There are lots of things you sacrifice when you and your partner are apart that couples who are together IRL take for granted. Things like being able to catch one another's eyes and have a moment of unspoken connection. Plus, obviously, all the physical stuff. But one aspect of your relationship you don’t need to put on hold even when you’re miles apart is your emotional connection. Not only is it possible to maintain, but it can even grow. One great way to feel connected is over FaceTime. ”You can create a shared experience together, and see the reaction from your partner instantly [over video chat]. It adds an extra dimension to help you feel closer,” Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships tells Elite Daily.
FaceTiming is especially effective in helping to maintain your bond because it's essentially the antithesis of the old saying “out of sight, out of mind.” As Cherlyn Chong, a dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women, tells Elite Daily, "[FaceTiming] helps you cultivate a sense of belonging and keeps your hopes up. Finding time for your relationship also helps you see your partner as a priority and helps in long-term bonding as well."
Here’s how the experts say to make the most of your FaceTiming to maintain and deepen your emotional connection when you and your partner can't be face to face.
1. Ban All Distractions.
If you want to really connect over FaceTime, then Eric Resnick, professional dating profile writer and online dating coach says it's essential to cut out all the distractions during the time you’ve set aside to talk to one another. “Make it just about the two of you. No other apps, no TV shows (unless that's part of the FaceTime). The last thing we need is to also feel like an afterthought to our partners,” he tells Elite Daily. That also means avoiding the temptation to multitask during your call. “[On a phone call] you might be looking at Instagram or playing a game while you’re talking. That's fine, because you can still be engaged in the conversation. However, when you’re FaceTiming with someone, it’s easy to fall into that same behavior. The only problem is that your partner is now watching you pay attention to everything but them,” he explains. By not giving them your full attention, you risk them feeling as though they’re not a priority, so set your distractions aside while you chat.
2. Remember It’s OK To Be Vulnerable.
Some small talk on FaceTime is great, but a big part of emotional connection means being vulnerable with your partner. “Sometimes, you need to just let it out,” says Resnick. “Make sure your partner knows how you're feeling. If you're stressed out, lonely, sad... talk to them and share your feelings. Be there for each other so you both have the support system you need to get through isolation. Making your feelings known will not only help you to get closer, but it will add that much more excitement to your eventual reunion!”
3. Ask Meaningful Questions.
FaceTiming is a great time to get to know your partner on a deeper level, because not only are you hearing their voice, but you can see the expressions on their face. Make good use of that by asking them deep and meaningful questions. “This is a time to get to know your partner on a level that's not superficial,” says Spira. If you’re not sure what to ask, there are decks of cards created just for this situation. “I’m a big fan of The Skin Deep,” she shares. “They sell several sets of relationship cards, including one for long-distance relationships, which are perfect for use in a FaceTime date.”
4. Go On A Long-Distance Dinner Date Together.
Just because you’re apart, that doesn’t mean you can’t still go on dinner dates. Just send one another some takeout at the same time and enjoy a meal and conversation from afar, together. “Food can be sexy, so remember to send over dessert, so you can watch each other nibble on chocolate together to keep the date a sexy one,” suggests Spira.
5. Binge-Watch Your Favorite Shows Together.
Do you and your partner have a show you enjoy watching together? Just because you can't be together right now, that doesn’t mean you have to give up your tradition. Doing things together that are “your things” is a fun way to feel emotionally connected. “Talking about shows you're watching creates a ritual and a bond. Take turns in deciding which programs to watch” says Spira.
If you’re not really TV people, Chong says reading a book together is another great option. “Read one chapter of a good book every day, and then meet on a video call to discuss that chapter,” she recommends. “It helps even more if the book has questions at the end of each chapter that we can answer and help us discover more about each other.”
Getting the most out of your FaceTime together is ultimately about making each other a priority, says Chong. “Make it important. If you keep missing these periods of authentic connection, it does erode the relationship and your partner might feel taken for granted. Now, more than ever, take the time to stay connected,” she concludes. So, make a date for some quality FaceTime today.
Cherlyn Chong, dating and breakup recovery coach for professional women
Eric Resnick, professional dating profile writer and online dating coach
Julie Spira, online dating expert and author of Love in the Age of Trump: How Politics is Polarizing Relationships