There's no denying that being in a long-distance relationship (LDR) is tough year round, but it's especially hard during the holiday season. You can't do any of the festive things that you'd love to do with your partner, like curl up in front of a Christmas movie marathon, build an epic snow fort, or host a holiday dinner for your friends and family.
Instead of letting the distance get you down, try focusing on the little things you can do now to create the future — one where you and your partner are in the same place.
1. Vary your methods of communication
If you and your partner have been in an LDR for a while, then you've probably found a way of communicating that works for both of you, whether it's texting throughout the day or video chatting every weekend. In 2017, try adding apps you don't normally use into the mix. Swap texting for a voice message over WhatsApp, or photos for a video over Snapchat. You'll both enjoy the element of surprise that this brings to your usual routine.
2. Schedule a visit ASAP
The hardest part of an LDR is being apart from the person you love, especially when you go weeks or even months between visits. As soon as the holiday season slows down, schedule your next visit, and, if possible, book your tickets on the spot. Knowing exactly when you're going to see each other next makes the agonizing wait between visits a bit more bearable.
3. Gift a little more
Exchanging thoughtful gifts is an easy way to show you care. If you've never sent your partner anything when you're apart, make 2017 the year that you give it a shot. Whether you send a handwritten love note for no reason at all or a curated playlist full of their favorite tracks to brighten up their bad day, your partner is sure to appreciate the gesture.
4. Make time for date night
It's hard to find a spot in your busy schedules for date night, but add in thousands of miles between you and your partner and it can seem nearly impossible. In 2017, make date nights a regular occurrence, right over Skype. Choose a recipe you both like, shop for the ingredients together, and cook the dish at the same time. While you eat, put on some soft music and light a few candles to really set the mood. If you and your partner aren't the wine and dine type, then pick an activity that you both consider romantic, whether that's watching a movie, dancing the night away, or going on a stroll at sunrise — all over video chat, of course.
5. Visit a new destination together
You and your partner have visited each other's respective countries or cities enough that even though it's incredible to see each other in person, sightseeing just isn't as exciting anymore. In 2017, plan a trip to a place that neither of you have been to before. You'll both be out of your element, but by exploring a new destination together, your bond will deepen even more.
6. Make a move, if possible!
The ultimate goal of any LDR couple is to live in the same place, whether it's one of your cities or starting over somewhere new. In 2017, make the dream a reality, no matter if you're at the research stage, or if you're all packed up and ready to go. If it's not possible for one or both of you to move this upcoming year, then continue to have open and honest discussions about the possibility.
7. Look on the bright side
In a long-distance relationship, you're going to have those rough days when the distance between you and your partner can seem insurmountable. In 2017, hold on tighter to the belief that if you and your partner love each other and are both committed to making it work, then there's nothing you can't overcome together.