Me and my girlfriend have had a lot of time apart, ranging from 6 months to a couple of weeks. It sucks, but there is stuff to make it easier.
- Use WhatsApp/Telegram voice. It's like messaging, but with voice. Way more personal/emotional
- Send WhatsApp/Telegram videos occasionally, seeing a pretty face brightens your day
- Schedule in Skype /GHangout chats. Plan date nights
- Set a chat length in advance! (really made it easier for me)
- Don't upset each others schedules/rhythms
Why WhatsApp voice and video?
I hate video calls. Especially regular ones. You sit down and have to talk. They start with "hey how are you", progress to "so what have you been up to" and end in repetitive and rote conversations. My girlfriend doesn't mind them so much, but I dread chats. The advantages of voice messages:
- You send messages 'in the moment'. Feeling good? Your voice will show it
- You send short messages throughout the day, no forced sitdowns
- Listening to messages can be done any time, no need to schedule
- Time zone difference? Doesn't matter, your boy/girlfriend sends messages during theyr day, you get up and get to listen to them Video? Well, basically the advantages of voice only you get to see each others face, which is nice. Notes:
- In WhatsApp, click 'play' and hold the phone to your ear (it will play the message like a call)
- Telegram doesn't do the above (at time of writing), but has better security options
Why schedule calls?
If you are apart structurally, make sure you communicate structurally. If you don't, the calls will start to annoy you. They will come at the wrong times, you will have scheduled something else etc etc. Make a certain day, or certain days your regular hangout sessions (we used Google Hangout a lot, it has more options and HD video). That way the calls won't upset your planning and annoy you. Plus, you have something to look forward to.
Why set a time beforehand?
My girlfriend loves talking and chattering. While I love her very much, it doesn't work for me. I'm slightly compulsive about things like calls, I want to know what I'm getting into. If I expect to have a 30 minute call, I'll feel anxious if it lasts more than that. I probably planned stuff (cooking, reading, meditation, gaming) and want to get on with it. The thing is that if you tell me we'll have a 2 hour call, it'll be fine, I don't mind. Just make clear what we're doing. It's kind of like a progress bar on your downloads, you can't control the speed but knowing where you are at feels nice.
Let each other live
You are in love you are willing to do a long term relationship. BUT. Nobody can live somewhere and not have an everyday life. You have work/school, you have friends (or games, whatever), you go to the gym etc etc. Respect each others days. Don't expect your boy/girlfriend to drop everything they are doing because you want to have a chat. Don't assume they lives revolve only around you. Their hearts belong to you, but they need to live. Failing to do this means you'll just smother the other and kill your relationship.