Today, many couples find themselves asking, “How can we stay in love from a distance? How can we keep our hearts and souls close when our bodies are miles and miles apart?”

We have spent a significant time helping couples fan the flames of love while separated geographically, including military couples handling multiple deployments; corporate executives, entrepreneurs and sales reps who travel extensively for work; and partners dealing with family traumas like hospitalizations or caring for aging parents. Through these experiences, we’ve discovered a few proven ideas to pack into your suitcase or duffel next time you are headed out the door to see your sweetheart.

Use Technology To Stay Connected

It is so much easier to see, hear and talk with your spouse and loved ones simply by carrying a smartphone. Video chatting is a game-changer in long-distance relationships, even if you’re only apart for a short time. On particularly busy days, phone calls or texts might suffice, but when you want to make decisions, discuss emotional issues or problem-solve, you will want to see your loved one’s expressions as you talk. More than 90 percent of what we communicate is non-verbal; our facial expressions, body language and tone of voice do a lot of the talking.

Many couples maximize video chats by engaging in similar activities in each location so they can have dinner or watch a movie together. Emailing love letters and updates can also prove helpful in knitting hearts when far away.

Leave Little Surprises Behind

Tuck love notes in clothes, luggage, a briefcase or a purse so your mate can discover these gems while you’re away. You can also hide a gift somewhere for them to find after you leave. These small surprises stock the flames of your passion for one another and ensure that the romance is still going strong while you’re apart.

When I travel alone, I bring along one of Bill’s worn (and cologne-scented) dress shirts to wear as my pajamas. It’s one of the ways I can feel close to him even when we’re apart.

Read Together From A Distance

Enjoying the same thing from a distance is a great way to bring you closer as a couple. Since you can’t sit on the couch together to binge-watch Netflix, trying reading the same novel, marriage enrichment book or Bible study so the literature sparks conversations over your emails, texts and video chats.

With the use of digital readers like Kindle, entire libraries can be downloaded and shared, as well as audio books, podcasts and marriage blog entries. Find something that you’re both interested and enjoy experiencing it together from afar.

Document Your Trip

Post photos of your trip to social media or send them privately online so your partner can see your travels through your eyes. It’s a little easier to be apart when you can at least envision what your significant other or spouse is experiencing. Even sharing photos of the mundane little moments of your trip will be appreciated. For example, you can laugh together over the abysmal airplane food you were served or delight in the luxurious robe in your hotel room when you send your partner photo evidence from your travels.

Are you planning to be away from your special someone for a time? Whether it’s a short trip or an assignment that will keep you away for weeks or months, use these tips to stay close to your sweetheart from a distance.

You may also be interested in 5 Long-Distance Relationship Problems To Avoid

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