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19 Long Distance Relationship Date Ideas (to Deepen Intimacy)

Are your long-distance date nights feeling kinda…stale? Try these fun, relationship-building date ideas to melt away the distance between you.

I'm guessing you not only want to connect with your partner – someone you met through online dating, or while traveling, a spouse on deployment, etc. – but also build and nurture your relationship while the two of you are apart, right?

couple on separate screens in separate rooms, text overlay "best long distance relationship date ideas"

I totally get how impossible that feels sometimes.

My boyfriend and I maintained a relationship while 7,000 miles apart over 4 years (fun newsflash: we’re married now!).

Guys – we went months without seeing each other. And yet, we remained (mostly) in that “connected feeling”. Not only that, but we grew our relationship to new levels.

And that's mostly because of one game-changing, long-distance relationship tool: The long-distance date night. 

We didn’t just do any long-distance date night ideas that popped into our heads. No – we chose the ones that would deepen our intimacy, create shared experiences, and get the two of us doing more of what we’d be doing if we were in person.

And now, I’m giving all our top tips, tricks, and hacks to you + yours, so that you can create intimate moments, share a common experience to grow from, and just. have some plain ol' fun together.

Psst: you'll definitely want to check out my article on long distance relationship gifts that can help (and spice up) your relationship!

Creative Long Distance Date Night Ideas

My boyfriend and I tried almost everything while time zones apart.

  • We wrote military love letters and included little tokens of affection, like chocolate, a photo of something we had seen, a snippet of something we were reading with our own notes in the margins, confetti, stickers, a spritz of cologne/perfume, magazine articles the other might enjoy, etc.
  • I developed photos after each trip together and sent copies in his letters.
  • We read the same book at the same time.

All of these letters and mementos were wonderful, but the most effective thing we started to do was a brilliant idea of Paul’s: dinner and a movie.

And that's when our LDR dating lives really opened up. We got really creative!

Pick and choose from the date nights below, and click the image to do a 30-Dates Long Distance Relationship Challenge.

ldr date night challenge tracker and ideas list free printable

1. Set Up a Crime Coffee Date (LDR-Style)

You’re going to each find a coffee shop near you, and “take” the other one along. Pick out a drink for your partner (it can be kind of fun – they can look up the menu ahead of time and just text their choice), then take a seat.

You’ll both need an iPhone, some earbuds to not disturb other people, and to download a podcast app that allows SharePlay (like Moon FM – that’s what we use).

Choose a crime podcast ahead of time.

Sit down with your coffees, and do the following:

  • Start your FaceTime (if you haven’t already)
  • Open the Moon FM app
  • Choose the crime podcast
  • Click “SharePlay” (if it doesn't show up, go to your “Settings”, to “FaceTime”, and toggle “SharePlay” on – if it doesn't show up there, it means you don't have the capability)

Now, it’ll start playing the podcast synced between the two of you (below are screenshots of what I saw, and then you can see where it's playing for Paul, my husband, at the same time).

screen showing SharePlay Moon FM Content option
screen showing "Started "Justice for Jacob" for Paul - the person on the other phone

Anyone can pause to discuss (we love to do this), and it’ll pause it automatically for the other person!

Since you continue seeing each other while watching it, you’ll be able to see each other’s expressions. Priceless.

2. Complete “A Game of Phones” Scavenger Hunt

This is such a fun game my husband and I played together over a bucket of chicken wings (hint: want to eat messy food, too? Keep a wet nap or wet paper towel handy so that you don't get your phones all gross. Just sayin' from experience).

You can easily recreate this for your long-distance date night by each printing out this free printable game, setting a date/time for the date night, having your Zoom, FaceTime, or other video call app up and running, and each having your phones + stack of cards ready.

Hint: is this a surprise date night you’re setting up? Print it out and mail their task list to them. There’s also a cute digital invite you can send while your package is en route to pique their interest.

3. Host a Book of Questions Day Date

The Book of Questions on a dark wooden table
iphone screen with question image sent, and the partner's response

Have you ever heard of the Book of Questions? It's such a fun book to go through on long car rides, over candlelight…or, by text with your partner!

Pick a question, fire it off over text throughout the day, and wait for the response. Your partner could respond by text, OR, record a video answer and send it your way.

Then, it's their turn to pick the next question and text it your way.

Hint: if they're abroad or can't get their hands on the book, they can give you a page #, and top/bottom, and that will be your question.

You'll be amazed at:

  1. What you both learn about one another
  2. How much closer you both will feel

Pssst: In a long-distance marriage? If you’re married and/or sharing finances with your long-distance partner, then you’ll definitely want to pick out a couple’s budgeting app. These will make your life much easier!

4. Do a LDR-Friendly Hometown Date Night

There’s a reason why dating shows like The Bachelor and Love is Blind include hometown date nights with new partners – it’s a way to get to know each other better.

There’s no reason the two of you can’t plan something similar.

Two ways to pull this one off:

  • Record each of yourselves around your home, your town, or anywhere else that is truly part of your identity. Share the videos while on a video-calling app.
  • Hold the date night somewhere from your childhood. In your childhood home. In a childhood hangout place. In a park that you could be found in after school. On a baseball field where you hit that grand slam. Get creative here.

For example, I recorded myself giving a tour around our home farm in PA. It was something I had talked lots to Paul about when we first met in Japan, and he lovvveeed going through the recording together on our date night.

It sparked so many conversations and tidbits of information he never would’ve learned about me!

5. Play Make It Meme in a Private Online Room

Use the free MakeitMeme to create a free private online lobby, then invite your date (scroll down to where you see “Copy invite link”, then send that to them).

Each person will be given a meme in the room to create a funny caption.

Memes are then revealed, and each of you gets 15 seconds to rate the other person’s memes (hint: this could even be a group LDR date night idea, too!).

The person with the most points at the end wins.

Also cool – you can download your favorites and share them on social media.

6. Complete a Bookstore Scavenger Hunt

There’s this really fun bookstore scavenger hunt that you can set up as a surprise date for your partner.

Make sure they have a bookstore picked out ahead of time, then send them their bookstore tasks already printed out ahead of your date (or, you can send them a link and have them print it out themselves).

The two of you can keep your phones on as you rush around a bookstore, looking for the various items to pick up and share together: like a joke, a recipe, the place you want to travel to, reading each other a favorite childhood book, etc.

OR, you can take photos and voice record what you find, then send them to each other as you go.

7. Learn about Family History Together on Date Night

Who said you guys can’t geek out on learning about each other’s genealogy and researching some of it together (in real-time)?

The Dating Divas have come up with a Family History Date Night, complete with free printables.

Print out two copies and send one off in the snail mail, or each of you print these off for yourselves. It’ll be interesting what you can uncover while on Zoom or FaceTime together!

Share those discoveries.

Online Date Ideas for Long Distance

Back in the day when my husband and I were dating long distance. They didn't have nearly the technology they have now.

That's why I'm particularly excited about these online date ideas for long distances. If they'd only been around for us…

Still, I’ve got some amazing things to do in a long-distance relationship over Skype.

Hint: These also make great Facetime activities for long distance couples.

1. Buy a Ticket to the Same Online Experience

Airbnb has this really impressive list of online experiences that involve a local, professional guide taking you on a tour and teaching you things.

And the ticket prices? Are pretty good.

You and your partner can both sign up for an experience like:

  • Discover Terracotta Warriors With a Professional Guide
  • Chocolate Origins and Create with a Maker in Jamaica
  • Fun & Games Improv Class for Beginners
  • Make Samosa & Cilantro Chutney From Scratch (India)

Then, make it to class on time!

2. Google Docs Write-a-Story Together

Google Docs has this really fun functionality where you can share a document someone creates, and both can edit it in real time. It syncs in front of both of your eyes!

Which makes it the perfect addition to an LDR date night.

Start with a really silly or interesting or mysterious story prompt, and in one-minute intervals, take turns writing the story out.

Try not to giggle.


Psst: something fun to do here? Is to write out your love story, from each other’s perspectives. You’ll learn a lot about the first time each of you saw one another, what you were thinking vs. what they thought you were thinking, and how things unfolded from someone else’s perspective. You can start with “Our love story began when…”

3. Tour a Virtual Haunted House in 3D at the Same Time

Did you know there are virtual haunted houses? You guys can experience a mystery/horror/haunted house together – some even come with storylines!

You’ll want to screen-share using an app (like FaceTime, then SharePlay), or just go through the haunted house at the same time, on each of your computers.

You'll also both need a virtual headset (they're surprisingly cheap).

author on one side viewing 3D haunted house with virtual 3D viewer, and husband on other side doing the same thing

Start with these:

  • FrightBytes.com: These come with storylines for each of the haunted houses, adding to the suspense and engagement between the two of you.
  • The Room: Here’s a virtual haunted house on YouTube.
  • Annabelle’s Room: You can actually scroll and walk around this room, viewing it from any angle you’d like to.
  • IT: Float: Again, you can scroll around with this one – pretty neat!

4. Explore a New City Together (Virtual Date, score!)

You each take turns choosing a city.

Then, using this virtual tour, explore that city TOGETHER, over a screensharing app. Call out interesting things as you see them. Talk about the kinds of food you’d like to try together there and look up some facts.

Great conversation starter, that’s for sure!

5. Host a Netflix Teleparty

Use Chrome or Edge browsers and the free Teleparty app to watch a Netflix show together. (Hint: it also works on YouTube, Hulu, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Amazon Prime websites).

You’ll be able to chat throughout it, and it’s synchronized, so you’re sure to be watching the same thing at the same time.

Psst: sure beats back when my husband came up with a dinner and a movie idea, which involved us renting the same DVD from Blockbuster, and starting/pausing it as close to the same time as we could!

6. Take a Free Online Cooking Lesson Together

I want to leave you with one other idea.

Paul and I (along with lots of couples) love to take cooking classes together.

The problem is that they can be expensive. For your frugal date instead of just cooking a meal and watching a movie, you could choose an online cooking lesson to take together for free.  Here are a few to get you started:

  • PBS offers 28 free full episodes of Julia Child (scroll down and click on “More Full Episodes Options” for more).
  • Epicurious.com has some great menus with ingredient lists and videos detailing how to make each. They also offer technique videos.

Game Apps for Long-Distance Relationships

One of the ways I love keeping in touch with my grandmother, who lives half a country away, is by playing Words with Friends. There are so many other great game app options for long-distance love, and I’d like to share my favorites below.

Psst: you'll also want to check out these 15 apps for married couples and relationship building.

1. Play Couple’s Truth or Dare Game App

There are some seriously fun Truth or Dare game apps out there just waiting for the two of you.


Download the app on each phone, then FaceTime each other. Open up SharePlay, and share the screen.

OR, open up one of the apps on your computer, Zoom call each other, and share your screen with your partner.

You guys then can play a game of online couple’s truth or dare!

2. Daydream Your Couple Life on a Pinterest Secret Shared Board

Daydreaming about what your life can be like when you get back in the same zipcode, OR, what it could look like when you take things to the next level is a great way to connect and grow as a couple.

Each of you needs a Pinterest account for this. Once you sign up, one of you creates a secret board that has to do with your relationship in some way: relationship ideas, wedding planning, vacation planning, daydreaming, etc.

Then, invite your partner to the board to collaborate.

Now, each of you has a new way of communicating – you can share pins around an event you’re planning together or something you want to do together, or good information, and no one in the entire world will know (except your sweetheart).

3. Host a Pub Trivia Night

Do you like bar trivia nights?

Since you both can’t get to a pub night together, instead, you can play against each other using this a quiz app that you can then invite your partner to.

Quiz Apps include:

Grab a drink, and up the ante by picking out a prize for the winner that the loser has to get!

How to Make Dates for Long Distance Couples Extra Special

You’re in a fun section where I’m sharing tips on how to make your date nights feel special.

Because let’s be honest: sometimes, it’s hard to do when you’re not in the same place.

A few ideas:

1. Mail them the materials for the date night ahead of time

Prep for your long-distance date night ahead of time and get them really excited by sending any materials they'll need to participate. as prep plus to keep them guessing

2. Use a digital invite to invite them to date night

You can create and send a digital invite to them in the days or weeks leading up to it.

3. Share a Premade Playlist

If you guys were in the same room, then it’s likely you’d want to set the mood with some tunes.

Well, why not do that for your LDR date night?

Take turns creating a playlist for each other. You can name it according to how you wish them to consume it, too (like, “workout playlist”, or “morning commute playlist”).

Here’s how to do this:

4. Send a Pizza Delivery Surprise

Call up a local pizza place (or use their app), and schedule delivery of your partner's favorite pizza for your date night! Imagine how surprised they'll be.

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Amanda L Grossman

Personal Finance Writer and CEO at Frugal Confessions, LLC
Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Frugal Confessions. Over the last 13 years, her money work has helped people with how to save money and how to manage money. She's been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Kiplinger, Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report, Business Insider, LifeHacker, Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, Woman's Day, ABC 13 Houston, Keybank, and more. Read more here or on LinkedIn.

White Sapphire

Friday 18th of September 2015

Lucky for you Amanda, you succeed maintain long distance relationship with Paul. I've been through long distance relationship, but I failed. It was happen to me several years ago since that I'm trying to avoid LDR. In my opinion if you are undergoing a relationship, then needs to meet physically at least 2 times a week. We cannot rely on phone, fb or other social media.


Monday 5th of May 2014

Wonderful ideas! It's so difficult to be in a long term relationship and I don't know if technology makes it easier or harder. Video chats are nice but they can be frustrating when you would rather be in the same room with your SO. I love the dinner and a movie idea though. Now I just have to convince my honey... :)


Tuesday 6th of May 2014

I'm glad this helps, LaTisha! Interesting point on the technology. I think it enhanced our relationship, but I can see what you mean. Oddly enough, we never used a webcam...I'm not sure why (it was 2003ish, so they were definitely available).

Azra, ReadyForZero

Monday 20th of February 2012

Love this post! I'm currently in an LDR (he's in LA, I'm in SF) and we totally watch movies together over the phone when we're apart. Maybe we'll take it a step further and try cooking together as well :)

Amanda L Grossman

Tuesday 21st of February 2012

Hi Azra! Thank you. I wish you both luck and love.

Barbara Friedberg

Thursday 9th of February 2012

This is so romantic!! I love all of the ideas!! Personally, I've never had a long distance relationship, I think it would be really difficult.

Thomas - Ways to Invest Money

Thursday 9th of February 2012

Sometimes distance makes the relationship better and more interesting. Especially of the two of you are the types to keep busy. People are always talking about how boring their relationships get. Sounds like you two had no problem. With skype, gtalk and all the other things available it can be an even cheaper date.