One of the realities of moving is the possibility of dealing with the long distance relationship. Historically, long distance relationships have gotten a bad rap; we all know the stereotype that they are doomed to failure.
But we would argue that this is a narrow-minded view that ignores all of the possibilities that now exist, thanks to modern technology. Long-distance in “the olden days” meant phone calls, handwritten letters and long emails. Distance actually felt like distance.
Modern day dating is characterized by being connected all the time in multiple ways. And doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom if you’re planning to be in an LDR; studies have shown that couples in a long distance relationship develop better or “deeper” communication. There’s hope!
If you are about to be in a long distance relationship due to a move, don’t despair: we scoured the internet and advice forums for the best apps and websites for making a long distance relationship work. But remember, these choices below are all predicated on the essential ingredient you need to make an LDR work: a mutual dedication to communication.
1. Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger trumps iMessage for a lot of reasons (number one being, of course, accessible to more than just iPhone users). Some additional nifty features include:
- Always showing when messages are sent and received
- You can make voice or video calls for free (international calls supported too!)
- You can personalize your conversation (versus the standard view in iMessage)
- You can choose from a wide range of games to play with your partner in the app
- “Secret” or encrypted message option, which mirrors Snapchat’s disappearing message feature. The difference with Messenger is that you can choose how long the message lasts before it disappears.
Like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp allows you to send messages over your phone’s internet connection for free. For those without a Facebook account, WhatsApp is a great alternative with a wide array of features, including document sharing, video and voice chat, group message capability, end-to-end encryption, and a mobile, web and desktop app.
LokLok lets you send a “doodle” to someone else’s lock screen. It’s a low-commitment and creative way to stay connected with your partner throughout the day, without the added pressure of having an entire conversation. (Sorry iPhone users – LokLok is for Android only.)
4. Tabletop Simulator
The couple that plays together, stays together. Virtual games are a great way to stay connected (and introduce some friendly competition) throughout the day. Tabletop Simulator lets you create your own original games, import custom settings, set up RPG dungeons, manipulate the physics, etc. Basically, you can do anything you want. It also comes with the faithful favorites you know and love, like backgammon, solitaire, dominoes, chess, checkers and more. If you’re a board and card game enthusiast, or like to experiment and create your own rules, this is the perfect game to explore with your significant other.
Couple calls itself a private social network for you and your partner. The app lets you create a private timeline of your relationship, and share photos, updates and messages. Think of it as a virtual scrapbook that you can both access and edit at any time. The best part about the app is its ThumbKiss feature; when both you and your partner touch your phones in the same place, the app sends a vibration to both of your phones.
If you have ever had an online Netflix date, you know that it is nigh impossible for you and your partner to both stop and start the movie in exactly the same place every time. Enter Rabbit, which lets you video chat AND stream videos (and even play games) together.
Send your partner a real postcard from any virtual photo. You can use photos from Facebook, Instagram or your own camera roll. Postagram is the perfect way of surprising your partner with a beloved, tangible memory that you shared together.
No long distance relationship would be complete without the constant struggle of looking for the next flight to each other’s city. Hopper makes that search easy and affordable – the app analyzes flights and prices, and notifies you of the best times to buy flights for upcoming trips.
9. Google Calendar
If you both lead busy lives, trying to figure out times for quick updates, video chats or date nights can get overwhelming. It can get even harder if you live in different time zones. Creating a shared Google Calendar is an elegant solution for easing that frustration. This could also help you feel closer and more involved in your partner’s life, and is not as creepy as it sounds when used responsibly, we promise!
Yes, this is real. Plug the device into your phone and send your partner a kiss via the app. The Kissenger app and accompanying device senses your kiss and sends realistic “kissing sensations” to the receiver in real time. According to the Kissenger website, you can also feel the force on your lips when your partner kisses you back. It sounds a bit weird, but hey: if you’ve ever been in a long-distance relationship, you’ll know that the physical aspect needs all the help it can get.
Still feeling a little bit down about the prospect of being in a long distance relationship? Check out this SpareFoot post about three real long distance couples who moved to be together.
And they’re not the only ones; according to a SpareFoot survey, about 50 percent of people said they would relocate to be with a romantic partner.