Staying in Touch
- Send your partner a custom-made photo calendar, with each month featuring a different image of the two of you together at one of your favorite places or celebrating a holiday that lands in that month. Highlight special occasions―your anniversary, your children's birthdays―and mark the dates you have planned to spend together.
- Write an old-fashioned paper letter, and include souvenirs from experiences you would have shared had you been in the same place: playbills, photo-booth pictures, and concert-ticket stubs.
- If writing letters is already a part of your repertoire, keep copies of all your correspondence with a long-distance lover―the letters and cards you've sent and those you've received―and paste them into a book to document the history of your love.
- Send plant cuttings or half the seeds from a packet, then trade notes and photos as your gardens grow. While a plant is no stand-in for a partner, it's nice showering attention on a living thing, which is a vivid metaphor for keeping a relationship in bloom.
- Simulate the feeling of a face-to-face conversation by setting up your own personal video-conferencing system. Purchase a webcam (like Apple's iSight), install conferencing software (like Apple's iChat AV), and start getting your lover's stories in living color―with hand gestures, smiles, and all.
- Make a first-aid kit for your loved one to address all the minor crises that may come up while you're gone. If you know he can never figure out how to work the DVD player, leave him a detailed list of instructions when you go away. Or if she loves your chicken-noodle soup whenever she gets a cold, make a couple of batches before you leave and stash them in the freezer.