Best for basic video calling: Skype
Skype is a free video-calling program that works on phones, tablets and computers, allowing people to do audio and video chatting from anywhere they have a data connection. Being able to see the other person allows you to see their facial expressions, share pictures, and see their environment. This not only adds important information but brings a higher level of intimacy. “Dave and I used Skype when I was working in Phoenix and he was home in another state,” says Meghan Johnson. “It definitely helped to see each other instead of just hearing. It felt more real and we were able to connect better, especially when one person isn’t much of a phone talker.” Can long-distance relationships really work?
Best for couples on different schedules: Marco Polo
Nicole Fornabaio/Rd.com, via itunes.apple.com, shutterstock
If you combined a walkie talkie, a video recorder, and email, and then added silly filters, you’d get Marco Polo (free for Android and iOS). This “visual walkie talkie” app is great for couples who operate on wildly different schedules, making Skype or traditional phone calls difficult. You can send your honey a video message whenever you feel like it and they can open it whenever they’re ready. “My husband Jonathan and I work opposite shifts and rarely see each other during the week. We use Marco Polo to send video messages to each other,” says Michelle Stilley of Omaha, Nebraska. “It’s nice because we can watch them and reply on our own tine, rather than making sure we’re both available at the same time to chat.” Not getting much of a response from a long-distance love? These signs suggest the problem could be you.