2. Brainstorm ways to make each other feel loved.
To be romantic and spontaneous when you’re far away from each other, you’ll need to think outside the box—or, if you’re sending a care package, inside of it. And it’s never too early to start planning fun ways to make your partner’s day.
“The healthiest intimate relationships are defined by characteristics like knowledge–meaning knowing what’s going on in your partner’s life,” Dr. Bockarova says. Mailing small gifts you know they’ll love, sending “just thinking of you” texts, or planning a “movie night” where you sync up Netflix and watch the same movie are all little ways to feel more present in each others’ lives.
3. Nail down your long-distance sex plan.
“Some couples prefer to only engage in sexual acts when they are physically together, while others prefer more creative means like sexting or dirty talk,” Dr. Bockarova says. That said, you might be on a slightly different page than your partner: One of you may be dying to test-drive some Bluetooth-controlled sex toys while the other is fine with texting the occasional eggplant emoji.
As awkward as it can feel initially, ask your partner if there are things they’d like to try when you’re apart, Dr. Bockrova suggests. And once you’re separated, let your partner know if your needs aren’t being met. “If you don’t address what’s bothering you, sexually or otherwise, assumptions are made which lead to disagreements and resentment,” she says. So talk it out now—and keep the conversation going when you’re apart.