How To Be There For A Loved One When You're Long-Distance

Long-distance relationships typically require a lot more work than typical relationships between people who live in close proximity. When you're involved in a long-distance relationship, you go through the pain of missing your loved one on a regular basis since you can't just stop by their place to see them at the drop of a hat. Long-distance relationships consist of considerate planning each time you want to breathe the same air as the person you care about.


And it goes way beyond romantic relationships. Living far away from a family member, such as a parent or sibling, is difficult when you want to share daily experiences with them. Living far away from a best friend is rough since it's often easier to build a strong friendship with people you can actively do things with. 

Regardless of who your long-distance relationship is with, it's up to you to maintain a solid connection with trust and communication. Any relationship is bound to fall apart without trust and communication in play, even if you live right next door to your loved one. These factors become even more important with more distance on the table. But being there for a loved one who isn't nearby is wholeheartedly doable — here's how.


Make sure their technology is updated and solid

Long-distance relationships are trickier to navigate if one or both people don't have updated pieces of technology. How do you expect to stay in communication with the person you care about most if their phone is incapable of FaceTime calls? Sure, you could throw it back to the days of old when communication was only done via snail mail. Still, in today's age, it's important to keep up with the latest technology.


They might prefer doing all of their communication through an iPad, so their iPad shouldn't be several years old with a cracked screen. They might love hopping on Zoom calls with you using their laptop, so their laptop should easily hook up to speedy Wi-Fi connections for uninterrupted chats. If you live far away from a family member who's in their elderly years, chances are they don't know a lot about the importance of updated technology.

Take it upon yourself to help your older family members maintain pieces of technology that are completely up-to-date. In some cases, letting your loved one know which devices they should invest in is all you have to do. Inform them about the make, model, year, and gigabyte space necessary to get exactly what they need from a sales associate or online order.


Create a music playlist for them

Show your loved one you care about them from a distance by creating a music playlist for them. The best way to go about this would be by adding loads of songs that remind you of them while also keeping their music taste in mind. Be sure to add songs you know they'll enjoy based on the music they've shared with you in the past. If your loved one is a hard-core music lover, you won't have to do too much talking to figure out which songs you should be adding to the playlist. 


Check out some of their posts on social media to see if they've added any background songs to their content. If so, you'll have a better idea of which direction to go with the playlist. Make sure you're being mindful of the songs you're adding to the playlist by reading up on the specific lyrics of each song. You wouldn't want to accidentally add a song with heartbreaking or negative symbolism. Be wary of which songs are appropriate for your loved one to listen to.

Screen share a movie or TV show

Even though you and your loved one are long-distance, it doesn't mean you can't still share the experience of watching your favorite movie or TV show together. Find out if your loved one is feeling lonely or bored, and figure out a time slot in both of your schedules to sit down to watch some form of entertainment together. The easiest way to do this is by screen sharing so you're watching your choice of movie or TV show at the exact same time. 


When doing this, you and your loved one have the opportunity to discuss what you're seeing on screen as it goes on. It will have you feeling like you're in the same room since you're absorbing the same imagery in unison. Before sitting down to make this plan happen, come up with a short list of movie and TV show suggestions that would appeal to your loved one. If they adore comedies, horrors, or rom-coms, you'll know what type of list to compile.

Eat dinner at the same chain restaurant at the same time

As strange as this might sound, it could be a fabulous idea for you and your long-distance loved one to eat dinner at the same chain restaurant at the same time. This is one of the best long-distance date ideas ever! Of course, this is only possible if the same restaurant chains have been built in the places where you and your loved one are individually located. Some of the most popular restaurant chains that are located worldwide include Applebee's, Mcdonald's, and Subway. 


Find out if you and your loved one have a similar restaurant chain to visit nearby. If you don't, you can always tweak the idea by choosing a similar cuisine and arriving at the same exact time. For example, the two of you can enjoy sushi at different restaurants, even if the sushi chains aren't the same name. Or, grab a quick cup of coffee at the nearest coffee shop and video chat as you sip your favorite beverage.

Schedule regular FaceTime calls

There's something so much more special about FaceTime calls compared to regular calls. When you FaceTime your loved one, you have the opportunity to see their face while you're indulging in conversation. It's amazing that you're able to hear their voice on regular calls, but without seeing their face, it doesn't provide the same level of emotion. Facial expressions are a big deal in conversations because they reveal a lot about what people are thinking when they're speaking and listening. 


There's also a matter of body language that's completely missed when you're having a conversation based on audio alone. Since this is the case, scheduling regular FaceTime calls with your long-distance loved one will help them feel like you're "showing up" for them despite how far away you might be. It's a sign of your willingness to take time out of your schedule and treat your loved one as a priority. You can use your FaceTime calls to decompress about everything going on in your life, including work, school, and family updates.

Remain consistent with texting

It should go without saying that remaining consistent with text message communication is an absolute must in any long-distance relationship. By always checking in with them via text, you'll ensure that your loved one feels cared for despite the physical distance between you. This doesn't mean you have to force yourself to hold onto your phone day in and day out when you've got other obligations going on. 


It simply means that you're willing to take time out of your day to shoot over a few text messages every now and then. This provides your loved one with peace of mind. Thanks to modern technology, staying in touch with the people you care about most is easier than ever before. You can converse without physically being in their presence or picking up the phone for a call. Sending texts throughout the day to let them know they're on your mind goes a very long way.

Have a care package shipped to their doorstep

One of the sweetest things to do for a loved one who lives far away is to have a care package shipped to their doorstep. The good news is that there are countless companies that provide this service at affordable rates. Whether you're comfortable shelling out more money for lavish care packages or prefer to keep it at a lower rate, a care package is a thoughtful gesture regardless of your budget.


Before ordering a care package for your loved one, take time to think about things they've openly talked about enjoying in the past. If they gush about chocolate-covered strawberries, then you know exactly what type of care package to send them. If they love fresh-baked cookies, there are care packages filled with those as well. 

Or, you can hand-make and curate a special care package just for them, with items you know they'll love. Just make sure your loved one will be available to receive the care package you're sending so it doesn't get lost or stolen.

Write poetry or lyrics for each other

You can dive in headfirst with poetry or lyrics for your long-distance loved one if you consider yourself creative and articulate. Staying in communication via text message, phone calls, and FaceTime calls is wonderful, but you'll take things a step further by writing poetry or lyrics for them that will melt their heart — especially if one of their love languages is words of affirmation. If you're comfortable reciting your poetry or lyrics, do that aloud during your next chat. 


If not, you can always send the poetry or lyrics over to them via text, email, or handwritten letter. Writing poetry and lyrics takes a lot of time and effort because you have to figure out how to make your words rhyme and flow together. Anyone on the receiving end of a thoughtful poem or song will undoubtedly feel cherished and valued. This is a thoughtful idea if you know your loved one is going through a rough patch. Maybe if they're up for it, you can ask them to return the favor.

Read your recent horoscopes to each other

Although daily horoscopes don't appeal to everyone, they can be used as lighthearted and fun distractions for people who aren't feeling their best. You and your loved one can agree to read your recent horoscopes to each other for a glimmer of hope about things changing for the better. The positive thing about horoscopes is that they're usually filled with sweet, fluffy messages that leave readers feeling better about what's to come in the future. 


Plenty of horoscopes might be written by people who are simply making things up, but that doesn't take away from how enjoyable horoscope readings can be in the moment. If you're sensing that your long-distance loved one is feeling down in the dumps about their current circumstances, find a horoscope blurb that describes a joyful shift coming soon. There are tons of astrology apps that provide a daily dose of cosmic energy, making this idea easy to carry out; it's possible it will put a smile on their face.

Create a detailed itinerary for your next hangout

Since you and your long-distance loved one don't get to spend time in each other's presence very often, one of the ways you can cheer them up would be by creating a detailed itinerary for your next hangout.


Set aside time during a phone call or FaceTime session to brainstorm ideas about all the fun things you're going to do next time you see each other. If you know your next hangout is going to be in their neck of the woods, research all the things you want to add to your bucket list in their radius. 

If your next hangout is on your side of town, come up with some exciting suggestions for things that will bring you closer together. Being long-distance means that your time together is limited whenever you hang out together. Be sure that your itinerary is filled with plans you can both look forward to. Planning ahead creates a sense of anticipation and exhilaration.

Stitch and share each other's social media videos

Social media has evolved in a significant way over the last several years — it gives people the chance to connect with others from all over the globe. This means you can easily use social media to stay connected with your loved one, even though the two of you don't live in the same area. One brilliant idea to consider is stitching the social media videos your loved one posts on their pages, particularly TikTok. You can also share your loved one's videos on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.


When you stitch or share their content, you help them gain more traction and engagement on their own pages. Stitching their content also reveals that you're showing an interest in the things they love posting about. Your long-distance loves one might love posting videos about gardening tips or food recipes. Even if those hobbies don't inherently interest you, you'll show your loved one how much you care by stitching and sharing their content anyway.

Exchange personality quiz results

Personality quizzes, like the famous Myers-Briggs test, rose to popularity thanks to social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Learning more about yourself has never been easier with so many personality quizzes plastered all over the Internet. Showing your long-distance loved one that you care about them can be as simple as exchanging personality quiz results that cover topics they find intriguing. There are an endless amount of personality quiz websites to scour online.


As soon as you find a site filled with quiz content that's visually appealing, start narrowing down your options. Send your loved one the URL link to the quizzes you want them to take so the two of you can exchange your results with each completion. You can treat this idea as silly or as serious as you want, depending on the long-distance relationship you have. Quizzes can range from silly topics, like, "What type of cheese are you?" to romantic ones, such as, "Which love language applies to you?"

Make sure trust is equally assured

Trust is crucial in any long-distance relationship. Without trust, a long-distance relationship will eventually crumble. Since you're unable to reach over and touch your loved one's arm at any given moment, you have to believe they have good intentions wherever they are. You have to believe they wouldn't do anything to betray you or hurt you, even though you're not physically in the same area. 


By that same token, your loved one has to believe the same thing about you. If they're always accusing you of being shady or doing things behind their back, you'll get to a point of frustration and resentment. No one wants to feel like they're constantly on the defense trying to stand up for themselves when they haven't done anything wrong.

Build this trust by remaining in communication as much as you can, and making that communication a top priority. As soon as you and your loved one get on the same page about having equally assured trust, your long-distance relationship will run a lot smoother.

Cover their travel costs so they can visit you

Depending on your current financial status, it could be a great idea to cover your loved one's travel costs so they can visit you. If this isn't something that makes financial sense for you at this time, don't stress yourself out or go into debt trying to make it happen. Keep the idea on reserve in the back of your mind until it's something you'd be able to make possible. After all, some long-distance or mid-distance relationships exist between people who live a couple of hours apart. 


Others exist between people who live on opposite sides of the globe. Offering to cover the travel costs of your loved one is fully dependent on where your finances stand and if it's something you'd comfortably be able to do. This isn't the best topic to bring up if it feels too out of reach, though, because you wouldn't want to spark any false hope. Covering their travel costs woald allow you to see them without disrupting your local obligations.

Surprise them with an unexpected visit

As soon as you notice your long-distance loved one begins to show signs of sadness, loneliness, or frustration, start thinking about how you can surprise them with an unexpected visit. Before dropping everything to make a plan like this happen, it's vital that you have all your own affairs in order first. Don't neglect your obligations at school, work, or with your family members in order to embark on an impromptu surprise trip. 


If it makes sense to visit your loved one to show them how much they mean to you, make it a priority. If you know your loved one isn't a big fan of surprises, you might want to give them the heads up that you're on your way before you schedule any flights or book any other public transit tickets. Sometimes, the best thing you can do to show someone you're there for them is to show up in person.