How to make a long distance relationship work? Relationship gurus will talk about creating the feeling of togetherness, increasing levels of trust, embracing commitment and building a better emotional connection.
This post gives a practical twist to make seemingly complicated advice applicable to the lives of girlfriends and boyfriends living apart from each other. Stop feeling gloomy, sad and depressed – find out how you can bring the love and romance back into your long distance relationship.
1) Increase the use of cliché words of love and affection in a long distance relationship
I Love You, I Want You, I Miss You and other such seemingly cheesy words symbolic of love and affection carry a lot of weight in shaping the emotional quotient of a relationship.
Keep saying these words to him or her every time you talk on the phone or have a private online chat. These words and messages in a long distance relationship will passively give your partner reassurance that he or she is on your mind all the time.
2) Do things simultaneously: Create a feeling of being together
It is a myth that a couple cannot do things together when they are in a long distance relationship. Think of creative ways in which you can do things simultaneously, if not together. This could include watching the same show on TV, chatting on the phone while cooking the exact same recipe or reading the same book on a Sunday.
Making a long distance relationship work is all about creating a feeling of togetherness. Doing things simultaneously with your partner will do just that and it will also bring some fun back into your relationship.
3) Use Google Street View to show your partner around your city
A cute way of connecting with your partner is to show him or her your house, school, university or workplace on Google Street View. Your girlfriend or boyfriend will feel more attached to you while going through your surroundings on Google Street View.
Don't just stop at showing your neighborhood. Use Google Street View to show your partner the places where you hang out, your favorite shopping mall and all other quirky places that you regularly visit.
4) Send each other postcards and letters
Snail mail may have been made redundant from many perspectives but feeling the warmth of a handwritten letter may still beat an email from the ultimate romantic's viewpoint. You will crack a smile when you read the love laden lines in your partner's own handwriting.
Making a long distance relationship work involves doing everything that serves to close the physical gap between you and your partner. A handwritten postcard sent via snail mail will allow you and your partner to write, scribble, draw doodles and express emotions in their entirety.
5) Send each other handmade gifts: It will be a constant reminder of your presence in his or her life
Whether your loved one is living a different country or just across another state, sending small tokens of love can make your partner feel special. Your focus should be on putting effort in making the gift, not on buying something expensive or readymade from the mall.
Make a handmade card, paint something cute on a mug, knit a small piece, make a heart shaped clay toy or some such. Let your sweetheart know that you are willing to do the little things that make a relationship tick.
6) Be in constant touch: Communication is the cornerstone of a long distance relationship
Communication is the foundation and the most critical aspect of a long distance relationship. A couple must stay in constant touch to give the feeling that they are still there for each other even if they are physically apart.
Staying in touch across national and international borders is easy with texting, chat, calling cards, email, VOIP, Skype, Facebook and many other online and cellular portals. Douse the feeling of loneliness by constantly filling each other in on how your day went, who you met and what you plan to cook for dinner.
7) Countdown towards a goal together: Motivate each other to fulfill a common dream
A great way to cut down the anxiety of a long distance relationship is to set a common goal and look forward to it with your girlfriend or boyfriend. These goals can include saving money for a holiday together, studying for the same competitive exams, losing weight or even learning a new language.
Having a ticking countdown with your partner will make you both feel motivated to quickly reach the goal together. The whole exercise has the potential to diminish the pain of living apart from each other.
8) Send each other pictures every alternate day
Pictures have a lot of power and can make loved ones go weak in the knees. Take all sorts of pictures from your daily life and send them to your partner. These pictures don't necessarily need to be of an important event at work or a party. They could include silly pictures of you smiling cheekily at the camera, doing random chores or even a self portrait you took from your cell phone while you were getting up in the morning.
Ask your partner to do the same and have fun exchanging pictures. Don't just post them on Facebook. Send them in an email. This will give both of you a warm feeling that you are not missing out on anything in each other's lives.
9) Play online multiplayer games together
You can boost the feeling of being close to your partner by playing a multiplayer game with him or her over the internet. Search for online multiplayer games and pick something that interests you, whether it is pool, cards or a board game.
If both are gamers, you could even start playing an MMORPG together. Being together in the virtual world may calm your nerves down. Avid gamers can also use Play Station, Wii, Xbox gaming consoles and their online networks to play together.
10) Control jealousy: Long distance relationships' biggest test
The control and grip over feelings of jealousy can make or break even live-in relationships, let alone one where partners are living in different cities or countries.
Next time you feel possessive or jealous of your partner being with someone else, treat the situation as just another quirky and lovable aspect of being in a relationship. Don't expect to stop feeling jealous overnight. It is a gradual change that you will have to cultivate yourself to.
Talk it out with your partner and explain why you are feeling jealous. A few reassuring words may put your worries to rest.
11) Don't do things that you wouldn't like your partner to do: Setting the ground rules
How would you feel if your girlfriend went for a road trip with one of her male friends? How would you feel if your boyfriend crashed at his beautiful work colleague's home for the weekend? If you are not comfortable in situations like these, don't put yourself in them either.
Talk to your partner and set a few ground rules. Don't ever do something that you may not approve your partner of doing. Else, you may not have the right to say no to your partner when he or she does it too.
12) Talk about your trust issues openly and instantly
The foundation of making a long distance relationship work arises from strong core levels of trust. Insecurities are a part and parcel of living thousands of miles away from your girlfriend or boyfriend and if you have something on your mind, discuss it with your partner as soon as possible.
Don't let the issue balloon into something bigger in your head and the spurn out of control. Tell your partner to do the same.
13) Meet each other's families if they are in the same city as yours
If your relationship is at a point where you and your partner have been introduced to each other's families, take advantage of the situation if they live in the same city as yours. You can hang around in your partner's room or have dinner with his or her family, depending on how close you are with them.
Meeting your girlfriend's or boyfriend's family will serve as an anchor point for your relationship. It will also add to the notion of commitment and the feeling of security.
14) Don't throw baseless accusations of cheating or betrayal
Baseless accusations of cheating and betrayal will claw into your long distance relationship's foundation of trust. Chose your words carefully when you talk about trust issues.
Accusing your boyfriend of having feelings for his pretty colleague or voicing your doubts over your girlfriend's intentions with a guy from her class is not the way to go without substance behind your suspicion.
15) Talk about the future of your relationship: Showing a sign of commitment
Committed partners can talk about their future to ease worries of a long distance relationship. As long as you and your partner are both comfortable talking about commitment, ask open ended questions like 'were do you think we both will be after 3 years?'
The key to keeping these commitment talks light and enjoyable is to not get into the details. Making it elaborate and messy may scare your partner away from the conversation.
16) Don't forget important dates, anniversaries and celebrations
Forgetting a birthday or an anniversary will invite the wrath of any partner in any relationship. Such forgetfulness can be very hurtful, especially when you are trying to make a long distance relationship work. Your partner will feel unimportant and his or her ego will be punctured.
Apart from birthdays and anniversaries, remember to wish your partner on days like Valentine's Day, Friendships Day and other fun celebrations that come along the way.
You can make your wish special by sending personalized messages. For example, you can write your own Valentine's Day poem for your girlfriend on a handmade card and surprise her by snail mailing it a few days in advance.
17) Keep the excitement alive: Don't allow distance to fizzle out the romance
Being romantic is possible even when you are physically away from your partner. Popularly, romance may be all about holding hands, kissing, hugging and leaning on each other's shoulders. In a long distance relationship, romance must go beyond the physical and transform into an emotional connection.
Whisper sweet nothings to each other on the phone, randomly call your partner and say that you feel like smooching him or her, exchange candid pictures or send each other virtual kisses. The idea is to keep the romance, lust and excitement in your relationship alive.
18) Take turns to visit each other
Making a long distance relationship work requires equal amount of effort and understanding from both partners. If you are the only one making plans to visit, you should give your partner's behavior another thought. Talk about the reasons into why he or she is not showing the same level of excitement to come and meet you.
19) Keep yourself busy: Don't lose your own life and personality
You must make an active effort to retain your individual personality when you are living away from your girlfriend or boyfriend. Don't allow yourself to sink in the quicksand of loneliness.
Keep yourself busy in studies, work, friends, hobbies and other activities that take your mind away from the physical distance in your relationship. Being in a happy state of mind will automatically make you sound cheerful when you speak to your partner on the phone.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Sarah on June 29, 2018:
Im in a relationship for a month now..and im still in a phase of time adjusting...my bf is always sad.i am a single mother to my daughter.i work 9 hours a day..sometimes when we video chat instead of chit chatting with him.i even do the home chores..its embarassing.and sometimes when hes awake.o got something to do..when i get to talk to him with my free time.hes like...im sleepy.and im like...alright.theres nothing i can do..it hurts me coz i cant give him 5hours for him.i am 5 hours ahead though.i need advice please.
Bahare on March 23, 2018:
the important things is someone really likes you,,If someone doesn't love If you tell him or her you are my world it doesn't work I don't have big experience but I'm sure about that,,just let/her or him to know you love him if he avoids send you messages or makes video call it means there is nothing
I wish the best for you all
but do these things for someone who values you
don't let someone plays or ignore you I know if someone even like don't let me go easily if he loves me too,,he misses me he want to stay in touch with
If you find out he loves you do the best for him guys or girls know who really like them or not
If he values your love he deserves everything I just know that
supreet on January 26, 2018:
i am in long distance relationship from a year but now i really miss my bf. i cant live without him.we r 7000 miles away and he does not want to come to my country.
nkateko on March 13, 2013:
Great post,bcoz its very imp 2 keep ur relatioship alive,bcoz men reassurance that his woman is in love with him even from miles away,communication is the number 1 prayer to close the gap,tell your man when your feeling sad, happy, scared or even emotional it shows ur willingness to include each other in all personal aspects of ur life, if you honestly bliv that his the man for you and she's the 1 for u go ahead and make a fool out of your self, all in the name of love?
Rui Carreira from Torres Novas on January 25, 2013:
My present girlfriend and I met each other online, I can relate a lot with this hub... long distance relationships make things so magical - I really think you have the opportunity to celebrate each other's personality more than with a traditional visual and lust relationship starter, don't you think?
Danson Wachira from Nairobi, Kenya on January 25, 2013:
Great tips, it can be very hectic but with such tips it all narrows to manageable. Voted up.
deergha from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!! on January 25, 2013:
Nice hub . Votes up and sharing too.
Kay Comer from Metropolis, Illinois on January 25, 2013:
When my husband and I were dating and separated by hundreds of miles when he was in the service way back in 1965 and 1966, it was the letters that kept us going. We'd both write every day and I was only 17 and 18 and I'd stand out on the sidewalk in front of my parents home and watch for the mailman so I could run and meet him and get my letter or 2 or 3 of them that Billy had sent for that day. And before he went to service we'd leave each other notes and do simple little things that say "I Love You". But it was a much simpler time back in those days of so long ago....We don't need to write letters anymore...but I send him one once in a while, 'just because'...but we still leave notes for each other and do the little unique things that say "I love you" all the time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, that's true...but there's a lot more to it if you want that relationship to last for ever after. Interesting hub, thanks
Paul Richard Kuehn from Udorn City, Thailand on January 25, 2013:
Your 19 tips are all very useful for making a long distance relationship work. Frequent communication by phone or internet and frequent mutual visits are so very important in this kind of relationship. Twenty years ago I was living in the Baltimore area and my fiancée in Northern Philadelphia. During the three years we were separated before finally living together, we did a lot of driving between Baltimore and Philly to see each other. It was a two hour trip, but I made the trip up to Philly every weekend, and my fiancée came down to Baltimore once during the week. Although we did send letters to each other, there was no Skype or Facebook in those days. I don't think the relationship would have lasted if we hadn't made the effort to see each other often. Voted up and sharing.
Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on January 25, 2013:
I have never had a long distance relationship, but I am sure your valuable tips would work thanks for this information
dashingscorpio from Chicago on January 24, 2013:
I think these are all good tips but #18 (taking turns) visiting one another is very important. This especially true if you have had any major disagreements. It's difficult to "make up" over the phone, in an email, text, or Skype. Also there needs to be what I call "a light at the end of the tunnel".
LDRs are meant to be (temporary). No one chooses to be in love with someone they can't be with on a regular basis. Generally speaking it's "circumstances" (job, education, military) that is keeping them from realizing their ultimate dream which is to be (together).
The light at the end of the tunnel is having an (actual date) when there will be no distance between you. Just (knowing) this situation is temporary can keep a couples' spirits up. If there is no light at the end of the tunnel or plan to move from long distance relationship to being together eventually one or both people drift away. A LDR without an "end game" is like sailing on a ship without a destination.
mackyi on January 24, 2013:
Thanks for sharing your tips on making long distance relationship work. However, in my opinion, whether short distance or long distance, for any relationship to work, it always depends on the individuals involving in these relationships. I always say Love is a decision or a contract between two persons. Thus, both person have to be equally committed for any relationship to work. The bottom line is, no matter how much phone calls, letters or communication via skype and so on, a long distance relationship will not work if one person is serious and the other isn't!
Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on January 24, 2013:
An interesting hub! You have suggested some very practical points to keep the relationship alive, when due to some unavoidable circumstances, a couple has to live at distant locations.
Can relate to that....Skype is a very good option in today's world, to communicate with long distance partners. Thanks for the tips.