The subject of long distance relationships evokes a lot of emotion and differing opinions.  There are many real-life examples of long distance relationships (LDR) working and eventually leading to co-habitation and marriage.  However, there are also plenty of examples of couples whose relationship crumbled and bit the dust because the distance was too much for them to handle. If you are considering starting a love relationship with someone who lives more than a 2 hour drive away from your area, you need to prepare yourself for some of the many different issues that affect LDRs.  Here are some tips for helping you to navigate the unpredictable waters of your long distance romance and make it as successful as possible:

Start Saving

These types of relationships are not like the ones in which your partner lives next door to you.  As a result of the distance, you will always need to plan ahead when you want to spend time together in the same space.  You will both need to invest money on either extra gasoline for your car, bus tickets, train tickets, and airplane tickets for travel depending upon how far apart you live. Perhaps each of you can create a special savings fund to pay for traveling to spend time together. To add extra incentive, turn your saving in to a fun game by adding an extra dollar into your travel fund each time the two of you say “I love you” to each other when you communicate via phone, text, or Internet.  Your ability to sustain a steady stream of income and a preferably flexible work schedule that allows you to travel as often as possible will have a big impact on your LDR.  A love relationship will not be able to survive if two people spend more time apart than they do together.

Master the Art of Communication

Having regular communication with your partner is crucial for helping your long distance union survive.  In fact, without consistent communication, it is likely that your LDR will fade away from both of your memories. Real life takes precedence, and it is difficult to remember that you are even in a relationship when it has been days since you last spoke to your significant other. Your job, friends, and other responsibilities have to be dealt with immediately, but that does not mean that you should ignore your partner just because he or she is not in your presence each day. Call, text, email, and video chat with your long distance love as often as possible to help keep the romance alive until you see each other again. Schedule a “date night” where you focus exclusively on communicating with each other electronically, and use those conversations to address important topics like what your individual goals are, what your goals are as a couple, and where you want to live together when the relationship turns serious.

Create a Plan of Action

Being in your significant other’s presence on a regular basis is the only way to truly know if you are compatible together.  It will be exciting at first scheduling visits to see your honey, but the novelty will eventually wear off when you realize that the distance prevents the two of you from taking part in important moments in each others’ lives such as birthdays, holidays, and other work and social events.  Unending frustration is never good for a healthy relationship, and long distance relationships require much more time, thought, and careful planning than non-LDR unions.  You should both have a plan about how to eventually transition your relationship from being long distance into one where you can see each other in person daily, especially if you’re serious about each other. The lack of physical affection and in person interaction will weigh on you if you don’t quickly address the situation. If you or your partner is avoiding talking about taking your relationship to the next level where one of you needs to move, then you should re-evaluate staying together.
With tools like email, telephones, and Internet video chat systems, it is easier in this time period than ever before to maintain communication with someone you love.  Add to the mix the huge amount of travel options (air flights, trains, cruise ships, cars, buses), and there are even more possibilities to meet up with your mate.  However, a relationship becomes stronger when more time is spent together experiencing the triumphs and trials that occur in life. A long distance relationship might feel thrilling at the start during the honeymoon phases, but as time goes on, you need and deserve something more tangible and present in your life. In order to make your long distance relationship a success, you will at some point need to work with your partner to permanently eliminate the distance between you both.