Chances are, if you’re here you’re considering starting a long distance relationship. You’re not sure about the odds of a long distance relationship working out and want some inside information on what it’s like to be in a relationship like this BEFORE you get into one.

Well props to you for thinking ahead and being smart and reading this article! So many people jump into a long distance relationship with their heart on their shoulder without thinking twice about it. But not you, you’re one of the smart ones.

So let’s break it down. What should you know before you go LDR? Here’s 5 things that you absolutely must be able to deal with to be in a long distance relationship:

1. You will spend a lot of time away from each other.

Sure, this is a given. It’s a long distance relationship which obviously means that you’ll be separated from someone very important to you. But have you really counted the cost of what this means?

Breakdown: You’ll be eating your meals alone, watching your favorite movies alone and doing any number of ‘couples’ things alone. In ‘the mood’ for some special time? Not going to happen without jumping on 2 planes and a taxi.

If you’re a person who really needs to be near your partner when you’re in a relationship, a long distance relationship will not give you the immediate physical satisfaction that you desire. Your cuddles will be with “me, myself and I” until the day comes that you can be together with your partner again.

Is spending long amounts of time away from your partner something you can legitimately handle?

2. You will spend a good amount of money keeping the relationship up.

There’s obviously plenty of ways to stay connected to people for free. The internet is an amazing place full of amazing inventions. But many of the tools you’ll use to stay connected will come at some kind of a price.

As persons who are in long distance relationships, we are constantly making phones calls, sending texts messages, packages and gifts to one another to try and maintain some kind of physical connection in addition to our digital ones. This means postage costs, multiple gift costs, phone bills and texting fees. Even sending a simple care-package to someone can rack up, and we haven’t even gotten to the visiting each other part yet!

Being in an LDR is not cheap, don’t let anyone fool you. Some couples have gone so far as to get second jobs just to be able to afford to visit their partner for a special holiday or occasion. It will take some serious dough to be able to visit your partner as frequently as you’d like, otherwise prepare to have extended periods of waiting between visits.

Have you taken your own expenses into consideration?

3. You’ll need to set short and long term goals to make your relationship last.

Before you even think of entering into a long distance relationship, have a serious talk with your partner. Set clear goals and expectations about how long the distance will last or when you’d like for it to end. Talk about how often you’ll visit and what you both expect out of the relationship.

You absolutely cannot remain in a long distance relationship forever, so setting long and short term goals is important. If you don’t you’ll eventually start to feel that you’re in something of a relationship limbo, and that will cause problems.

LDRs require a lot of work, planning, energy and effort. If you’re a person who isn’t good at keeping schedules and meeting goals, the likelihood of your LDR being a successful one is slim.

Are you able to put in the work needed to maintain an LDR?

4. You’ll both be making big sacrifices for each other.

At some point or another you’ll both have to make sacrifices for one another. This could mean anything from staying up late because you’re both in different time-zones, to having to take time out from being with friends to connect with your partner via skype or phone call.

When it comes time to close the distance, one of you may have to give up the luxury of having friends and family nearby to move to be with the other. You can end up sacrificing a favorite location, easy access to friends, the perfect job and more to be with the person you love down the line.

If you ignore these hard-hitting truths about what lies at the end of your relationship when you first get into it, your LDR won’t last. So think carefully about what you’d be willing to sacrifice to be with the other person and don’t assume that they will sacrifice everything to be with you.

5. It requires lots and lots of trust

It takes a lot of trust to make things work in a normal relationship, but we’re talking about one that stretches across the borders of states, territories and countries. It takes an immense amount of faith to trust in someone who you can’t see everyday.

Your partner will spend time with many people and you won’t be able to be there. No relationship, near of far, can last if the persons in that relationship are constantly worrying about the faithfulness of the other. If this is something you find you have difficulty with in your close-distance relationship, think carefully about if you can handle it in a long distance one.