When you’re in a long distance relationship (or, LDR for short) it might prove a bit tricky to come up with some LDR date ideas. I mean, how do you stay connected when you’re across the world from one another, or even just separated by a few hours?
Luckily, I’ve compiled a list of fantastic tips, suggestions and real-world dates from folks just like you over my nine years as About.com’s Dating Expert, as well as working with countless clients and readers. Feel I’ve missed something crucial? Jump on down to the comments and share your story, pictures, and questions.
Things Needed For a Long Distance “Date”
Although not crucial to making a long distance relationship work, there are some items can make the time spent away from each other just a little bit more tolerable. My bare-bones suggestions include the following:
- A free video chat program;
- Free internet phone service, such as Skype; and
- A decent web cam and microphone.
LDR Date Ideas Using Technology
For those that aren’t willing to buy a web cam, or who want to avoid internet telephony services, skip to the next section for more traditional LDR date ideas. But for anyone who doesn’t mind using technology to feel closer to their partner, use these as your go-to’s:
- Play a Game: From battleship to checkers, board games to online games, there are thousands of games to choose from that you and your partner can play online, together. One of my favorites? Cards Against Humanity.
- Second Life: If you haven’t heard of it already, make a point of checking out Second Life, an online virtual reality program that allows you do do anything (and I do mean anything) you can imagine in the real world.
- Video Theme Night: There is no shortage of video to watch online with the advent of websites like YouTube and NetFlix. Plan for a theme night, where both of you are responsible for a certain time period each of video entertainment. Some ideas include having a cartoon or foreign film festival or creating your own personal edition of America’s Funniest Videos.
- Use an App: There are quite a few apps focusing on keeping long distance relationship partners connected. Try Avocado (free – iOS and Android), Between (free – iOS and Android), and Couplete (free – iOS and Android) to see which one works best for the two of you.
Everyday LDR Date Ideas
Few of these dates ideas for people in a long distance relationship require anything specific to orchestrate other that your time and energy, although a phone call if the two of you want to converse live-time during the date might be nice.
- Stargaze: For a romantic menage-a-deux, go outside with some wine and your telephone, so the two of you can peer at the stars together while talking about your hopes and dreams for the future. if a phone call isn’t possible, have the both of you write in a journal what came to mind during the moonlit event to share with each other at a later date.
- Dinner & a Movie: Call a local-to-your-partner restaurant, and order them a romantic meal to be delivered on a pre-agreed upon date and time. While you’re at it, find an online movie rental company like Netflix and have the same movie delivered too. Now you’ll be sharing dinner and a movie, together.
- Bedtime Stories: Pretend the two of you are kids again and need a story before the lights go out. Take turns telling each other a made-up fairy tale, or tape yourself speaking into a microphone and send it via snail mail or mpeg file for your loved one to listen to at their leisure. (
- Create a “Date in a Box”: Go to your local dollar store and get a relatively large box. In it, put things that your sweetheart will both appreciate and make them think of you. Then, mail it to them. Don’t be afraid to ‘theme’ your box either: bubble bath for two (champagne glasses, bath oil, candles), night out on the town (tickets to a show along with a homemade scarf or sweater), or dinner and a movie (gift certificate, DVD, chocolate kiss). Make sure to include a note that says something along the lines of, “Wear this item enclosed or snuggle with a blanket while using the items in box, pretending as if I was right there beside you.”
What else? You know what to do – share the love of your own LDR date ideas in the comments.