Crossing Borders

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day, and for some of us who haven’t quite gotten over the mood for love, it’s never too late to continue doing nice stuff for your precious one. And for participants in transnational romances, here’re some tips I find useful to rekindle your passion even while on different timezones. And most of these activities can be done anytime of the year!

1. Watch stuff together

Even while you’re apart, the internet has made it easy to synchronise your activities online, and doing something simultaneously while apart is a thrilling experience, especially for a couple that doesn’t get to enjoy the luxury of breathing the same air. You can watch a movie together on YouTube, or listen to the same music, and I heard Netflix allows on-demand streaming, though it isn’t available in Singapore so I’m unsure how it works. Perhaps you Americans will know what it’s like to watch movies on your PS3 and other consoles. But really, just clicking Play at the same time on your video streaming sites can be interesting, and you can have much fun discussing the show or song afterwards.

2. Conjure up adventures

Maybe it has something to do with my being a roleplayer, but I do love taking part in visual novels, and what better adventure than one personalised to your tastes? If you’re feeling creative, make a story or a game for your partner, or both of you, to take part in! Roleplays can be done over instant messaging, and you can make the wildest stuff happen. The sky’s the limit and after all, you’re the only ones knowing about your partner’s hidden fetishes.

3. Play games together

I love playing Magic: The Gathering on Octgn, and there’s also a great multiplayer game website named OMGPOP.com that allows a large number of people to play some pretty fun games together. Remember there was a recent craze on handphones about an app named Draw Something? Well, it was derived from Draw My Thing, a popular game on Omgpop. If you’re really bored, you can spend hours getting through the games there.

4. Have things to call your own!

The thing about long-distance relationships is that you seldom have stuff that belong to the both of you, or that both of you possess at the same time. But I think it is important to create a collection of stuff that both of you can identify with. One of them is a blog, like this one, which the both of you keep updated about your lives or whatever it is the theme of the blog is. Another thing is to share a bulletin board, such as the one on Listhings.com. You can tack notes, photographs and checklists, and it’ll be like a virtual fridge note.

5. Exchange belongings

Postage can be expensive, but for an occasion as vital as Valentine’s Day, it’s worth it to send something to your partner that doesn’t cost a cent. You could write a letter so they can keep a copy of your handwriting, or even send them things you own. If you have a pair of earrings that you don’t wear anymore, send one of them to your partner. You can even cut off locks of your hair, or your old shirt. It sounds creepy but you’ll really appreciate having something that used to be with your partner.

So here’re some of the ideas I had to offer. You can think of much more romantic ones, and I do recommend the website lovingfromadistance.com to get inspiration for your virtual romance. To all couples out there who are forcibly parted by geography, I wish you all the best in your love lives!

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