Long-distance relationships are a challenge and an opportunity – and the two often go hand in hand.
With that in mind, when was the last time you told your partner how much they mean to you, and why?
If it’s been a while, that’s understandable – we all get busy – but know that it can make a huge difference to your life, happiness and relationship to slow down and remember to be thankful for everything you have. There are so many small but effective ways to let your partner know that you appreciate them.
Here are 20 powerful ways to show gratitude for your long-distance love.
1. Say ‘thank you’ for the big things and the little things
It’s easy to get into the habit of thinking we don’t need to say things like ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to our partners once we’ve known them for such a long time – but these simple words are such a simple and effective way to show gratitude and love.
Say ‘thank you’ every time your partner does something for you – they really will appreciate it.
2. Find creative ways to express your love
Write your partner a love letter, send annotated selfies and let them know you’re thinking of them, pick up the bill for their morning coffee from time to time… there are endless ways to get creative about communicating, surprising and appreciating your partner.
3. Learn about their passions and share in their successes
A healthy relationship is one where you encourage each other to be your best selves. A wonderful way of appreciating your partner is to learn about what motivates them and what they’re passionate about – this way, you’ll be able to empathise with their highs and lows and celebrate their victories with them!
4. Let your partner know what you’ve learned from them
We learn so much from the people in our lives – especially our partners!
Whenever you’re talking about how much they mean to you, let them know how they’ve helped you grow and develop as a person.
5. Love their unique qualities and recognise how you balance each other out
Every relationship is a balance between two halves, and we’re naturally attracted to those who can bring something to our lives that we can’t quite manage on our own.
Think about what your partner brings to the relationship: they must have qualities that you would love to have, and vice versa. Be grateful that you’ve found someone who completes you!
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6. Count down the days with them
One of the most amazing things about long-distance relationships is that you always have something to look forward to. Counting down the days with your S.O. will help you stay on track and help them realise that you’re thinking of them just as much as they’re thinking of you.
Tip: download an app to never lose track of the days 🙂
7. Be thankful for the painful goodbyes
It’s so hard to say goodbye to the one you love. But remember that the pain of farewells is only possible because of the strength of the love you have together. Some people never feel love that strong.
If you’re down after a goodbye and needing something to reflect upon, read the ‘saying goodbye’ quotes here and realise that you’re not alone.
8. Be grateful whenever you can travel
Travel can be exhausting, but next time you’re organising or embarking on a trip to see your partner, remember that it’s an absolute miracle that we can travel from one side of the world to the other in less than 24 hours.
Visiting your long-distance love wouldn’t even have been possible a couple of hundred years ago. Be thankful for living in a time when you have this option.
9. Be thankful for the opportunity to grow in your own way
Long-distance relationships give you more time to yourself and that means more time to grow and develop your interests, career, education and other relationships.
Whenever you wish your partner lived closer, remember that your temporary distance gives you so much time and space to explore life independently, whilst still enjoying a loving relationship. Few people get this chance.
10. Be thankful for the miracle of technology
Not long ago, couples were limited to snail mail and landline phones to get in touch. Now there are endless ways of spending time with the one you love, from FaceTime dates to syncing up your Netflix stream and watching movies together.
Nowadays, it feels like people are constantly down on technology and the negatives of social media and smartphones. Instead of focusing on this, be thankful for living in a time when this is possible.
11. Laugh together
Laughter deepens your connection with your partner. In fact, couples who laugh together report being more satisfied with their relationships!
Send them messages with things that make you laugh, watch fun movies together, tell them funny stories about your day. Sometimes the most effective way to connect is with humour 🙂
12. Learn about their culture and share yours with them
International relationships are an opportunity to learn more about the country and culture your partner comes from – perhaps even to learn a new language!
Exchange stories and facts about each of your home countries and show that you’re interested in finding out more. You can have fun with it too – why not send them a care package of foods and other items from your country, and ask them to do the same?
13. Care for them when they’re sick
The classic wedding vow mentions being there ‘in sickness and in health’. Caring for your long-distance partner when they’re sick is a great way to show them you’re serious about this and will always be there for them.
Although you will wish you could be there in person, be grateful for the opportunity to be nurturing and caring for someone you love.
14. Be patient
A valuable lesson that LDRs teach us is how to be patient. Even when you’re feeling so frustrated with the situation and just can’t wait to close the distance, remember that good things are worth waiting for.
If your reunion is far in the future, be grateful for having something you’re looking forward to so much and think about how much more amazing it will be when the day finally comes.
15. Remember the little things
Remembering the little comments your partner makes can make all the difference to how much they feel listened to and appreciated.
This could be as simple as remembering their favourite cereal and making sure you have it in the cupboard when they come to visit, or remembering the names of their friends and asking how they’re doing.
16. Help your partner in little ways whenever you can
You may not be able to run them a bath when they’re tired, or load the dishwasher – but even from a distance, there are things you can do to make your S.O.’s life just that little bit easier.
If they’re going through something stressful and ‘life admin’ is getting them down, ask if there are ways you can help.
17. Acknowledge your future together
Talking about your shared future together will make your partner feel wanted and secure.
When you’re talking about the years to come, try to say ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ whenever you talk about making plans that would involve them, like where to live. This is a subtle but powerful way to acknowledge your shared future together.
18. Involve them in your life
Don’t just tell your partner about what’s going on in your life – make them a true part of it. Introduce your friends to them, sync your calendars, share goals and more!
19. Be thankful for the chance to strengthen your relationship
A major advantage of long-distance relationships is that they strengthen your connection. If you can survive being long-distance, the chances are good that future obstacles will seem much less frightening.
Be grateful for the challenge you share together and the strength it brings to your connection.
20. Make them feel amazing whenever they journey to meet you
In long-distance relationships, we often forget to be grateful for the effort our partners put in to come and visit us. If they fly or drive to your place, do all you can to make them comfortable as soon as they arrive.
I wrote a whole post about how you can do this – check it out below 🙂
Looking for the perfect quote to express your gratitude? There’s a whole section dedicated to gratitude on my quotes page!