In any long distance relationship, you will spend more time apart from your partner, than together in person. It means not only do you often feel lonely, but are not able to do simple things together as a close proximity couple can. Going on dates become a rare treat, for when you are lucky enough to be with your partner in person, and even daily activities such as shopping must be done on your own.
The internet has revolutionised online dating, and now more than ever it allows long distance couples to have amazing experiences together, even when miles apart. To help get you started, we have compiled our Top 20 list of things to do online as a long distance couple.You can use these ideas for date nights, or turn them into your own ongoing projects. Being able to do these kind of activities bring long distance couples together, and give them the opportunity to experience things that might not normally be possible.
1. Watch a film or TV show together
This is the classic online date that most long distance couples start out with. It was definitely one of the first activities Chelsea and I tried together. There are a couple of ways to go about this. You can use an online service such as Netflix ,Hulu or YouTube and attempt to sync your audio to the same point. Or, if you have difficulty using this method, have one person play the show on their TV, and have the other watch through an online video chat service.
2. Cook a meal or make a pizza together
Another long distance favourite! Cooking meals together is one of the simple pleasures of living in a close proximity relationship. However, long distance couples are not able to cook together. So why not choose a meal, and video chat while both making it at the same time. If you are feeling more adventurous, try pizza making! You will soon forget the distance between you as you both cook in unison. And if you are not confident in your cooking abilities, at least your partner won’t have to taste it!
3. Start a blog or online journal
There are an abundance of websites online that will let you create a free blog. This very blog started out this way. To bring us closer together while we were apart, Chelsea and I began a small personal (and free) blog on Weebly. You could also try Wix or Moonfruit; all allow you to create a simple blog from their easy to use templates, giving you time to focus on writing personal messages to your partner. If you would prefer to keep things a little more private, check out Penzu for an online journal.
4. Find questions to ask each other
It may sound simple, but this online activity can pass by quite a few couples. Do a quick Google search for ‘Date Questions’ and you will find a huge wealth of questions to ask each other, to get to know your partner a little better. You may feel you know your partner well, but 100 questions later and you might find out something surprising. Check out these lists of 40, 100, and 101 questions to get you started.
5. Take a virtual tour together
These are becoming much more popular now that it is easier to not only access maps of exotic locations and landmarks, but also interactive virtual guided tours. You can become tourists in your own homes as you explore a new part of the world together. This idea helps bridge the distance between you by allowing you to interact and explore the same virtual environment. Take a look at the National Gallery’s virtual tour to get started.
6. Plan a holiday together
Whether it is your next trip to see each other or a completely new holiday, planning this type of trip together is a great way to feel close to your partner online. Chelsea and I always try to research the local area, and what we want to do online before our trips. It brings us a sense of excitement, looking forward to the time we will be able to be together in person and thinking about all the amazing things we will be doing. This makes a great date activity, or you can just send your partner ideas as they come to you, and slowly build your plan.
7. Send each other letters & open on webcam
A slightly quirkier online activity, this involves quite a bit of preparation, but it can provide a fantastic date for any occasion. Chelsea and I even used this to celebrate our one year anniversary. Each get an envelope, and either write a letter or try to think of things to fill the envelope with (pictures, decorations, calendars, scents etc.). Then send the envelopes to one another, but no peeking until they both arrive. When they do, you will have an unforgettable online date, seeing what your partner thoughtfully packed for you.
8. Play online games together
The idea has been around for a while now, but it can take many different forms. There are a huge variety of online games you can play with your long distance partner, from the co-op to the competitive, the casual to the hardcore. For something fun and light hearted, take a look at Cube Slam, an online pong like game where your objective is to knock out your opponents webcam sections, one by one. If you would rather some co-operative play, check out Portal, a tricky puzzle platformer that will have you working together to complete puzzles. Of course there are plenty more games to play online, its just a case of finding the right one for you. For some more inspiration, try the Steam Store.
9. Create Pinterest boards together
Pinterest is a great tool for creating shared collaborations with your partner. Ever wondered what your dream house would look like? Put it together on Pinterest. Stuck for holiday inspiration? Create a board for that. Having shared boards can be a really fun way to work with your partner. You can make a date of it, discussing your ideas, or add pins separately and see what comes of it. Either way it is a great activity that can have some exciting outcomes.
10. Go online shopping together
You might not be able to go shopping together in person, but this should not stop you from getting creative and shopping together online. Head over to any fashionable high street outlet, and browse their collections together. Swap ideas and discuss what you do and don’t like. Some stores will even let you model your choices on an online avatar of yourself, the long distance version of the changing room. Just make sure you have the shop in both countries, or you look at separate ones for each other before starting this.
11. Create a photo collage or video
This one can be a little tricky if you have not met in person yet. Gather all the photos of you, and decide which ones you like the best. Once you have done this, try to put them together in a cute collage that you can use as decoration for your room. If you are able to, use a program such as Photoshop or Gimp to put this together. But if you do not have access to these tools, there is plenty of free online collage software you can use too. We would recommend taking a look at Canva, which uses a easy to use drag and drop interface, and can create beautiful designs with minimal effort!
12. Give a tour of your house
Go all out MTV Cribs style. Show your partner around your house (if they have not been there before). They may be used to seeing you at your bed or desk when you talk, but it is unlikely they will be able to get a proper feel for your house without a guided tour. So show them around, give them the tour they would not otherwise be able to see. This is useful idea for students who often move accommodation on a regular basis, and whose partners may not experience it in person.
13. Learn a language together
Learning another language can be a challenging and daunting feat. But with your partner by your side it becomes considerably less so. And there is a wealth of information available online to support you every step of the way. We would recommend starting out with a program such as Duolingo, a free piece of software that acts as a guide to Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Dutch. So, if you are feeling adventurous, and up for a challenge, this could keep you occupied and practising for a while to come.
14. Write a story together
If you have a great story to tell, then why not tell it to the person who is going to support you the most – your partner. You do not necessarily have to write a story together, as you may find yourself clashing in writing styles. But if you are creatively inclined, then it can be fun to write short stories for each other. Reading something that your partner wrote can be an exciting experience, and creating something for them to read back can be exhilarating.
15. Watch each other fall asleep
This appears on many lists of ideas for Skype dates, even our own (which you can read here). However for many couples it can be difficult. It helps to be within a few time zones of each other for this idea to work as it should. It is something Chelsea and I have never been able to do, as the 8 hour time difference will always leave one of us wide awake. But for those couples that are fortunate enough to be able to do this, it is a great idea, and the next best thing to being able to sleep with your partner in person.
16. Create music playlists
Share your music tastes with your partner. Chelsea and I have created playlists on Youtube filled with our favourite songs, so that when one of us becomes lonely, we are able to play the other’s playlist and be reminded of them. If you have similar tastes you can fuse these into one and create a megamix of both of your music, or if your tastes are wildly different it is probably best to keep them separate. Either way, it is a great modern spin on the classic mixtape.
17. Go camping (or stargazing)
For something a little different, take your laptop or phone outdoors and have a camping date. Obviously you might not be able to go far (because of WiFi connectivity) but if you can find a campsite with WiFi then this is a bonus. If not, then even your garden would suffice. Pitch a tent, get a campfire going, and spend the evening swapping stories and roasting marshmallows over the fire with your partner.
18. Karaoke evening
Karaoke is a pub classic, but you can even do it from the comfort of your own home with the Sing Snap website. Have an evening where you and your partner sign up to this free online service. Then record yourselves singing along to your favourite tunes and listen to each other’s. It is sure to be an entertaining evening if nothing else!
19. Watch a live concert
Music brings people together, whether it is karaoke, or watching your favourite bands perform. Unfortunately, with the distance, it is unlikely that you will get many opportunities to see live concerts with your partner. But, you are able to do the next best thing – watch them live online. Take a look at Concert Vault and iConcerts for a huge list of concerts to watch online. Also keep an eye out for YouTube announcements, as they also often stream live concerts for free.
20. Create online artwork
With the internet just a click away, it is now more easy than ever not only to create artwork for your long distance partner, but also with them. FlockDraw allows you to collaborate with others in online drawing. DoodleToo and Colorillo perform similar functions, allowing you and your partner to draw together in real time. It feels great to create something with your partner, even when you are so far apart. We definitely recommend checking it out.
We love to hear from other long distance couples too! What do you think should have been on our list? Leave us a comment letting us know what your favourite online activity with your partner is, or if you have tried any of the ideas above.