15 Thoughtful Long Distance Relationship Gifts

If you’re already involved in one, you don’t need an expert to tell you that keeping a long-distance relationship healthy and alive is hard work. The strain of a conventional relationship is magnified tenfold when you add distance to the equation. Whether you’re trying to date someone in a city three hours away or a country halfway across the world, the challenges are inherent to the format: When you can’t fulfill that natural, new-relationship desire to see each other every day, you have a problem on your hands. Don’t ignore this problem. Don’t sweep it under the rug and pretend that everything is fine. Long-distance relationships only last when both parties are willing to do what it takes.

Here are the four major challenges that make a long-distance relationship so hard:

No Togetherness: A solid relationship is formed by doing things together. At its core, every successful love relationship is a friendship. It’s not easy to be friends with someone that you never see. No trips to the movies. No dinners out. No Netflix.

The Trust Gap: Trust is something that has to be earned in a relationship, and it’s not uncommon for jealousy issues to flare in the early days – especially if one partner feels they are dating someone who is “too good for them.” This is only compounded by distance. What’s he doing when your calls go to voicemail?

Lack of Intimacy: The core of a relationship may be friendship, but it is intimacy that turns that friendship into something more. Being separated makes true intimacy impossible, and sexy chatting on the phone just isn’t enough to make up for it.

Communication Breakdown: In our digital world, this is becoming a problem even for relationships where there is no particular distance involved. But like every other challenge, it is magnified by a long-distance situation. So much human communication involves non-verbal cues that can’t be conveyed through texting or even talking on the phone.

As you might have gleaned, the real problem with these challenges is that they aren’t easily overcome. These are systemic problems that go hand-in-hand with a long-distance relationship. Any advice about “solving” them will really be about masking them, not getting to the root issue – which, of course, is the distance itself.

So what then? Is all hope lost? Are long-distance relationships doomed to fail? Absolutely not. Many couples have endured this hardship only to emerge with a love that is strong enough to truly conquer everything that life has to throw at them. But, as we said at the outset, you’re going to have to be ready to put in the work. And a major component of that work is going to be letting your partner know – as often as possible – how much they mean to you. The best way to do that? With thoughtful gifts!

Gift-giving is an important part of any relationship, but it’s absolutely foundational when it comes to long-distance romance. When you can’t be there in person, you have to find a way to let your lover know that you are with them in spirit. That you’re thinking about them. A thoughtful gift is the best way to do that. If you’re stumped for ideas, here are 15 incredibly thoughtful gifts that will keep your long-distance relationship from wilting on the vine.

15 – Custom Text Tote

This lovely Custom Text Tote is an excellent way to show the girl you’re long-distance dating that you are thinking about her – not just about what she means to you, but about her life and what she needs to make her day easier. Tote bags are wonderfully versatile, giving the user a tool they can use to carry groceries, stay overnight somewhere (maybe with you!), or take to the beach. With the custom text option, you can write a delightful message that will remind her constantly of her far-away lover.

14 – Our First Christmas Ornament

Long-distance relationships are challenging on a normal day, but those challenges are exacerbated when major holidays come around. It is only natural to wish that you could be with your special gal or guy on Christmas, and the pain of separation can become intensified during this time. It’s essential to counteract that loneliness, and this Our First Christmas Ornament is a pretty good way to do just that. You may not be able to be together for the holidays, but that doesn’t mean you’re not in each other’s hearts. With a customized tree ornament, Christmas becomes a time for remembering the love you have for your partner…even if there are miles separating you. You might even consider getting two of these so that both of you can enjoy it on your respective trees.

13 – Adventures Passport Cover

This one may be the absolute perfect gift for your partner if the two of you are separated by not only miles but borders as well. This Adventures Passport Cover dresses up the boring booklet you get from the government with a whimsical airplane design, the contrails looping out behind the tail. The picture puts you in mind of long-distance travel, so what design could possibly be more fitting for the relationship you’re in? If the two of you don’t need a passport to visit each other, this could still make for a thoughtful gift. Instead of signifying the obstacles between you and the need to overcome them, this booklet cover then sends a clear message: Let’s travel together! Available in nine attractive colors to match any style.

12 – Colorful Monogrammed Mouse Pad

In 1968, when a computer engineer at Stanford created the first mouse, there was no such thing as a mouse pad. Early computer users had to make do with whatever surfaces they could find – usually the desk surface itself. Well, both mice and mouse pads have come a long way since then; today’s optical mice don’t even technically require pads to work correctly. Even so, it makes for a much more pleasing experience, and if you’re working on a glass surface, a mouse pad is still preferred. If your long-distance loved one does a lot of work on the computer, considering gifting them this Colorful Monogrammed Mouse Pad. It puts the personal into the professional, and it’s fun to look at in the bargain!

11 – Every Love Story is Beautiful Coffee Mug

Does your loved one enjoy a cup of java in the morning? This Every Love Story is Beautiful Coffee Mug can add some much-needed romance to those early hours. Every time he (or she) sits down for a few minutes of morning reflection, they’ll look at the message on this mug and remember that someone loves them. They may be far away, distance-wise, but they are as close as oxygen in terms of spirit. Any long-distance relationship gift can work wonders when it reminds your partner that, even when their heart aches for your presence, you are there, you are thinking about them, and you want nothing more than to be right by their side. Just that little thought can sometimes be enough to endure another day of this heartbreaking separation. Like a struggling flower, long-distance relationships need to be carefully watered and tended. This personalized coffee mug is food for the soil.

10 – Happily Ever After Puzzle

It’s the refrain that ended a thousand fairy tales, and what is a fairy tale other than a story of triumphing over adversity? That’s what makes this Happily Ever After Puzzle a thoughtful long-distance relationship gift. Not only does it pay tribute to the love that bonds you together, it suggests that – no matter how difficult things might be right now – there is a golden ray of hope on the horizon. There will come a day when you will be in each other’s arms again. Not just for a day, but for a lifetime. Hope is what keeps a long-distance relationship burning, and this puzzle makes for a nice way to stoke the flames. Buy two, and you can compete with each other to see who can finish it the fastest!

9 – Personalized Recipe Box w/Laurels

Having an amateur chef as a girlfriend/boyfriend is quite the treat, but you can’t exactly look forward to an amazing homecooked meal when the Master of the Kitchen is halfway across the country. While you’re waiting for that day, send your special someone this Personalized Recipe Box to let them know that you’re thinking not only of them but of the regular feasts you’ll demand when they finally move to your town! Okay, we kid. (Sort of.) What’s special about this gift is that it speaks to your knowledge of your partner’s interests. Whenever you can pair that knowledge with a present, the sentiment is as powerful as the gift itself. Then again, if she microwaves every dinner, this could make for a pretty hilarious gag gift. Tread lightly, though. And don’t tell her you got the idea from us.

8 – Name Over Flowers Pillow Case

Oh pillows, how we love thee. Let us count the ways: You provide support for our backs after a long day, you cushion our heads as we retire for the night, you add a delicate layer of charm to an otherwise humdrum décor. You are beautiful. You make the sun shine and the stars twinkle. Okay. Um. Maybe we got a little carried away there. You may not share our obsession with pillows, but that’s fine. That doesn’t make this Name Over Flower Bunch Pillow Case any less of a special gift. Personalizable and available in several lovely colors, these pillows will remind your loved one of just how sweet it is to lie down together. Hopefully, that day will not be far off!

7 – Custom Text BBQ Set

Is there anything better than firing up the grill on a warm summer afternoon? If your long-distance boyfriend (or girlfriend – we’re not here to suggest gender roles!) knows his way around a grill, consider sending him this Custom Text BBQ Set. You can personalize it with his name, write a message of love, or engrave it with a special bit of text that only means something to the two of you. If your partner is accustomed to making do with forks and plastic spatulas from the kitchen to do his grilling – trust us, he’ll appreciate the heck out of this BBQ set. Grilling life is a lot easier when you have the right tools at your disposal.

6 – Custom Name Humidor

From the kitchen to the after-dinner parlor (you’ve got one of those, right?), we arrive at this Custom Name Humidor – the perfect long-distance present for the man who enjoys the finer things in life: Cherrywood boxes, things with his name on them, and, oh yeah, cigars! Humidors aren’t just for fancy aficionados. Indeed, this is a great gift even for the guy who only occasionally breaks out a cigar in the evenings. Why? Because keeping cigars in some random drawer for months is a great way to let them go stale, ruining them. A humidor, on the other hand, can keep your cigars fresh for years – just like your relationship will stay fresh no matter what challenges you face or what questionable metaphors you encounter.

5 – Monogrammed Luggage Tag

Say, if you’re looking for a nice companion gift to that Adventures Passport booklet cover up there, this Monogrammed Luggage Tag would make for an excellent complement. Of course, this is also a great gift on its own. It may not seem like much – a tag? Really? For a long-distance present? But its simplicity is also what makes it special. You don’t have to spend a bazillion dollars to let your long-distance lover know that you’re thinking about them. As Nietzsche once noted, the smallest things generate the greatest happiness. And if your partner has dealt with the difficulties of lost luggage recently, this gift will take on even greater importance.

4 – Monogrammed Travel Mug

Speaking of small but special gifts, this Script Name Inside Monogram Travel Mug w/Handle fits the bill like a glove. Available in six beautiful colors, this mug is a thoughtful present for the coffee drinker on the go. Its customization features allow you to etch his or her name right on the front of the mug where it will be enveloped by their monogram. Not only does this give an ordinary gift a layer of personalization, it adds exceptional usefulness for anyone who works in an office environment. When everyone has a travel mug sitting on their desk, it’s all-too-easy for possessions to get confused. With this mug, your partner will no longer have that problem.

3 – Set of 4 Slate Script Custom Text Coasters

Coasters may not seem like the most romantic gift in the world, and we’re sure that they aren’t. That said, this Set of 4 Slate Script Text Coasters is only limited by your imagination. By giving you the option of writing whatever you want on the face of the coasters, this gift can be an outlet for your romantic creativity. Particularly apt if your partner is apt to admonish you for leaving your drink on the table when you’re over for a visit, these coasters are as functional as they are thoughtful. Their slate construction makes them superior to your average rubber or cloth coaster, and their handsome design makes them a splendid addition to any surface.

2 – Engraved Cross

If there’s anything that can overcome the challenges of a long-distance relationship, it is a shared faith in a higher power. Now, that higher power doesn’t necessarily need to come in any particular religious form, but if you and your partner happen to share a belief in Christianity, this delightful “Behold You Are Beautiful, My Love” Engraved Cross would make a very meaningful present. Engraved with a timeless line from the Song of Solomon, this cross borrows an immortal quote the wise king uttered when he saw his bride. Add your names and the date your relationship began to imbue this beautiful gift with a touch of personalization.

1 – Custom Canvas Prints

It is the nature of social media and cameras in every pocket that most of us see hundreds of pictures each and every day. Hundreds? Some of us are taking that many! But while photos may be a dime a dozen on Facebook, their proliferation lends them an ephemeral, fleeting quality – the exact opposite of the feeling that pictures used to give us. Bring back that feeling of a captured moment of eternity with these gorgeous Custom Canvas Prints. Whether you already have a photo of you and your loved one that you’d like to see immortalized or you need to stage the perfect shot, this gift can remind both of you that distance, at the end of the day, is a relatively small obstacle in the face of everlasting love.