How to make a long-distance relationship work? Here are 17 expert tips

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“Distance makes the heart grow fonder.”

I must say, the quote above is a nice way to romanticize a long-distance relationship.

But, being away from the one you love comes with a lot of challenges. You will have to give more effort to show that you care.

Think about the adjustments with time and schedules. Add in communication problems and time differences, the relationship is more likely to fail.

However, your story doesn’t have to end badly. With proper action, timely effort, and of course great love, you will have your happy ending.

So let’s get straight to the point.

Here are 17 expert tips for your long-distance relationship to survive:

1. Avoid excessive communication.

Being in a long-distance relationship doesn’t mean you have to communicate 12 hours a day to keep the relationship going.

Excessive communication will make you tired of “loving”. You don’t have to compensate for the distance by doing more. It only makes the situation worse.

Remember, just like anything, too much is bad.  A long-distance relationship is really about teasing at the right moments and tugging at the right spots.

2. See it as a learning opportunity.

Distance will test your relationship so view it as a learning journey for both of you. See it as a test of your love for each other.

Just think that distance is NOT pulling you two apart. On the other hand, believe that the circumstances will teach you valuable lessons to make your relationship stronger.

3. Manage your expectations.

Be clear with what you expect of each other during this long-distance relationship. Set some ground rules to manage your expectations and that of your partner, too.

Be open to answering questions like are you two exclusive? If not, can the other party go on dates with other people?

It’s better to be open with each other about all these things to prevent miscommunication.

4. Communicate creatively.

Greet each other regularly. A “good morning” and “good night” every day is a must. Additionally, you can also update your partner what happened to you, no matter how mundane some of the things may seem.

To communicate creatively, you can also send each other pictures, audio clips, and short videos from time to time. This way, your partner will feel special because of the extra effort you put in.

5. Talk dirty with each other.

When you’re a couple, sexual tension is undoubtedly one of the most important things to keep. Think of it as a glue that keeps you from drifting apart. It’s both a biological and emotional need.

You can keep the flames burning by sending each other teasing texts filled with sexual innuendos, provocative descriptions, and sexy puns.

6. Avoid “dangerous” situations.

When you’re in a relationship, going to the club or going drinking with your group of friends late at night will displease your partner. You have two options when you’re in this situation – either do not do it or tell your partner beforehand for reassurance.

Be mindful of your partner’s feelings and don’t be careless about this sort of matter. It will cause your partner to worry and be suspicious that you are not faithful.

Being open to “dangerous” situations will tempt you to fall into the trap of cheating, unconsciously or not. You need to recognize the dangers and stop yourself from entering into the situation.

Don’t just listen to your heart because it’s sometimes deceiving. Listen to your mind because it will give you rational advice.

7. Don’t rely solely on technology.

For long-distance couples, Facetime, video-conferencing, texting, and all the other technological advances are heaven-sent. The technology has made it so much easier to stay in real-time contact with their loved ones.

But let’s not forget the power of tangible remembrance from your partner. You can send letters or keep a piece of their clothing around.

When you have a special token that serves as a symbol of your commitment, it can make you smile when you remember his or her presence.

You can also send your loved one a funny postcard, an unexpected gift, or delivery of his or her favorite candy.

8. Aim for the same goals

Here’s the truth.

No couple can be in a long-distance relationship forever. Eventually, you will settle down and live together.

So ask yourself, “What do we want to achieve at the end of the day?” “How long are we going to be apart?” “What about the future?” These are the questions that both of you must think about.

You can make a plan with each other and make sure you are in it together. Draw an end goal and aim for it.

It is important that you two are on the same page with the same goals for your relationship. Distance doesn’t matter when both of you are motivated to work together towards a future that includes one another.

9. Enjoy your “me” time

Don’t feel guilty that you enjoy your alone time. Everyone needs it.

You don’t have to let your world revolve around your partner only. Do not forget the people who also love you — your friends and your family.

Take this time apart to have fun with your friends and family. There are plenty of things for you to do that doesn’t involve your partner, and that’s totally fine.

10. Be honest with each other.

Stay honest with your partner. The long-distance relationship makes it easier to lie, but it should not happen to you.

Talk about what you feel – fear, insecurity, jealousy, apathy, whatsoever. If you try to hide anything from your partner, it will swallow you up from inside out.

A word of advice – don’t try to deal with things all by yourself. Being in a relationship means having someone to be with you through thick and thin.

So, just be open and honest with your partner. Let him or her help you and give you the support you need.

11. Know and respect each other’s schedules.

It’s helpful to know your partner’s schedule. You wouldn’t want to disturb him or her when busy, right? Knowing the schedule will help you drop a text or make a call at the right time.

It is also important to know any event that will take place in each other’s lives like exams, meetings, and interviews especially if you are living in a different time zone.

12. Be active on each other’s social media accounts

Show you love each other on social media.

Like each other’s photos on Facebook and Instagram. You can also tweet and tag each other.

Share your sweet photos and share things on each other’s walls.

13. Get a good messaging app.

A good messaging app enables you to convey sweet messages. Choose one that supports sending emoticons, stickers, pictures, gifs, audios, and videos.

There are a lot of applications to choose from on the internet. Try one after the other until you find which suits you.

14. Stay positive.

To keep your relationship thriving, you have to constantly inject it with positive energy. Or else it will wilt and fail to survive.

Although it is painful to wait, remind yourself that one day, you will be together with your partner. Be thankful that you have your partner and express it every day through words and constant effort.

Do not let the negative things consume you – be thankful for the little things.

15. Keep each other updated on each other’s friends and family.

It’s true. Gossips and scandals are always the best things to go on and on about.

A good way to start a conversation with your partner is to give an update about your friends and family. What are they doing? Where are they going?

16. Video-call whenever you have time.

Texts and chats are the easiest forms of conversation. But nothing beats video call especially when you look into each other’s eyes.

Hearing each other’s voices while seeing your loved one’s face can make everything feel alright again.

17. Trust and be trusted.

Trust makes any relationship last. Apart from trusting your partner, you should also be trusted. Indeed, trust goes both ways.

There are many ways that trust can be broken.  Can your partner count on you when needed? Are you there for the phone call when you said you’d be? Or do you stick to the plans you’ve made to see each other?

You see, trust can be damaged easily. Not remembering what’s important to you, not listening in ways that make you feel heard and understood, or cheating is just a few of the things that break a person’s trust.

In Conclusion:

Keeping a long-distance relationship alive is hard. In fact, some might say it won’t last.

But with trust, love, and effort, it may outlast other relationships where partners are near each other.

Yes, it’s hard. But it is, in more ways than one, very much possible.

Written by Lachlan

I'm Lachlan Brown, the founder of the online blog, Hack Spirit, and editor of Ideapod. I'm incredibly passionate about mindfulness and relationships. Some people consider me a relationship or mindful expert, but really I'm just an average guy with an overwhelming passion to help other people improve their lives.

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