Believe it or not, maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship is completely possible. No one is saying it’s going to be easy, but what relationship is? Plus, the extra distance can actually do some good by helping to form a stronger bond and make you appreciate the little things. There are plenty of expert ways to master a relationship while living on opposite sides of the country (or world) and we’ve collected them below.
Know Your Goal. There are questions you need to ask yourself. Do you want this relationship to blossom into something serious, or are you just looking for temporary? What’s the end result? No couple can maintain a long-distance relationship forever, so make a plan. Are you willing to uproot and move closer to your partner in the future?
Ground Rules. Discuss your commitment level. Be clear with what you expect of each other, as in, are you two exclusive, or just dating? It’s important to be open and honest with each other from the very beginning.
Stay Connected. Communication is key, and lots of it. Any chance you get to send a sweet text, make a short call, have a cute video date, do it. Life is busy and obligations can steal away time from your relationship, so make sure to keep each other connected, in any way possible–even if that means losing a little bit of sleep or waking up early. Setting a certain time to connect every day can really make things easier, and don’t forget about sweet surprise “hellos!”
Go The Distance. Chances are, you and your beau will be making trips back and forth to visit each other. Make sure that each person takes a turn paying for travel expenses and visiting the other’s city. It’s very important that no one feels that they are doing all of the work.
Don’t Be Oversensitive. You can’t expect your other half to be available 24/7 or “like” every photo that you post. Don’t plant ridiculous thoughts in your head when you haven’t heard from him or her in a while. Remind yourself that you signed up for the relationship and must learn to deal with the ups and downs. Trust is a key element in a healthy relationship, and without it, you’ll never last.
Get Creative. Surprises go a long way. Sending personalized gifts, handwritten letters, and special keepsakes for no reason are a great way to keep the romance alive and exciting. Don’t break the bank, either. Handmade gifts can be much more meaningful than purchased items.
Stick With Others. Don’t let your world revolve around your partner. Distance can make you feel incredibly lonely sometimes, so it’s important to use the time apart to do more with your friends and family. Take on some new hobbies, hit the gym, or branch out into other activities to keep you busy (and sane).
Enjoy. Lastly, freaking enjoy it. Don’t stress over what’s wrong and what’s right. There is no perfect way to date, near or far. Statistics actually show that more than half of long-distance couples end up getting engaged (and married) in the long run, so hang in there. Take each day as it comes and most importantly, show that you care through words, trust, dedication, and encouragement.