window of your dream home. Not only will it make you feel more included in each other’s lives, it makes it easier to feel at home when you go visit.

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With Valentine’s Day behind us, you may have some great long-distance virtual date night ideas to share. And we’d love to hear them. Comment below!

Revised Blog with updates from February 6, 2020.

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