Being in a long-distance relationship can feel like a slow form of torture sometimes, but there are easy things you can do to keep the love alive and let your girlfriend know you’re thinking of her even with what feels like a million miles between you. Anyone who has been in a long-distance relationship knows the hell of making it work from across the country, but simple things can make it a bit easier. Usually, it’s worth it.

  • Plan A Trip

Since you already have to travel to see each other, why not make it a little more exciting? Plan a trip to a place you both would love to go, or plan something for her that she won’t expect that will no doubt impress her. This will make the times when you do see each other even better, and prove to her you’re willing to put in the effort a long-distance relationship requires. Plus, it’ll give you both something to look forward to in the meantime.

Busy schedules are never an excuse not to travel to see her. You’re both busy, but make your relationship a priority or it won’t work out. You can always pick a destination that’s equidistant from your cities to make both of your respective journeys shorter.

  • Surprise Her With New Skills

This one is kitchen-related, fellas. If you’re not a chef expert, spend your time apart honing some of your cuisine skills. The next time you see her, whip out one of your new culinary dishes and knock her socks off with flavor. While separation can be painful, filling it with self-improvement stuff can make the time go by faster, and of course, amaze her the next time she visits. If she’s arriving in the evening, have the table set with simple dinner candles lit to add an extra bit of romance. Be ready to plate when she walks in the door and watch her jaw drop.

  • Remind Her You Care

Send her a pick-me-up with a delivery of some delicious treats. Remind her and everyone in her office that you love her, and send a gift basket just for her straight to her desk. Retailers like Shari’s Berries allow you to schedule deliveries well into the future, so you can easily plan out multiples surprises all at once. Select a basket (or a few) that you know she’ll love, sit back, and relax. You’ll be getting a call of thanks in no time.

  • Start Writing

With so many technological advances making staying connected easier by the day, it’s sometimes nice to revert to the classics. Emails and texts are convenient, but hand-written letters have become an antiquated tradition that can infuse some romance, especially for couples who don’t live in the same city. Once a week, sit down and write her a letter. It doesn’t need to be anything important, you can even ramble. It’s really not the content that matters with this one, it’s the time and effort you put into it that she’ll appreciate. Plus, she’ll love the idea of having something physical from you – even if it’s just a piece of paper.

  • Remain Realistic

Distance can make us idealize a person, and set us up for unmet expectations. Don’t place too much pressure on each other to act differently during your time together and apart. Being authentic with each other is the only way your relationship will last, even after you’ve come back to living in the same city—hopefully in the near future.

The opposite can be true for some of us. Distance can make us angry, make us paranoid, and make us feel like our partner is keeping things from us. Cut this behavior out the second it starts. Keep each other updated on new people in your life while they’ve been gone to hopefully curb any issues of jealousy, and be open, always.

  • Relax with the Communication

Many couples in long-distance relationships spend the majority of the day texting each other, calling each other, sending each other any form of communication they can get their hands on. Of course you want to talk to each other, but this obsessive communication can actually be counterproductive. Don’t have rules of when you HAVE to call, but let your communication happen organically. Forcing communication will only lead to feelings of resentment, often for both parties, and it’s best to avoid if possible.

Try out different communication techniques that are for special occasions, not an everyday thing. Some apps like Qupid have an option for you to send a “buzz” to your lady that will vibrate on her device and let her know you’re thinking of her. It’s easy and sure to make you both feel more secure in each other.

Relationships can remain strong despite distance, and putting in the effort with these easy tactics is sure to help you both during the difficult times of separation.