9 Ways To Maintain A Long-Distance Relationship & Keep The Spark Alive When You're Apart

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Did you know that you can watch Netflix with your partner even if you're not in the same room together? If you can keep up your Netflix and chill routine with bae when you're apart, you can definitely maintain a long-distance relationship. The Netflix Party Google Chrome extension allows you to watch the same movie or TV show at the same time with that special someone who happens to be miles away because sometimes, all you need in a long-distance relationship is to feel like you're closer together.

The key to making your long-distance relationship work is to ensure that you and your partner aren't merely internet pen pals. That means finding creative ways to spend time together without falling into a rut of sleepy, nightly FaceTime calls. Comforting as those may be, they're not enough to sustain a happy relationship. You still need to find outlets for fun, intimacy, and romance, which is where Adam Maynard, relationship coach, comes in. Maynard spoke to Elite Daily about his favorite tips for long-distance couples looking to keep things interesting and they're all remarkably easy to execute.

Before you know it, your friends in traditional relationships will be coming to you and your partner for relationship advice.

Schedule Regular FaceTime or Skype Dates

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Maynard says, "Having a regular hangout where you know you’ll be able to see your partner will help you connect in ways that interacting via text or on social media doesn’t really allow for."

Skip your usual, mundane FaceTime calls at the end of a long day and try scheduling a few dates a week via video chat instead. Just because you're in a long-distance relationship doesn't mean you don't get to have date night, too. Once you and your partner have agreed on a night, prep for your date like you would for an in-person one. Decide on things like a theme — are you and your partner both cooking Italian or are you ordering in? — as well as hair, makeup, and outfit choices. You should also decide on a time for your date and determine who's going to call first.

Next, set the mood for a romantic night in. Light a few candles around your apartment, turn on some soft music in the background, and prop your phone or laptop up where you'll be having dinner. If you have roommates, let them know what you're doing so that they know not to interrupt. During dinner, avoid scrolling through Instagram or watching TV. You might feel awkward doing this at first but it's important to treat this like an actual date for it to feel like a date.

Surprise Your Partner With A Thoughtful Care Package

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Don't wait for a special occasion to do this. Your partner will appreciate a spontaneous gift that shows how much you miss them on any given day. You can make your own care package filled with their favorite snacks, printed photos of the two of you from the last time you saw them, and a quirky gift based on your favorite inside joke. The thought is sure to make them smile thinking of you.

If you and your partner frequently go months at a time without seeing each other, feel free to make this a regular part of your relationship. Keep the timing of the care packages completely random and the contents fun and personalized.

Play Online Games Together

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Maynard tells Elite Daily, "So much of the spark in a relationship comes from having fun together and enjoying one another’s company. Activities that enable you to be playful with one another will go a long way toward keeping that spark alive."

You don't need a gaming console to get in on this idea. Mobile apps like Words With Friends allow you to play online with users in remote locations, as long as you connect via email address or username. The friendly competition is one more way to keep in touch with your partner throughout the day when you might not have any reason to text or call them.

Follow Your Partner's Local Friends And Family On Social Media

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You can still be a part of your partner's inner circle even if you don't live in their city or attend the same college as they do. Chances are, you'll have already met their friends and family in person or via video chat so you should feel comfortable reaching out on social media.

Maynard says, "Having a broader window into your partner’s day-to-day life will help you not feel so isolated from them and will give you more to talk about the next time you connect with one another."

Be wary, though, of using this as a tactic to spy on your partner. Your intentions should be to genuinely build a relationship with the people closest to your partner because you care about them, not because you don't trust them.

Send Your Partner A Seductive Photo Of Yourself

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If you're not opposed to sending dirty photos to your partner, this is a pretty solid way to keep the spark alive in your long-distance relationship. Since physical intimacy is out of the question, you can improvise by sending them a photo of their favorite body part or favorite position.

Any photos that you send to your partner should be entirely within your comfort zone. If nudes aren't your thing, you can send them a pouty selfie or a full-length photo of your OOTD before a night out with the girls.

Travel To New Places Together Instead Of Visiting Your Partner At Home

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Traveling back and forth to see each other can feel like a chore if you've been together for a long time. Instead of booking a ticket to go visit your partner wherever they live, decide on somewhere you can go together. Luckily, planning the details of your trip will keep you occupied for a few weeks and you'll have something exciting to look forward to together.

Always Know When Next You're Going To See Your Partner

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According to Maynard, "Knowing exactly how long you have to wait to see your partner in person again can help take some of the edge off of the intervening time. Sometimes keeping the spark alive is as much about keeping negative feelings at bay as it is about creating positive ones." When it comes to long-distance relationships, it's a lot easier to live in the moment when you know there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Write Love Letters To Your Partner

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Snail mail might be dead but you don't want your relationship to be. Handwritten letters are a cute way to mix things up a bit. On a day that you're feeling particularly lonely, write a letter to your partner telling them all the things you miss about them. You can even spritz a tiny bit of your favorite perfume on it Elle Woods-style before mailing it out. Ugh, how romantic! Trust me, this trumps tagging your partner in memes any day.

Flirt with Your Partner Like You Did Early On In Your Relationship

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In a relationship where physical contact is limited and day-to-day conversations are often reduced to catching up, Maynard says, “Flirting affirms your desire for your partner and makes them curious to discover more about your intentions. It draws them in.” It's important to let your partner know you're still attracted to them, even though it's been months since you actually saw them in person.

Long-distance relationships aren't impossible to maintain. Love can go the distance but you have to help it along.