In this article we will talk about how to show love in a long-distance relationship. In particular, we will explore seven ways to do it.
I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend for a year. I used to think it’d take a lot of effort, but to be in love with her is the easiest and greatest thing I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
The distance is what’s hard. It takes so much patience to wait to move in together with your partner.
But being in a long-distance relationship is worth it if you’re with the right person.
7 Ways to Show Love in a Love-Distance Relationship
My girlfriend and I live across the oceans and have a 9-hour time difference. When I wake up, she goes to sleep.
This month, we celebrated our first anniversary. Out of the 52 weeks in one year, we saw and kissed each other for only 5 of those weeks.
On some days, I feel the need to touch and make her feel loved, and it feels frustrating not to have that luxury. But still, when I look at our relationship, I never see a moment in which I didn’t feel loved.
She somehow manages to show me how much I mean to her.
And, I wouldn’t change one second of this relationship.
Here are seven ways to show love in a long-distance relationship.
1. Don’t hesitate to be vulnerable
It’s difficult to trust and open up to a person.
Whenever we start a relationship, we need time to figure out how to build trust and communication with our partners. Learning to be vulnerable with them takes time.
I met my girlfriend online and we dated for 3 months before I finally saw her in person. In those 3 months, we struggled to get to know each other.
We didn’t know how to open up in front of an artificial screen.
Whenever she wanted to talk about her feelings, she’d get nervous. Likewise, I was unsure about opening my heart up to someone whose hands I hadn’t held.
In an LDR, being vulnerable takes more courage than usual but plays the most important role.
Never see your vulnerability as a weakness. It’s what will make you know each other and sustain the relationship in the long term.
2. Work on your communication skills
“Communication is the only thing we have,” I said, grumbling about the bad Wi-Fi connection when we were FaceTiming.
It really is. In a relationship where you can’t take your partner on dates, cuddle, or kiss her lips, your words are the only things you have to make your relationship last.
As Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt states in this article, since long-distance relationships have more barriers than normal relationships such as distance, time zones, and the lack of physical touch, they “require mutual respect, trust, and dedication”.
Communication is the most crucial part of having these requirements. So, whatever you feel or think in an LDR, always express them to your partner. Your partner will always appreciate you trying to communicate.
If you don’t express your issues to your partner, it can lead to anger and resentment, which will impact the relationship in a negative way.
So, don’t brush things under the rug. Never get scared that you’ll look needy. Communication will make your bond stronger and your relationship last longer.
3. Send them surprise gifts
This is one of the best and most romantic ways to show love in a long-distance relationship.
When you’re physically with your partner, you can make them feel loved in so many ways.
Getting a bouquet of flowers, a box of chocolate or ice cream for them can show how much you care about them.
What an LDR makes difficult is that your options are limited.
Going to a movie together becomes a luxury for you.
So, when you’re in an long-distance relationship and want to show your partner you’re thinking about them, order surprise gifts or food for them.
You can find a local florist in their neighborhood or order some necklaces from Etsy. Food is always a great idea as well.
Once I was craving sushi but didn’t want to spend money on it, so I vented about it to my girlfriend on FaceTime. 20 minutes later, the delivery guy rang the bell and brought me some sushi. It was the cutest gesture ever.
Ask your partners what they’d like to eat during a cozy evening and order that food for them. Or ask them if there’s a book they’d like to read. Getting know to your partner is the tool to get creative with your surprises.
4. Plan virtual date nights/mornings
It makes me and my girlfriend so frustrated that we can’t go on dates like local couples do.
After a long day, I want to take her to eat pizza. On a Sunday late morning, I want to go to brunch with her, watch a movie, and walk around the streets lazily.
But being in an LDR doesn’t mean you can’t be creative. When a new season of our favorite shows comes out, we binge-watch it together––my version of a “movie night” and her version of a lazy afternoon.
Or we go to coffee shops in our respective cities and FaceTime while drinking our coffee.
A great idea is to cook together over FaceTime. Since we have a 9-hour difference between us, we plan some date mornings/nights where she makes herself breakfast, while I cook something for dinner.
Whichever idea you come up with, the important thing is to feel each other’s presence and enjoy the moments you share together, despite the distance.
5. Stop being shy and get into sexting
Sexting is what really pushes us out of our comfort zones when we’re in a long-distance relationship. It’s difficult to initiate sexting when you don’t have any sexual experiences with your partner yet.
My girlfriend and I had dated for 3 months before finally meeting in person, so we didn’t know what making out or having sex would feel like. But, it doesn’t mean the passion wasn’t there.
It felt weird at the time — desiring someone and imagining being in bed with that person even though I didn’t know what it would feel like. One way or another, we started sexting.
At first, it was: “I want to kiss you,” or “I want push you against the wall,” but shortly after, we were getting naked and passing beyond our privacy in our imagination.
It definitely helped us get to know each other before meeting in person. It helped us avoid an awkward silence when we were together. In fact, it was all in flow — we had already known our bodies and desires.
So, sexting can be a great way to add some spice to your LDR. You’ll be more comfortable with one another once you get more comfortable. Imagination doesn’t have any limits.
You can also start having “naked FaceTimes” and forget all the distance and time differences.
6. Find out their love languages
This is probably one of the most important things to do to show love in a long-distance relationship.
Every individual has a way in which they prefer to receive love. Best-selling author, Gary Chapman, calls this “love language”.
Treating your partner in the way they want is a huge part to maintaining a healthy relationship. And if it comes to a long-distance relationship, it’s almost vital since the ways you communicate with your partner are quite limited.
“Lots of relationship conflicts start off with people believing that their significant other is trying to hurt them on purpose by not giving them what they need to be happy,” licensed clinical psychologist and relationship coach Jennifer B. Rhodes tells Elite Daily.
Even if you seem to get along well with your partner over FaceTime, if you don’t know how to communicate their love languages, it can damage your relationship over time.
To avoid this, you should have open communication about how they want to receive love.
Your partner’s love language can be receiving physical touch, words of affirmation, or small gifts. It can be quality time as well when you stay and spend some time just together without any distractions.
Everyone has different ways to show and receive love, but all love languages mean the same thing in the end.
As long as you guys work on expressing each other and committing to improve the quality of your relationship, you’ll start speaking each other’s love languages.
7. Make it obvious that you’re in love
In every relationship, we may reach a point where we’ve taken our partner for granted without even being aware of it.
More than any issues, I think this is the problem that brings relationships to an end.
Finding the love of your life isn’t an easy thing.
Sometimes it takes you years to find real love, sometimes it hits you when you least expect it and aren’t ready for the intense waves.
Sometimes you encounter it when you’re most vulnerable, but your partner can’t meet your expectations. Or when you’re closed and can’t open yourself enough.
In any of these scenarios, so much work is required to keep the relationship going forward. When your relationship learns how to move, you have to keep the love visible, so it never runs out of gas.
Make sure your partner feels loved every time. I love that my girlfriend never goes to sleep without saying “I love you.”
Maybe, it doesn’t seem like a big thing—as in I’d still know she loves me if she forgot to say it. But it makes me feel loved more.
Small gestures or cute sentences don’t cost you anything. Try to be creative and make sure in different ways that your partner feels loved.
Don’t know what to do or say? Just ask them if they slept well or had lunch during their busy day. They’ll know you care about them.