Being apart from the one you love can be really difficult. And I don't just mean physically (although the cuddles on the couch are sorely missed) but emotionally as well. Seeing other blissful couples holding hands while shopping can make your heart pang, or sometimes your dog will do something hilarious that you know your partner would also appreciate, but unfortunately they aren't there. The old adage says that distance makes the heart grow fonder, and while this is certainly true, it doesn't make the physical space between you easier to deal with. Yes, distance really does make you miss the person more. And...?
But despite this temporary distance, there are still ways that you can show your special someone that you love them. So whether your partner is away on holiday, at military training, or if you're in a long distance relationship - please take heart. It just takes some ingenuity and a little creativity, and your love can easily traverse the distance like a leaf on the wind. Not to mention that your partner will be so touched by your gesture that they will feel encouraged and happy throughout their day.
Write a love letter
This can be great if your partner has limited phone communication where they are, and it tends to be overlooked in todays digital-obsessed world. Plus, who doesn't love getting things in the mail? By hand writing a letter to your lover, you give them a little piece of yourself that they can carry around in their pocket. You can fill them in on what has been happening at home; write them poetry or even just recount the many fun moments you've shared together. You could even add a spritz of your favourite fragrance to the letter if you feel inclined, or some photographs. Whatever you choose to add to your letter will be well received when they see the heartfelt words you have written just for them.
Book club for two
If you and your partner are bookish then this will be a lot of fun, and it will allow you to bond through a melding of the minds. You can buy (or borrow) the same book for both of you, and read them on the same timeline. Say, you might both agree to read one chapter per week, and then on a certain day you can discuss it so far. Enjoying the same book will give you a feeling of comfort when reading, because you know that wherever they are - your partner is doing the same thing. Also, if you sent the book as a gift you can add post. It is throughout the pages with little notes written on them like 'Hope you're enjoying the book :)' and 'Love you wherever you are,' or any private jokes you both share. It will add a feeling of intimacy for your partner while they read the book and think of you.
Create a playlist
While this is a shout back to the mix tapes of yesteryear - sharing emotive lyrics with your significant other is timeless. You can put together a playlist of favourite songs you both share, or you can get extra creative and choose songs with lyrics that will send loving thoughts across the distance between you. For an added touch (or if your partner is somewhere mentally and physically taxing like bootcamp), you can add songs that are motivational and encouraging to provide extra emotional support. It will be as though you are there cheering them on, whenever they listen to the inspirational soundtrack.
Send their favourite sweets
This one doesn't need too much explanation, but if your sweet heart has a sweet tooth, then they'll be excited to receive this sugary surprise. Sweets or anything packaged that can't melt will be best for this. Alternatively, put together a small package of their favourite savoury snacks if they don't enjoy sweet foods like biscuits, nuts, rice cakes, protein bars or beef jerky.
Have a Skype movie date
While it can be lovely to watch a movie on the couch, entwined in your lover's arms - this is the next best thing. Hook up your laptop so it is near you on the couch for comfort, and so you can see the television.Then Skype and watch. You can both discuss the movie together, or just enjoy a companionable silence while watching - the same as if you were together. Plus you'll both get a buzz from spending time together doing something you usually do, so the distance won't feel so difficult. Alternatively, if you are using a desktop computer you can watch the movie on your monitor with the skype window minimised so you can still see your partner on your screen.
Plan future dates
Work together with your calendars and schedules to organise when you will be reuniting. Whether that is when they return, or the next time they visit your home; it will keep you both feeling hopeful when you have a tangible date written on your calendar. Then if you like, you can cross the days off like they do in the movies, or you can just smile to yourself when you see the date and know that you'll be together again soon.
Hopefully this makes things a little easier for those of you dealing with distance in your relationships, and know that if you are struggling at all, there are others going through the same thing. If you want to talk to someone due to loneliness, you could confide in friends or family or just get out of the house to smile and see others. Sometimes we just crave a connection with other people, because humans are social creatures after all. Rest assured that the time really will strengthen your relationship. Also remember to love the time you spend alone as much as the time with your beloved one. You deserve love from your partner, but most of all, you deserve love from yourself.