Distance makes the heart grow fonder, sure, but distance also can make the heart grow bitter, anxious, and lonely. Long distance relationships are a commitment with a capital “C” and require trust and communication (and a knack for the art of sexting doesn’t hurt). Some days are better than others, and some days ache with the weight of every mile separating you.
My boyfriend currently lives 750 miles away from me, so I know all too well the struggles of maintaining a relationship without the privilege of physical contact. Fortunately, there is technology available today that makes communication with your long distance lover much easier.
Here’s a list of tech tools to help sustain your long distance relationship and keep that spark alive.
The classic date night activity is dinner and a movie, but when you’re hours apart, you miss out on these integral parts of dating. While this site can’t help with the dinner aspect, it can help with movie night.
I cannot recommend this website enough. If you’ve ever tried to watch a movie with your partner by simultaneously counting down and attempting to press play together, you know that it is physically impossible to ever get your movies to line up. That’s where Rabb.it comes in. It lets you video chat while streaming the same movie within the website itself, so you are both looking at the same thing, no countdown required! Plus, you get to see each other’s faces, all their expressions and reactions to the movie, while you watch—it’s as close as you can get to being together.
2. Couple App
As everyone always says, communication is the key to any strong relationship, but staying connected can be a struggle when you’re on two different schedules in two different places. The Couple app can’t cure the distance, but it can help the two of you stay connected.
The app provides you with a messaging system that stays private, locked inside the app. You can send mushy “I miss you” texts or certain “risqué” photos to help bridge some of the distance without having to worry about them being viewed by other people. It also lets you share schedules and to-do lists with your partner, which may seem mundane, but is really important. It gets frustrating missing phone calls because you can’t remember what time they’re working or have class or had a dinner with their parents.
The best part of the app, however, is a feature called Thumbkiss. Sometimes you just crave the physical touch of your significant other. If you find yourself wishing you could just hold their hand, you can open the app and press your thumb to the screen. If your significant other does the same and your thumbs line up, the phone will vibrate, indicating you’re touching each other. It’s such a small, intimate thing, but it means so much.
3. Pillow Talk
One of the best parts of a relationship is getting to sleep next to each other, but once you get used to it, having them suddenly gone can be jarring—not to mention painful. While Pillow Talk hasn’t mastered teleportation yet, it has helped to simulate the feeling of sleeping next to your partner.
It is two wristbands and two sensors that you place inside your pillow. When your partner lays on their pillow, your pillow will glow. The wristband tracks your loved one’s heartbeat and replays it in real-time through the sensor in your pillow, simulating the feeling of laying on their chest. I mean, how friggin’ adorable is that? It might not be the real thing, but it’s pretty darn close.
Pillow Talk is, unfortunately, only a Kickstarter right now, but they are accepting preorders.
Some days, you’re going to question why you put yourself through all of this and you’re going to get scared. It happens to the best of us—I struggle myself sometimes. Dreamdays helps you to focus on what’s important and find that motivation that you’ve started to lose.
There are several countdown apps, but I personally use Dreamdays and I find it to be the best one. You can input the date that you know you’ll be together again, and it will visually countdown the days for you. You can also set a picture of your significant other as the background for the countdown, which I absolutely love.
Sometimes you just need that reminder that you are working toward a goal, and life won’t always be this way. Getting a reminder to my phone every day that says “20 days left” with my boyfriend’s face helps to keep me focused. Long distance relationships are a struggle, but they are possible, as long as you remember why you’re doing it in the first place—because you love them and they are worth it.