In this article, you’ll find some creative ideas to help keep the spark flying in a long-distance relationship (LDR) that spans across different time zones. In a cross-time-zone long-distance relationship, couples are separated not only by physical distance but also time itself. This makes doing activities together exceptionally challenging because your free time and waking hours might not align with one another. But don’t worry! Below are some fun ideas that work great for couples like you who live in different time zones. Whether there’s one hour difference or twelve hours, you will find something interesting to do from this list of ideas for LDR activities below.
Cute Long-Distance Relationship Things to Do: 18 Ideas for Couples Who Live in Different Time Zones
- Couple goals
- Stay up late
- Care package
- Snail mail
- Share music
- Human alarm
- Matching outfits
- Couple jewelry
- Photo album
- Eat together
- Couple journal
- Weekly date
- Pinterest board
- Couple blog
- Play games
- Open-when letters
1. Countdown to your next meeting
Keep track of the days before you are in each other’s arms again by starting a countdown. I have heard some good words about Between — an app designed for couples that allow you to do a number of things which include doing countdowns for special days. But Google Docs or any similar tools will work just fine. To turn it into an activity, take turns to update the countdown. Don’t forget to put the meeting date below the countdown. Another cute thing to do is to add your name below every time you update the countdown. If you don’t know when you’ll be meeting, start planning! Having something in common for you and your partner to look forward to is a great way to keep the relationship alive.
2. Create couple goals: things you want to do together as a couple
Ask your partner to create a list of relationship goals you want to achieve together — a shared bucket list if you will. Know your limit. If your relationship is new and you’re not ready to discuss about marriage and kids, leave those out. Other than that, it’s pretty much up to you what goals you want to achieve as a couple. Some examples include:-
- Meet up this summer
- Visit Paris
- Get a matching tattoo
- Start a blog
Make uses of tools like Google Docs/Sheets and Pinterest. Pinterest is excellent for gathering and keeping ideas but you can only save images and it can get messy in term of organization. More about Pinterest later in this article. Google Sheets is excellent for creating and keeping track of couple goals but it can feel business-like.
3. Stay up late or wake up early to say hi to your partner
When you’re many time zones apart, say you’re 8 to 12 hours ahead of your partner, any spontaneous activities are close to impossible. When you’re awake, your partner is asleep, vice versa. So you’re better off with a putting a routine in place to talk and for video calls. However, just for spontaneity, stay up past your bedtime or wake up early to give your partner a little surprise. Get a video call going or do one of these activities for long-distance couples.
4. Be thoughtful. Send a care package
Surprise your partner with a thoughtful gift. Everybody loves a good care package because it makes you feel loved and cared for. Not to mention the delicious snacks that come with it. But don’t limit yourself to just food, a care package should be customized to your partner’s needs. Find out what they need or will need then fill your care box with items that will fulfill their needs. Here are some examples:-
- Books or magazines
- Chocolate bar
- Tea or coffee
- Shaver blade
- Disposable shavers
- Shaving cream
- Body spray
- Scented candle
- Bath bomb
For more ideas, check out these articles:-
- LDR Care Packages – Lasting the Distance
- 12 Best Care Packages – Good Housekeeping
- 9 Thoughtful Care Packages – Real Simple
5. Write, sign, and send a love letter via snail mail
Mail correspondence was how distance lovers stayed in touch before electricity and later on, internet, became common. It’s slow and inefficient. But in this age when everything is about speed, efficiency, and instant-ness, there’s beauty in sending and receiving a good ol’ fashion letter. Most importantly, receiving a handwritten letter is an emotional experience. Your partner will be going through a series of emotion the moment they lay eyes on your letter in their mailbox — suspense, surprise, and finally the joy of reading the handwritten letter from you.
Listen to the same music even when you’re separated by distance and time. Create a song list that only belongs to the two of you. Music streaming platforms like Spotify and YouTube music support collaborative playlists which means you can add songs for each other to listen to. You can also create a listen-when playlist for your partner. Similar to open-when letters, a listen-when playlist is a collection of songs you curate for your lover to listen to when they experience a certain emotion or encounter a particular situation in their life. Some examples are: Listen when you’re lonely, listen when you need to focus, listen when you’re working out.
When you’re living in different time zones, one of you is likely to be awake at a given time. So why not play the role of a human alarm clock once in a while? Waking up to the soothing voice of your partner (preluded by the ringtone) is a great way to start a day.
Nothing screams “we’re a couple” than wearing matching couple outfits. Some couples find it embarrassing to wear matching outfits. But you don’t have this problem when you’re hundreds or thousands of miles apart from one another. Nobody knows it is a matching outfit but the two of you–it’s like a little secret between you two. Avoid obvious designs Mr. and Mrs., wearing those only make you feel more lonely. Try outfits with matching themes instead. For example, wear olive green or wear your favorite band t-shirt together. Remember to take a photo of your OOTD and share it with your partner.
9. Always be connected by wearing matching jewelry
Out of sight, out of mind is real–and matching jewelry can help overcome this problem. Matching outfits are a fun idea but you can’t do that every day; it is impractical and it will get old really fast. Not to mention that you don’t really see what you’re wearing unless you are looking at a mirror. Matching couple jewelry is a good alternative for LDR couples who want to feel connected. Bracelets, rings, and pendant necklaces are some of the more common jewelry choices. Be sure to check out our selection of couple bracelets and couple keychains.
Photos are the best way to keep memories alive. Create a photo album that belongs to only the two of you. Start with a theme. For instance, the album could be about the trip you and your partner took last summer or it could be an album about the long-distance relationship itself — photos of your first meeting, special occasion, etc. It can be a team effort but not necessarily. If you want to you can curate an album by yourself, print it out, and mail it to your partner as a surprise.
Determine your overlapping waking hours and schedule a meal together. For time-zone neighbors, that could be a brunch or a dinner-supper. Couples who are many time zones apart may find a breakfast-dinner date or a lunch-supper date more feasible. It can be casual or you can make it fancy by require dress code. A casual meal is stress-free and relaxing, you can chow down your food out of the delivery box in your pajamas on the couch. However, for occasions like birthday, you might want to feel more special by requiring dress code, setting your table, and plating your food in a fancy way. Remember, a date is special if you make it special.
12. Start a couple journal and fill it with the memories of you and your partner
Capture your story and adventures as a couple in your very own couple’s journal. Record important information about your relationship in the journal–when did the relationship become official, when did the first kiss happen, what is your favorite food, etc. For digital journals, add photos, sound clips, and video clips. The journal is your playground and you can do anything with it. Create the journal using a collaborative word processor like Google Docs or just use a blogging tool. Another idea that requires more effort but could pay off is sharing a physical journal. Each of you is responsible for the journal for say a month or two before mailing it back to the other. When the journal is in your care, you are responsible for adding content to the journal.
13. Routine matters! Go on a virtual date every week.
Spontaneity makes your heart race and make you feel like the protagonist of a romance movie. But it is routine that ensure the survivability of a cross-time-zone relationship. Phone calls, video calls, text messages, and emails are common staples for LDR couples. But if you haven’t already, you should really add a weekly date to the mix. Start by finding a convenient time to meet every week then block it off in your calendar. There are a lot of different dates you can try which include coffee date, games, yoga, etc., check out this list of long-distance virtual date ideas for inspiration.
14. Become idea hoarders by becoming Pinterest board collaborators
Pinterest is a great tool for gathering inspiration in the form of images. A board in Pinterest is like a folder where you keep images that are thematically related (or not, that’s up to the board owner to decide). Using Pinterest, you and your partner can save ideas that interest the both of you–ideas ranging from LDR-related stuff like quotes and dating tips to recipes and horoscope. You can search from ideas that other community members are sharing or add your own from any websites. You can also follow other members’ boards and even become a contributor. For example, here are some Pinterest boards about LDR and relationship in general:-
- Long Distance Relationship board by user Destiny Murphy
- Long Distance Relationship board by user Kissengers
- couple goals! board by user Alexa Martinez
15. Start a long-distance couple’s blog and make it a success
Starting a blog can be a fun thing to do with your partner. The blog can be a digital journal for your LDR journey. Or it can be a blog about your common interests. You can start a blog with little to no money at all. In which you can share your experience as someone who’s involved in a long-distance relationship–the challenges, how do you overcome those challenges, etc. A variation of this idea would be an LDR YouTube channel.
While you can’t meet in the physical world, you can meet in the virtual world. Have a microphone set up so you can talk while you’re playing. Find time to play together. But that could be a challenge depending on your time zones. I usually recommend Stardew Valley–a farming game– as seen in our previous LDR ideas article, but that requires all players to be online at the same time. If you can find time to stay online for a longer period of time, definitely give Stardew Valley a try. However, if that is a challenge, try Minecraft instead. Minecraft is a hugely popular sandbox game. In the game, you can build anything you want from a small hut to a villain’s lair to a giant calculator. What makes this game perfect for couples in different time zones is that it doesn’t require both of you to be present at the same time (but only with the right setup–such as a dedicated server). You can work on a project as a couple or leave surprises in the game for your partner. Think of it as a private space belonging only to the two of you where you build, discover, and live together.
17. Surprise your LDR partner with a fun eCard
As opposed to a handwritten card’s heartwarming experience, receiving an eCard from someone you love is exciting and fun. These digital greeting cards are instant, free, and take little effort to send–although you might want to personalize it by writing a paragraph or two. You can design your own card if you’re adept at graphic design. Or you can just use one of the many eCard services available such as Blue Mountain, 123Cards, and Punch Bowl. There are all sorts of designs available for free, many features interesting animation and sound. Some even have a text-to-audio feature. That means your message will be read to your partner when they open it. Now that’s something a traditional greeting card can’t do.
18. Preemptive loneliness solution: open-when letters
One of the biggest challenges long-distance couples face is the absence of their partner when they need them. The challenge is compounded when the couple is also separated by time zones, in addition to the distance. You can overcome this problem with a preemptive measure–Open When letters. Care packages take care of physical needs, while Open When letters handle the emotional needs, providing love, care, and support to your partner when they need it and you’re not around. Here are some Open When letter ideas:-
- When you miss me
- When you are sad
- When you are jealous
- When you need a hug
- When you are stressed
- When you need someone to talk to
… and that wraps up our list of LDR ideas that will work for couples who live in different time zones. Did you find anything useful from this list? What is your best-kept tips and tricks for LDR couples? Do you have anything to add?