He was tired, burnt out, and needed a good meal. I couldn’t give him a hug.
He was graduating! I couldn’t cheer or take pictures or bring him a gift.
It was his birthday. I couldn’t make him a cake or throw him a party.
And so instead, I stared at a circle, leg bouncing, waiting for the call to reconnect. Wishing I could be there for him. Wishing I could take care of him. Wishing I could do anything at all besides sit helplessly behind a laptop, smiling sympathetically.
Maybe you’ve been there.
We were 6,352 miles away from each other and would be for six months. In fact, this was only a slice of our time apart. 75% of our relationship until we got engaged was spent in different states or countries.
Maybe that’s you right now.
I wouldn’t change it—long distance grew us in wonderful ways. But we still struggled to care for one another and creatively connect. So today, I want to share six ideas with you of ways you can bless your long distance significant other today. Six ways you can be there—even from here.
1. Send them something tangible
It was our anniversary, and I dressed up for our video call. But part way through, the doorbell rang and I apologized to my boyfriend.
Carrying my phone with me, I opened the door . . . to my friend holding a colorful bouquet of flowers. Gifts are a high love language for me, and my boyfriend’s surprise lit up my day.
When you’re far away, tangible items are all the more special, and there are so many options if you’re creative. Some other things that have worked well for us are:
- Snail mail love letters
- Sending food via DoorDash or GrubHub
- Leaving gifts with each others’ friends to hand over at opportune moments
- Hiding a note or gift somewhere they’ll eventually find it
2. Plan a creative date
One of our favorite things about long distance dating is how it forces you to grow in communication. But eventually . . . you’re going to want to do more than sit there and talk for hours. Putting in the effort to plan a creative date is a way to pursue and bless your significant other. And trust me! This is possible (and even fun) long distance. Some ideas that have worked for us are:
- Game night (Chess, Scrabble, and even Code Names are available for free online)
- Movie night
- Dinner date
- Cooking date
- Exercise date
There are so many ideas, and doing things together is a crucial part of relationship building. As a way to bless your significant other, you can even prepare all the supplies they’ll need send it in the mail, or recruit help from someone who lives near them.
3. Ask about their community
One of the hard parts about long distance dating is that we have different communities and friends. Yet the people we’re around shape who we are and influence our lives significantly. One way you can bless your long distance boyfriend or girlfriend is by being interested in the things and people around them—even if those people don’t really affect your life at all.
Ask questions, learn names, and even get to know the people that are important to your significant other.
4. Guard your time with them
If someone invited you to coffee with them and never showed up, you’d feel rejected, right? We value people by showing up, doing what we said we’d do, and prioritizing our time with them. When relationships are mostly online, it is easier to blow people off.
“We can talk later tonight.” When we’re tired.
“Is it okay if we reschedule?” Something fun came up and since this is online it doesn’t matter much what time, right?
Guarding your time with your significant other frees you up to be present with your local community and it shows your significant other that they are worth prioritizing and sacrificing for.
5. Send a voice message prayer
When we first started dating, my boyfriend sent me a voice message every morning, praying over my day. It was my favorite way to start my day. Long distance relationships can give less space for seeking God together (no youth group, church, or praying over meals!), and we also hear the voice of our loved one less. Especially if your significant other is going through something difficult, this is a way to care for their needs in a special way by pointing them to God.
6. Help them with a project
When we are in person, this happens so naturally. His family is painting their house? Of course you’ll go over and help. She’s moving into her dorm? Obviously, your car is full of bags right alongside hers. He’s sent on errands? You’ll hold the list!
For those whose love languages are acts of service, the importance of tangibly helping doesn’t diminish with distance. And it doesn’t have to. We just have to be creative. Some ways to tangibly serve your significant other long distance could be:
- Edit their school paper
- Help them brainstorm family Christmas gifts
- Communicate with others for them (if asked)
- Organize travel details for their return or visit
Long distance relationships require creativity and intentionality, but they are beautiful and worth it. Rebelutionary, keep pursuing your significant other and seeking to bless them even if it looks different than it used to.
And if all else fails, let me leave you with one last piece of advice. It’s a question my now-fiancé asks me daily: “How can I care for you today?” Communication is the key and beauty of long distance relationships, and this question can guide you far in blessing your long distance significant other.