It’s no secret that living far away from your loved ones is hard. It’s not something we usually voluntarily choose to do. Thankfully, we live in the age of technology and all it takes is some creative and fun long distance relationship activities to make it all a bit easier.
With 6 years and counting of expat experience under my belt, I’ve been in my fair share of long distance relationships, of ALL kinds. And while I’ll admit that nothing beats actually being with and hugging your loved ones, over the years I’ve picked up some tips and tricks for making the most of these complicated situations and learning what to do when I miss my best friends.
I’m going to start with some of my personal favorite activities that helped get me and my boyfriend through those first daunting long distance months, and then I’ll pass the mic to some other LDR experts who are sharing their date night ideas.
I personally know the struggle that distance couples and friends are going through, and so I hope the activities in this post provide you with some new ideas to spend time together.
Here are some of my personal favorite long distance relationship activities:
Discover your “Love Languages”
I think working together to discover your primary love languages is not only a fun activity but also extremely important. Actually, I like this activity SO much, that I wrote a whole post about long distance love languages and how to express your love to one another from afar.
Discovering your love languages can be very eye-opening and will also help set a foundation for other activities that you can do together moving forward. From sending snail mail love letters to sharing songs or quotes about how you’re feeling, this activity will help you communicate more effectively and understand what small acts of kindness will really make a difference.
Plan a Romantic Dinner for Two
Ok, maybe this one seems kind of obvious or “cliché,” but I’m not talking about just throwing on your loungewear and planning a simple zoom call while eating last night’s leftovers.
Instead, why not make it a special event? Put on your best “date night” outfit, light some scented candles, play some romantic tunes in the background, and uncork a nice bottle of wine.
It will feel good to get dressed up and share a memorable meal together!
Go Out to Eat Together
I know what you’re thinking …? We’re in a long distance relationship genius. How are we supposed to go out to eat together?
Well, it’s actually pretty simple. All you have to do is each find a café or other eatery with good wifi and then, decide on a time to “meet,” and bring along your computer or smartphone. Then order your food and video chat during your meal.
*Be sure to bring headphones so you’re not bothering or disturbing others in the restaurant.
I love this idea because even though you’re in different places, you’re still finding a way to out and explore together! “Meet” for brunch, an afternoon coffee, after-work drinks, or even a sit-down dinner!
Ask Each Other Thought-Provoking Questions
This is another one of my favorites and something that really helped my boyfriend and I connect and get to know each other on another level when starting our long distance relationship. Catching up on your day, sharing what’s happening at work, and other day-to-day updates are definitely important, but it can also get old, FAST.
When you feel like you’re running out of things to talk about, or having the same conversation over and over again, turn to some thought-provoking questions to make things interesting again.
Get curious and try to fill in any holes that you don’t know about your partner or share stories and memories from your past.
If you need some ideas or would like a place to start, try out some of these:
36 Questions to Fall in Love – These questions are awesome conversation starters to go through with a significant other! They get you talking about topics you probably never even thought to bring up before and always end up spiraling into deeper convos!
Gottman Card Decks – This fun relationship app was created by relationship therapists and experts and offers helpful questions, statements, and ideas for improving your relationship with your partner.
Build Your Love Maps – Another Gottman inspired activity over here! What can I say, I love them ? Go to this webpage and scroll down to the “Love Map Exercise” and see how many of these questions you can answer about your partner, without their help. You can find more love map questions here.
We’re Not Really Strangers Card Game – this purpose-driven card game is all about empowering meaningful connections. It consists of three carefully crafted levels of questions and wildcards to deepen your existing relationships and get to know each other on a whole other level. There’s even a FREE PDF expansion pack on their website if you’d like to try it out!
Start a Book Club for 2
If you’re both avid readers, choose a book to read together and schedule some time throughout your reading to go through chapters and talk about it together. During your discussions share thoughts, reflections, and memorable moments from the book. You can ask each other questions and choose passages to read to one another and comment on. If you need some help getting started or are looking for more ideas, check out this awesome resource by I love libraries.
My boyfriend and I did this a few times throughout our long distance relationship, and although he’s a much faster reader than me, that’s what kept me motivated to keep up my reading!
Organize a Game Night
If playing games together is something you like to do in person, take your game night online. There are so many online games you can play together now, especially after this whole home quarantine fiasco, and so you should definitely be able to find some that tickle your fancy.
Here are some of my favorite online games:
Settlers of Catan – I recently became obsessed with this board game, and can’t get enough of it. This civilization-building game involves harvesting and trading resources in a competition for “victory points.” There’s an app called “Catan Universe” for you to play online that can be downloaded for IOS or Google Play.
Online Scattergories – All you need is a pen and some paper to play this free online version of Scattergories together.
Attempt an Escape Room – If you’re looking for a challenge and are one for solving brainteasers, check out these online escape rooms. You’ll need to set aside a few hours for this activity, and I’m not going to lie, they can get pretty intense! But it’s a great way to accomplish something and spend some quality time together.
Create a Shared Photo Album Together
A great way to spend some quality time together is to each go through your individual photos and create a shared online album. You can share photos easily with services like iCloud, GoogleDrive, or DropBox.
Instead of doing this on your own time, hop on a call and chat while putting together the album. This will allow you to relive happy memories and share the moments together. It will also get you looking forward to being in the same place once more in the future.
Get your Calorie Burn on ?
If you and your significant other work out regularly, try taking an online fitness class together! If it fits into both of your schedules, you can even take a LIVE class together.
This is another great way to feel like you’re accomplishing something side-by-side and working each other into your individual routines. Make a day of it and “grab a coffee” or have some lunch afterward.
Here are two of my favorite FREE online fitness class resources:
CorePower Yoga – One of my favorite power vinyasa yoga studios in the States that uploads new free classes to their database every week.
POPSUGAR Fitness – This youtube channel has a workout for everyone. You’ll find workouts of different lengths, types, intensities, and levels.
So, now you know some of the activities that helped get me through (and actually enjoy) my long distance relationship with my boyfriend. Let’s hear from some others!
Here are some more long distance relationship activities and date night ideas from other LDR experts:
Cook or Bake Together
This long distance relationship activity is by Sarah of Endless Distances. After six years together, and three of them spent on different continents, Sarah and her boyfriend Dan have tried out quite a few long distance dates! One of their favorites right now is baking “together” … over Zoom!
“Baking is one of our favorite things to do when we are actually together, and one day we figured why not give it a shot while apart. We switch off who picks the recipe each time, and make sure we buy ingredients during the week. Then on a weekend morning, we set up our computers in the kitchen and spend an hour or so baking “together”.
We roughly try to be at the same stage of the recipe as each other, but this isn’t the focus. Instead, the focus is more on just chatting and feeling normal. It’s even fun (in a corny way) to think that we are eating the same thing at the end of it!”
Take a Virtual Trip Together
This long distance relationship activity is by Samantha Karen from Sam Sees World. Sam met her boyfriend while studying on exchange and after the exchange she had to go back to Canada. He stayed in Amsterdam. As a result, they were long distance for a year and before Sam joined him in Amsterdam.
“There is nothing that bonds a couple more than traveling, and what most people don’t realize is that you can travel around the world from the comfort of your home! This is what makes a country-themed date night so unique and fun for all couples dealing with a long distance relationship. You don’t need much to achieve this type of date night just a webcam, a destination in mind, some props, and a few destination specific foods.
To achieve this amazing kind of date night you first need to think of your favorite or dream travel destination. Once you and your partner decide on one, you can start planning!
Depending on where you pick you can create a complete getaway in each of your homes. This includes buying some special foods, putting on music that fits the country, and even wearing what you would wear if you were actually there. This date night idea is fun, silly, and transports around the world in just a few simple steps. Enjoy a night of eating, talking, and bonding as if you were traveling to your dream destination together.”
Surprise Food Delivery Swap
This long distance relationship activity is by Alysa and Jack of Voyaging Herbivore, a blog that focuses on ethical, sustainable, and plant-based travel. They were in a long-distance relationship for two years (only seeing each other about four times a year) before closing the distance with full-time travels.
“If you’re looking to keep the spice alive in your long-distance relationship, try ordering surprise foods for each other during your next date night! All you need to do is download a food delivery app of choice, set the delivery address to their location, and put in your partner’s phone number so that the driver can call when they arrive.
Be sure to set a price limit on the food delivery with your partner so no one gets sushi while the other gets McDonald’s. If the option is available in the area, you can also have a bottle of wine or another type of drink delivered to add to the romance.
This is a quick and simple way to add a surprise spark and get a sense of what your partner thinks that you’ll like. Whether you’ve been together two months or two years, food is always a great way to bond, even from across the world.”
Organize an Unboxing of Care Packages
This long distance relationship activity is by Delilah of Our Travel Mix. While Delilah lives in New Zealand, she has met many amazing people on her travels and has long distance friendships from around the world.
“An unboxing date is a great idea for a long-distance date night. Both individuals put together a box of goodies for the other. I love to put together “sweet treat” gift boxes filled with New Zealand-inspired goodies.
One example of a Kiwiana gift box I’d put together a while back would be Whittaker’s chocolate, Jaffas, Pineapple Lumps, and a small Kiwi-themed souvenir (like a keychain or a bottle opener) from a souvenir shop in Wanaka.
Post your gift box and once both of you have received your boxes, unbox your gifts together via video call. You could choose to package items that your significant other misses from your country, new things for them to try, or give the box a theme, like a ‘winter wellness’ bag filled with a selection of teas, hot chocolate sachets, marshmallows, and fluffy socks.”
Have a Watch Party
This long distance relationship activity is by Reshma Narasing of The Solo Globetrotter.
“One of the best long-distance date night ideas to connect and enjoy is to watch movies together. I and my special someone used to love watching films and shows together, sometimes binging all day or night, and later discussing and debating about plots and characters.
But once we moved to different cities, we missed this very much, so he came up with the idea of date nights, where after work we decided to watch movies and TV shows through Netflix parties. A video call and a chat window connects us to see and talk while watching!
At first, I was skeptical about it, but now it is a part of our daily routines! It is refreshing, fun, and of course, romantic to watch together online.”
Plan a Vacation Together
This long distance relationship activity is by Pooja Shah of Fairytale Studios. Pooja and her significant other were in a long-distance relationship for about 2 years. They eagerly waited for weekends when one of them was able to travel to the other for a short chance to be together.
“One of the best ways to spice up a long-distance relationship is by spending the night planning a vacation together. Well, it is said that ‘Couples who travel together stay together’. Planning in advance and looking forward to meeting again after months can be mentally rewarding for both of you.
Make a list of all the things that you are going to do when you finally meet. Discussing every step together like picking up a destination, planning an itinerary, and making bookings can help develop a strong bond between you two. You can even divide work amongst yourselves and surprise each other with your plans. For e.g., One of you can plan out the activities and the other can make the hotel bookings. Planning a vacation together sure requires a lot of dedication from both sides but it can be magical when it works.”
Plan an Escape Together
This long distance relationship activity is by Sara of Our Kind of Crazy.
“Long-distance dating can be difficult, but thanks to technology, there are so many awesome things you can do. A fun and unique date night game you can do from a distance is a digital escape room. There are several ways you can do this.
First, there’s a free set of Escape Rooms you can do just with an Alexa device. Video call your significant other and ask Alexa to play the “Escape Room Game.” You’ll have options to choose which room you’d like to solve together. Another way to play an escape room together online would be to purchase an escape room board game. Or you can even opt to do a virtual escape room with a company online. It’s a great way to have some fun together and work to solve the clues to escape!”
Have you ever been in a long distance relationship? What activities would you add to this list?