5 Ways to Make a Long Distance Relationship Work

People love to hate on long distance relationships. They’re hard to maintain and leave you both attached without any of the (ahem) physical perks. But as you’ve probably already realized, love is love. If you’re lucky enough to love someone who is just as crazy about you, then you should value and protect that connection. Maybe you’ve been dating for several years, maybe you just met, or maybe you found each other online. Regardless, you’re embarking on a new adventure together. Take a moment to congratulate yourself. Not many people have found someone worth the effort. A long distance relationship is all about staying connected while giving space. It can be a balancing act. You want to make sure to put in enough effort to remain fully in each other’s lives, yet you’ll also need space to create your own lives away from each other. If you’re ready to begin this adventure, read on.

1. Share the nitty-gritty

a man texting

Communication is the key to any lasting relationship. | iStock.com

Communication is vital to any relationship, but it’s even more important when you don’t have the option to meet for dinner, hit the gym, or spend the weekend together. Spend time every day talking on the phone, chatting on FaceTime, or Skyping. Texting is great, but it isn’t enough. Ask about your partner’s day and actually listen. Be creative with how you communicate. Surprise your special someone with a love letter, a video, and picture messages. Be constantly present in each other’s lives, even from afar.

2. Talk about the big stuff

A couple who is in a long distance relationship

Why are you fighting to stay in the relationship? | iStock.com

According to this study, there’s a reason why people in long distance relationships were no more likely to break up in the first three months than in traditional relationships, yet 40% of long distance relationships end after four and a half months. You need a plan and a goal to work toward. Ask the big questions. Why are you in a long distance relationship? What does it provide you with? Is there an end date? Maybe it’s about following your own ambitions or taking time to decide if this relationship has what it takes to make it. Talk openly about what you both want now and in the future.

3. Plan, travel, repeat

Legs of an elegant woman traveling

Visit each other as often as possible. | iStock.com/YakobchukOlena

There is nothing like the anticipation of an upcoming vacation together or a firsthand peek into each other’s lives. Stay focused on these trips. Spend time planning the details, counting down the days, and preparing for that moment you’ll see each other (fireworks, I promise). Rather than focusing on how much being apart sucks, talk about how much fun you will have on your next trip together.

4. Talk dirty

a couple about to kiss

You will still need to keep the romance alive. | iStock.com

Just because you’re a million miles away doesn’t mean you can’t turn each other on. Send sexy text messages, video chat, and talk dirty. Nothing is as good as the real thing, but you need to make an effort to maintain sexual tension from afar. Feel out what you both are comfortable with and be open in expressing what you need. When you do finally see each other, make out like teenagers and enjoy the wild excitement of uninhibited love.

5. Have a life

Three friends making breakfast

Don’t let your distant lover take all of your attention. | iStock.com/monkeybusinessimages

Your long distance relationship will require effort and time, but don’t let it take over your life. Take this time apart to invest in yourself. Do what you love and spend time with friends; anything that keeps you from moping around and sending sad-face emojis to your significant other. Being in a depressed state isn’t good for either of you. Make an effort to live your life to the fullest while ensuring you make time for each other.