Long distance relationships are notoriously difficult to maintain. They require a great deal of self-control, dedication, and positive reinforcement from both parties in order to be successful. Even with all of that, it is still very possible for a long distance relationship to fail.

However, if two people are truly dedicated to each other, then a long distance relationship can work. It takes a lot of effort and communication, but it can be done. The best way to ensure that your long distance relationship thrives is to have strong communication and to make sure that you are both on the same page about your expectations.

There are many things that all couples must do to make their relationship work, but here are five that are LDR specific, because the challenges we face are a lot different:

Talk, communicate, and then talk some more.

In close relationships, we rely on physical touch, eye contact, and body language to communicate. These things are difficult to do long-distance. We may not be able to see each other as often, or we may not be able to touch each other.

Long distance couples have to use what they have. And in most cases your most effective tool is your voice and your words. You can use these to communicate your love and admiration for your partner, as well as your hopes and dreams for the future. You can also use them to express your gratitude for the things your partner does for you.

Talk about your day, your dreams, your goals and your aspirations regardless of how mundane they may seem to you.

Talk about things you maybe wouldn’t talk about if in a typical relationship. It can be less unnerving to open up to someone over the phone or through a text message than it is face to face. Talking in this way can open up opportunities to solidify and deepen your relationship. You can build trust by sharing information that you may not feel comfortable sharing in person. This can be a great way to build intimacy in a relationship.

Remember to do nice things.

One of the leading causes of break-ups is a lack of spark or excitement. Relationships can sometimes start to become ordinary and routine and the only persons to blame are the guilty parties involved.

Long distance relationships need spark too. You’re already dealing with distance, longing and loneliness. Add on a lack of spark and your little house is sure to crumble.

Don’t hesitate (or forget!) to do nice things for one another. In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the little things that can make such a big difference in someone’s day. A kind word, a helping hand, or even just a smile can go a long way towards making someone else feel appreciated and cared for. No matter how small, badly presented, awkwardly made or unimpressive you may think it to be. Its amazing how even the simplest things can make such a huge difference.

Sending an e-card, or sending a picture of one thing that reminded you of them that day. Little things like that can make a huge difference in the way that you both perceive one another and how you both feel about the relationship. And the way you both feel directly affects your success.

Be forgiving (& willing to apologize)

Being in a long distance relationship means that, for a time, you both have separate lives. You have different schedules, different priorities and as you live apart you’ll both have different experiences and perspectives on life.

So sometimes things will just clash. Appointments may be forgotten. A phone call may be missed. You might be the one with a hectic schedule. Or maybe because you both are experiencing different things you just don’t see eye to eye on everything anymore.

When two people are in a long-distance relationship, it can be easy for things to get tense. Little things can start to feel like big deal, and it can be tempting to hold grudges. However, it’s important to remember that, at the end of the day, we’re all human and we all make mistakes. It’s important to be willing to forgive those little transgressions and look at the big picture. If both parties are unwilling to bend, it’s easy for an LDR to end. However, if we can learn to forgive and move on from the little things, we can make our relationships last, no matter the distance.

If you are the one who needs forgiving, be willing to apologize and provide a valid excuse to calm the nerves of your beau. Relationships are a give and take.

Have regular dates

Couples should create a set time where they can just ‘be’ together. Whether it’s over the phone or over webcam, or maybe even chatting together, this dedicated time will allow couples to reconnect and keep the lines of communication open. This regular check-in will help keep the relationship strong and prevent any potential problems from festering.

Setting apart a special time for one another that is different from your usual phone calls, webcams or routine is one of the best ways to solidify your relationships.

Setting time apart for one another says “I feel we are special. So we deserve this special time to do something special together so that we can both feel loved and special.” This is a very important way to nurture your relationship. It shows that you are willing to make an effort to connect with your partner on a deeper level. It also demonstrates your commitment to the relationship and your willingness to invest in it. This is a very positive message to send to your partner and it can help to strengthen your relationship.

 Save up for a visit.

There’s something that is so renewing about spending even a few days with someone you love. While its understandable that not all couples can do this, seeing each other is a key part of really feeling closer.

When we are physically close to the people we love, it reinforces the connection we feel to them. We are able to share our thoughts and feelings more easily, and we can also show our affection for one another in physical ways. Even if you can’t be together all the time, making an effort to spend time together is important for a strong and healthy relationship.

Once the visit is all done, you’ll leave one another feeling refreshed and ready for the next stretch of time you have to spend apart. Visiting makes Long distance relationships that much more bearable.

We hope these tips help you in your LDR. Remember to have fun and enjoy your time together, even if it’s from a distance. What has helped you keep your LDR feeling close and connected?

Meet The Author

My name is Allison and I’m from California. I’ve been in a long-distance relationship for 5 years with my partner, who lives in New York. It’s been a challenging but rewarding experience, and we’ve grown a lot as a couple. We’ve had to be creative and resourceful in order to make it work, but it’s been worth it.