A long-distance romance would not have survived years ago, but with the arrival of the internet, low-cost calling cards, and more travel possibilities, let's just say your odds of making it to the other side have improved. Here are a couple of reasons why you might find yourself in a long-distance relationship:
  • you met your long-distance boyfriend or girlfriend on an online dating site
  • you met your love while travelling and now you're back home but he or she is still there
  • you've had to move to go to college or for a new job and your boyfriend or girlfriend can't move with you
  • you're in the military and your husband or wife is away on assignment

It's not easy

If you're in a long-distance relationship, you already know that it's not easy. However, this does not mean that it can't be done and that your love can't survive. It does ta a special kind of relationship to make it work though. If you're really in love, can't see yourself with anyone else, and want to make it work, here are long-distance relationship ideas.

Consider it advise that you and your partner pretty much need to follow if you expect your relationship to last!

Communication is key

While good communication is important in any relationship, it is especially important in the long-distance kind. Why? You can't use body language to help convey to your partner what you're thinking/feeling, so you really have to make sure that you express it in words that he or she can understand. For example, in person, you might be able to use sarcasm but depending on your relationship, it might be trickier to pull off in e-mail Shagle chat or on the phone.

Oh, and you know how in-person your partner might be able to catch on when you say something like "it doesn't matter" even when it really does matter to you? This is also potentially much trickier to pull off in a long-distance relationship. The point is that in a long-distance relationship, you really need to...

"Say what you mean, and mean what you say!"

How should we communicate?

Phone and e-mail are the best ways to communicate in a long-distance relationship. Snail mail letters are a nice way to mix it up too and to show a bit more personal attention.

E-mail and free online video chat are often more convenient (not to mention cheaper!), especially if you have several time zones between you. Each of you can just send off an e-mail whenever it fits your schedule, even if the other person is already in bed or is still at work, etc. Your partner will then be able to read the e-mail whenever it fits her schedule. Don't get stuck in a rut of always sending short, quick e-mails either. Remember to write your sweetie a long love letter type e-mail sometimes too!

While e-mail might be more convenient, regular phone calls are really important too. Hearing each other's voices creates closeness and intimacy. When you're on the phone with your lover, try not to multitask too much. He will be able to tell if you're doing a million other things too or if he really has your 100% undivided attention. It makes a difference!

Skype or other free video chat in use! You have probably already discovered this but if you haven't, you really should be using it. It's wonderful to be able to see your boyfriend on your computer screen, to hear his voice while you're looking at him, to see his smile, hear his laugh and maybe even manage to look into each other's eyes (weird, huh?).

How often should we communicate?

It's entirely up to you and your partner, but it's preferable to do it every day. In order to pull it off, you might have to set up "phone dates" to coordinate your schedules. That little bit of planning can mean the difference between being able to talk that day and not.

Don't be jealous. Trust is paramount.

Sure, it can be hard. Remember that it's not easy. But you can't constantly be worrying that your partner is out cheating on you or chatting live with girls, you will go crazy and it will eat away at your relationship. If your partner tells you that he is going out with friends or that he has to work late, believe him.

Of course, if your gut is really telling you that there might be something going on, have a talk with him about it (this goes back to communication). Don't be paranoid, don't be smothering, don't make your partner feel like you don't trust him.

On the other hand, one must be deserving of trust. If you tell your partner you're going out with buddies, double-check that they're truly friends! If you tell your partner a lie, it will come back to bite you. Your relationship is worth more than that.

Keep the romance alive

It definitely takes more creativity and thinking outside the box in order to keep the romance alive in your long-distance relationship. Physical affection is not an option so you have to do your best to replace it with something else until you see each other again. Call or free chat your girlfriend just to tell her you love her or write her one of those long mushy e-mails that truly come from your heart.

It's hard but try not to get stuck in a rut. Keep in mind that you love each other, and while it's tempting to take one other for granted, doing so can lead to disaster.

Know when you'll next see each other

It can be overwhelming to be missing your lover, not knowing when you will see him next, not knowing when you can hold him in your arms again and kiss him and make love with him until the sun comes up.

Even if you and your partner can't pinpoint an exact date, the more you can narrow it down, the better. Will it be this season? Next season? Will it be the month of October? November? Talk it over, work it out.

When you don't have at least an approximate date in your mind, you can start thinking that maybe you'll never see each other again and that is not a very nice feeling.

Have an end in sight

Unless you enjoy not being together physically, you must be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Whether it's a few months, a few years, whatever - most long-distance relationships likely will not last forever if you are not eventually together in person. This is another thing that comes down to communication. It can be hard, but try to make sure that you and your partner are on the same page when it comes to this. Are you going to move there? Is he moving here?

These are some of the things you need to work out. You might not have the answers overnight but continue to keep the lines of communication open about it and don't allow your relationship to settle at the long-distance stage unless that is where you and your partner want it to be.

Good luck!