Here and Where You Are: Modern Tools To Strengthen A Long-Distance Relationship
Strengthen your relationship with these long-distance date ideas
I exist in two places,
here and where you are. – Margaret Atwood
I have been in a relationship with my fiancée since June 2020. As far as relationships go, I have never found its match. The moment I saw her on Tinder, a swarm of butterflies grew in my stomach. I will never forget how my jaw dropped when I first swiped to an animated picture of her batting her eyes at the camera. Her bright smile and beautiful brown eyes lit up the camera and my heart.
After a week of talking to her, I was ready to propose and start a family. You know, the things you do when you meet your soulmate. However, there was a big problem. Or, should I say, a long-distance problem. You see, she lives in Indonesia, and I live in the United States. With 9,291 miles separating us, it was tricky for me to quickly arrive in front of her on bended knee. Add the fact that Indonesia locked down the country due to Covid-19, my options to meet her were severely limited.
So, once we decided to be an exclusive couple, we had to develop a way to ease the stress of being in a long-distance relationship. Especially since we had to wait an extended amount of time to meet each other in person, which took us over a year due to Covid travel restrictions.
To help with the challenge of our distance apart, we found modern solutions that would help us create the feel of a standard, short-distance relationship. Using the tools and tips that I am about to share today, we have maintained strong communication and a healthy date-night experience inside our relationship.
Disclaimer: The technology listed below is primarily free to obtain. Some of the equipment needed does have a monetary cost, but I tried to list as many free options as possible. Also, this article will assume that you have access to a decent internet connection and a computer/tablet/smartphone.
The cornerstone of any great relationship, communication must be constant and consistent. Making time for each other inside our daily routines has kept us focused on our needs and built complete trust. We both call each other at the same time each day, no matter what is happening in our lives.
Cell phones, tablets, and computers have made communication easy to talk to one another through video chat, voice, or text.
The beautiful part is that if you have a capable device, all three ways of communication are easy to do. With the right apps, you can communicate well with your partner in your long-distance relationship.
WhatsApp – With two billion users, WhatsApp is the top messaging app globally. Being free, with easy-to-use features like video and group chat, WhatsApp has been the core communication tool in our relationship.
With recent updates, WhatsApp has moved past just being a smartphone app. It is now possible to link up to 4 devices to one account. So, you can speak to your loved one with your phone on the go, on your desktop at home, or by using your tablet in bed. Learn more by clicking here.
Discord – Dating requires date nights, and Discord has been our favorite tool to accomplish the feat from afar. This software makes it easy to join a chat room and share streaming videos in real-time. This function allows us to grab a snack, watch a movie, and chat all at the same time…just like any regular date!
Discord is available for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android devices. Learn more about all it has to offer here.
Zoom – Arguably the biggest tech winner due to the pandemic, Zoom is so synonymous with video conferencing that it's now the verb for doing just that! See ya later, Skype!
Zoom provides us with a platform where we can be creative. We use Zoom's built-in recording feature to create YouTube videos together, like the one below. Trying snacks from each other's countries was so fun!
We will also use Zoom to have group sessions with friends! These sessions will be valuable to my fiancée for her move to the United States. Building bonds with people I surround myself with will help her feel more comfortable when she begins living here.
Zoom supports Android, iPhone, Mac, iPad, and web platforms. Find out more here.
When it comes to great relationships, going on dates is a must. However, being in a long-distance relationship presents a significant problem…it is challenging to go out on a date! So, we had to rise to that challenge, and we have found great ways to have dates. Here are some of the best things we have discovered to keep our dating life fresh using technology.
Streaming Services + Discord – As mentioned above, watching movies from streaming services using Discord is easy. We have watched hundreds of hours of tv shows and movies over the past nineteen months. But that's not all. We have listened to music off YouTube using Discord and even studied training courses together! Anything you can view on your browser is shareable. We have found that Discord and Google Chrome get along nicely.
Smule Karaoke App – One of the first things we bonded over as a couple was our love for karaoke. We enjoy going out for a fun karaoke bar session. But, of course, that isn't easy to do in a long-distance relationship. The good news is technology has made it easy for us to enjoy karaoke together, even from ten-thousand miles away!
The Smule karaoke app is the one we recommend due to it being easy-to-use, having a great song selection, and being available worldwide. We can share songs we have sung for each other and sing duets using Smule's duet technology. You can download Smule here (a subscription is required.)
Video Games – This is a great way to spend time with your loved one from afar! Two of our favorite games to play together are Among Us and Goose Goose Duck. Both games are free-to-play, can be played on multiple types of devices, and are another way to get each other's friends involved.
The sky's the limit when it comes to video games. From complicated PC shooter games to simple smartphone apps, this is a great way to stay close to your special someone.
Flowers and Gifts – In our relationship, this had me worried at first. How would I easily and affordably send her gifts on special occasions? Surely it would be too expensive to have something sent to Indonesia, right? Well, calm your nerves. I have good news. A specific flower service has earned me mountains of brownie points and has not broken the bank.
Internet Florist Network is an international delivery network connected to florists worldwide. I have used the service twice to send flowers and chocolates to my fiancée in Indonesia. Both times, the deliveries were affordable, prompt, and beautiful! So, as the saying I am making up now goes, "where there is internet, there is a way." Check out the Internet Florist Network here.
Bonus Topic: Equipment
In this bonus section, I have two quick suggestions for those of you in a long-distance relationship. These are two physical items that have made our daily life easier.
Smartphone Gimbal/Tripod – Freeing your hands while you talk for hours on end is very valuable indeed. I use a DJI OM 4 to keep my phone sitting neatly on a table or on any flat surface while chatting. The comfort and stability make our communication sessions seamless and more like talking to an actual person. A gimbal like the OM 4 will set you back at least one Benjamin Franklin, but other more affordable tripods can be found. Like these.
Wireless Headphones – Last but certainly not least, I suggest getting a nice pair of wireless headphones. With all the talking you will be doing, having the ability to move around unencumbered cannot be underestimated. Often, I will need to get something to drink or do a quick chore in the house while having a conversation. Using my wireless headphones makes all that a breeze, and I don't lose any chat time with my fiancée.
I hope this article has been of some help to you. Even if you're in the same country, these tips can improve your communication and make for some creative date nights.
About the author
The Nerd Habit is a collaborative group of writers who love all things nerd. We write about the latest happenings in nerd/geek culture as well as short fiction.
Our 2022 Team:
Christopher D. Horton, Hani Masry, Jerah Rose, Whitney Thompson