Even though the physical side of your relationship slows as you spend time apart for business trips, family get-togethers, or friends’ weddings, you can still do things to stay emotionally connected. These times provide opportunities to learn to grow closer even when it seems more inconvenient. Today is for those who are the ones traveling, while we’ll tackle how to love your best love right out the door and through their trip, in another post.
The whole concept is principle-based. A good question to ask is: What can I do for my best love, from far away? But the best question to ask yourself is: What does my best love need while I’m away? Try putting yourself in their shoes. If we use the second question, whatever we literally do, will mean more to your best love as it meets needs. This could be linked to the five love-languages to keep it simple. (refresher: Touch, Time, Gifts, Service, Words) We’ll break it down into those five sections, so depending on your best love’s love language, and needs, you can walk away with a few ideas up your sleeve. Note: Some of these are for married best loves, others are for the daters, but at the end of the day, you won’t go wrong doing something that says you care.
Touch: Needing physical contact to feel loved, cared for, or appreciated. Holding their hand, or putting your arm around them, means the world. This is obviously the hardest if you are traveling.
- It might seem obvious, but even though it is easy to be rushing to catch your flight or head out the door, take a minute to hug them like you mean it, and really kiss them goodbye. Maybe let them know how you can’t wait to kiss them or hold them when you get back.
- Send someone you’re both friends with, or a family member, to give them a hug and tell them it is from you. Cheesy? It depends. If they’re a touch person, it could mean the world.
- Blow kisses over Skype or at the end of a FaceTime call. I know it isn’t the real thing, but the image does trigger our brains to give a similar response as a kiss in real life. Result: Still feel loved and connected.
- Ladies, unless it is apocalypse-proof and fire-engine red lipstick, it comes off the mirror, no worries. Leave a kiss or note in lipstick on the bathroom mirror for him to see every morning and night you’re gone.
- I have heard some couples who travel a lot, sometimes have matching pillowcases, or something that the person at home thinks of their best love whenever they see it. Maybe there is something you an think of—It’s maybe more for the married best loves.
Time: Needing undivided attention to feel valued, appreciated, and loved. The key is quality.
- FaceTime between a meeting or at the end of the day. (Doesn’t need to be long, but taking 5 minutes goes a long way) Be REALLY excited to see them, and this is the only time I think I will EVER say this, but get lost in the screen, and shut everything else out.
- Make plans for when you get back. Just having it on their calendar to look forward to, will help them to not worry while you’re gone and know that quality time is coming.
- Call and say morning or evening prayers together.
Gifts: Receiving things is reassuring that you are thinking of them, and that you love and care about them. They need to know you haven’t forgotten about them.
- Mail them something, or bring something back for them. This does not need to be big or expensive!!!
- One idea is coming back with t-shirts from wherever you were. Every time they wear it, it will remind them that you thought of them on your trip.
- A gift could be something you found–shell from the beach, a rock, flower you pressed–or even a food that you can only get there.
- Have flowers delivered, or their favorite treat. (this could go a little into service as well, if you have lunch delivered to them)
- The last time I was in the airport, there was a man on my flight, my age, with flowers in his hand. I almost asked to get his photo for the blog, but I decided it was more important to just get home! Still, it seemed to warm everyone’s hearts, and I am sure it was a sweet reunion.
Service: This is another hard one while far away, but not impossible. Finding ways to make their day easier, screams “I love you!”
- Do something for them before you leave. Maybe you know they can’t stand unloading the dishwasher, or taking out the trash. Take a few minutes to do it before heading out the door. When they discover it done, they will not only think of you, but it will mean the world even though you aren’t there.
- Pray for them while you’re gone.
- Make a meal for them, and leave it in the fridge, or pack their lunch for the next day.
- Order lunch or dinner and have it delivered.
Words: Saying “I love you” may mean more than gifts or service to those who thrive on words. We want to find ways we can say it even when we aren’t physically there.
- Postcards can be prime. You get to say a serious “I Love You” for under $1.50. This can be a small and simple tradition that can bring the two of you closer.
- Leave them notes to find in their textbooks, backpack, purse, wallet–somewhere they’ll find it while you’re gone.
- If you can end up with their phone, set a reminder that will go off in the middle of the day, while you’re gone, reminding them you love them, that you can’t wait to see them when you get back, or something meaningful to the two of you.
- It’s the 5 minute thing again. Invest 5 minutes in your best love and call them! In a world saturated with texting, we want to remember the basics. They will love to hear your voice, and hear you say “I love you.” I think sometimes we get lost in having things be grand, when most things work well in small instances too.
- A random text like, “Have I told you lately how much I love you?”
As wonderful as it is when you get to go pick your best love up at the airport, or hug them when they have been gone for a while, let’s not miss opportunities to draw closer even when we’re apart. Let’s have our hearts grow fonder with the distance.
What have you done that works? Please put it in the comments so we can all learn from it!