Twenty Ways to Shorten Long Distance Relationships
If It's a Cool Box, Have Them Fill it and Ship it Back
Can You Tell Me About the Twenty Ways
1. Make a "There's No Place Like Home " box. Make something, Shop at their favorite places. Buy their favorite foods from restaurants they like where you are and send it "next day" to them. Try to pick foods that will hold up for the trip and include pictures of the place with favorite waiters, owners etc. and sounds you record of the place on a cd they can play while they eat.
2. Have a virtual party on myspace or facebook and have balloons and/or flowers delivered while friends and family show up online to wish them happy birthday or groundhog day or some off-the- wall made up occasion.
3. Write a poem or song and read or sing it to them over the phone. If you have friends that they know or family that can help you do this, include them.
4. Start a story that you take turns writing. Whatever books your long distance person likes to read will be a clue. If it's mysteries, start by describing finding a dead body and introduce the first character or two then let them introduce some more and what their part is in the story. You could do it online, but it could be more fun if you each got an installment in the mail---including drawings or photos if you feel ambitious. Read the "Griffin and Sabine" trilogy by Nick Bantock for inspiration.
5. Send them a collection of their favorite songs on a CD you make or ones you buy for them to play and include some pictures of you and favorite spots you visited together.
6. Make a calendar with the above pictures either of the two of you or simply favorite things in photo form and include birthdays and anniversaries of family and friends as well as any special times you spent together.
7. Make a jigsaw puzzle out of a picture of the two of you and send them a few pieces at a time with a letter or note.
8. Send a box full of 31 boxes or letters or scrolls all individually wrapped up and numbered for the day of the month so that they can open them up each day. Let your imagination run wild for what to put in each one.
9. Each of you make a journal of your thoughts every day and either send them once a week or send an email every night.
10. Make a youtube production for them. I have a friend who together with her kids makes hilarious SNL type skits with over-the-top drama and puts them on youtube. You could also sing or dance or use any of your gifts to create a little television show for them.
11. Send their favorite chocolate or candy bar or protein bar with notes written on the wrappers using a Sharpie.
12. Play a game of chess or some online game together. If you are sports fans, make your own predictions and have a prize pool of your own for whoever gets closest to the actual scores.
13. If the two of you are readers, buy the same book and read it together. If you prefer watching your stories, find out what shows you like and watch them together. Many of the TV shows can be watched on Hulu or Fancast online so you can watch older episodes together regardless of your time zones.
14. Order dinner for them from a favorite restaurant where they live and have it delivered. (You might want to give them notice so that it is delivered when they are at home and haven't already eaten.)
15. Be Julia or the Iron Chef. Make them a cookbook with recipes of their favorite dishes you have made for them and illustrate it with photos of the dishes as you like to serve them. Make sure to show other things and home background for nostalgia's sake. If you want to be adventurous, include a video on a CD for any complicated procedures.
16. My son lives in San Francisco and since we both share a rather off-beat humor, we text each other when we see a personalized license plate that is either cryptic (making it a puzzle) or is funny or weird. This makes for a great, semi-regular, out of the blue personal contact.
17. Adopt a character from the movies or television when you are on the phone with them and let the other person guess who it is by either your accent or the things you say. If that is too hard for you, try to guess what the other person is wearing or try to see how long you each can go without laughing---or without thinking of penguins.
18. Send seeds to each other and plant something that will stand a good chance of growing so that when you see it you will think of the other person. Growing trees and shrubs from seed.
19. Involve other people in
unique ways to let your special one know they are not alone. You could
make a donation in their name to a very worthy cause or "adopt" a pen
pal in a third world country that you both could write to.Start a fan
club for them and make buttons and T-shirts.
20. While you really can't name a star after them (see this IAU site) you can send them an astronomy chart so you can both be looking at the heavens at the same time some evening and gaze at star number 359267506398 together.
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