Those who shun long-distance relationships clearly don't know the power of true love — or of the digital era. Apps every long-distance couple should use can keep you and your paramour connected across cities, states, oceans, or planets, once space-travel technology catches up. And while I can neither report on any technological developments nor offer you a lesson on the science of time warps, I can point you in the direction of phone apps that will make your beloved seem at least a little closer — something that can come in particularly handy if your LDR isn't always LD.
Sometimes being two towns over seems like it could justify use of those animatronic pillows that makes it seem like your lover is spooning you when they physically can't. My college boyfriend lived off a different subway line than me and though we resided in the same borough of New York City, when we occupied our separate abodes I would spend that time penning love letters to him like he was oceans away.
"Nurturing the emotional connection in a long-distance relationship is crucial for you and your partner. It must be reciprocal and each one of you needs to demonstrate that your love can grow even with the miles that separate you," dating and relationship coach, Fran Greene LCSW tells Bustle.
Thanks to technology, we can date via the camera. "The best thing I say for long distance couples is to have FaceTime or Skype dates," Karenna Alexander, a matchmaker and dating coach, tells Bustle. "That way you can see one another, it's like a date, only not in real life. It will keep the connection strong," she says, adding that it's important to see each other IRL when you can.
Having your person far from your embrace is hard on the heart. These apps can shorten the distance while you wait for the next reunion.
Dubbed the "App for Two," Couple allows long-distance lovers to contribute to the same, private timeline. Features include a shared calendar so that you two can digitally circle your reunion date with a splash of heart-eye emojis. In addition to sharing a calendar, you can also ~feel the touch~ of your loved one with Thumbkiss. Sketching in real time together in the Live Sketch feature is another exciting way to feel close when you can't physically hold hands.
Make the countdown official for when your boo flies to your city to see you with a celebratory tracking calendar that will store all those special dates you look forward to. With Between, there are a lot of ways to fill the space ~between~ you two. The app creates a private channel for couples to store their favorite memories, allows them to design their chat space with sweet stickers. When you're miles and miles from a kiss, this app can make things seem more intimate and involved than a phone call.
You know that TV show you always watched together? And watching without them somehow feels wrong? Well, cocoon yourself in your favorite pile of blankets and open the Kast app, formerly known as Rabbit. Your loved one can join you as the app syncs whatever your watching so you can watch together miles apart without spoilers. Much easier than than going, "OK press play in 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... NOW!"
The cool thing about Without is that it totally gets your longing while also respecting that you are two busy people operating in a chaotic world. And, according to Greene, it's very important to let your partner know that you miss them. "Tell each other that you miss them. It is so important to let each other know that you truly miss being with them in person. At the same time, it is equally important to reassure your partner that you understand why you have to be separated at this time," Greene explains to Bustle.
That's why the single tap selfie-notes is so great. Remind your lover that you're thinking about them throughout the havoc of your day's schedule with surprise sweet nothings and picture. When you're missing their face, open Without, swoon at their latest message and go about your day.
I have witnessed long distance relationships make it to marriage by way of WhatsApp. This staple app allows for calls, messaging, and leaving voice recordings. These simple features make it the choice way of communication when you're in New York and your soulmate is in Tel Aviv.
Get all romantic and old fashioned with TouchNote. The app turns your personal pictures into postcards and sends them to your loved one with a personal message so that you have something other than texts to show your grandchildren one day. Greene tells Bustle that a good way to sustain a long-distance relationship is by engaging in "random acts of caring." She suggests sending a gift in the mail and even "mail a card that expresses how much you care." Good thing TouchNote works to make that happen!
Who doesn't enjoy a surprise flower delivery? 1-800-Flowers figures that ~someone~ you know might be interested in displaying a bouquet of flowers on their desk. Just pick your bae's favorite flower and tap your phone screen to make a delivery. All of this can be handled between checking emails. It's. That. Simple. To. Make. Someone's. Day.
If you're an Android user and you're in a long distance relationship, you have to get LokLok. The creative app allows lovers to send messages using sketches created on your lock screen. When they open their phone your sweet doodle will appear which you can rest assured ~drew~ a beaming smile across their face.
HeyTell gets that sometimes you just want to hear the angelic voice of your beloved. And that sometimes you have so much to say your thumbs can't keep up with your thoughts. This is perfect for when you can't get to the phone.
Sometimes you need intimacy-intimacy and that doesn't help when your partner is 4,000 miles from your bedroom. We-Connect gets that sexual frustration and works to keep things sexy beyond FaceTime and phone calls and dirty texts — with vibrations. Once you're both connected to the app, your lover can control the vibrations you're enjoying and you two can feel a little closer than you actually are.
It's important to stay on top of your mental health when the distance begins to weigh on you. Keeping a journal with the Journey app is a way to keep track of what you're grateful for, remind yourself of how bad-ass and independent you are as well as offer a space to vent those feelings when you need to air out frustration. Focusing on your own well-being is a way to make your relationship sustainable when you're faced with challenges. Such as, distance.
Lovedays, available on both iTunes and Google Play, allows you both to see an active count down to important events. Think your anniversary, vacations, weddings, as well as the next time you'll get to see other for a long weekend. Check it every day, and you'll know it's only 52 more days until you'll be running across an airport, and jumping into each other's arms. (Aww, romance.)
You know when you hear the perfect song, and the only thing that would make it better would be listening with your S.O.? That's what you can do with Rave, an app that allows you sync your tunes up with your partner. If you're more in a movie mood, you can always watch YouTube or Netflix together and, as the app says, "never watch alone again."
Happy Couple is a quiz app that allows you to, well, quiz each other. It's a great way to strengthen your relationship, learn new things, and spend time together.
All you do is answer five short questions a day, and the rest is up to you. Discuss each other's answers, and use that as a jumping off point to have deeper convos about the future, what you both want, etc.
Dreamdays is another count-down app (just to give you options) that allows you set important dates, and see how many days you have left to go before they arrive. Set this one for big events, like the day you're moving in together, or small events, like when you'll hop on FaceTime for a long-distance date.
NUJJ is quite possibly the cutest app ever. If you're thinking about your partner, simply pick up your phone and give it a little shake. And on their end, they'll receive a little vibration
That is, also, why it might be the sexiest app ever. Use your imagination to see how this one may help keep the romance alive.
Idealationship for Couples
As mentioned above, LD couples are often extra strong, all thanks to the work they have to do to stay connected. And yet this app, called Idealationship for Couples, can make you feel that much closer.
It helps you "improve," "discover," and "track" certain areas of your relationship, such as strengthening your communication, or prioritizing each other more often. It's the perfect reminder when you're for away.