Ask anyone about long distance relationships and you will probably get the same answer every time: it won’t work out.
Many people inherently look down on long distance relationships for a number of reasons, but their discouragement generally comes from a caring place—no one wants to see you get hurt.
But while it might not be easy, it’s definitely not impossible.
Because of all the difficulties and struggles that come with a long distance relationship, we’ve put together 14 ways you can make any long distance relationship find success:
1) Be Sexy With Each Other
A huge part of relationships is the sexual tension, and keeping that tension alive needs a bit more work in a long distance relationship.
Talk sexy with each other on chat or on calls; things like double entendres, sexy puns, or even just reminders that you both find each other sexually attractive is all it takes to keep that fire going.
2) Clear Up Expectations
In a long distance relationship, you need to communicate everything, even the smaller things that you wouldn’t normally even think to talk about.
After all, nothing can break a relationship faster than one partner breaking another partner’s unsaid rule.
So have a discussion with your partner and set all the ground rules: exclusiveness, commitment, open-mindedness, and so on.
3) Don’t Smother Each Other
There’s nothing worse than being smothered, especially when it’s all online.
You might want to make up for the distance by chatting excessively, but this will just turn your partner off over the long-term.
Be chill—don’t be obsessive, and know when to give your partner room.
4) Set a Timeline
In every long distance relationship, you and your partner will eventually start asking yourself: why are we doing this?
The pain, struggle, and yearning will all start to feel pointless after a while, especially if you don’t know what your end goal might be.
So sit down and talk with your partner and set up your expected timeline. This will give both of you a better idea of how long the “long distance” portion of the relationship will last, and whether or not you are both capable of waiting that long.
5) Share Hobbies With Each Other
If you can’t bond physically, then you need to bond mentally.
This means sharing hobbies and “likes” with each other—your favorite movies, shows, books, music, and more. Discuss politics, talk about your thoughts on everything from pop culture to religion.
Keep up to date with each other on your latest musings.
6) Avoid Unnecessarily Tense Situations
Let’s say the new person at the office asks you for a drink after work.
It might seem like a harmless office friendship to you, but to your significant other on the other side of the world, it could mean anything.
Innocent or not, putting yourself in a potentially “dangerous” situation adds unnecessary stress to your relationship. Be more considerate of your partner’s feelings.
7) Be Creative and Consistent with Communication
While you shouldn’t smother your partner, you should be consistent enough to show that you care.
A daily “good morning” and “good night” message is enough to show that you love them and think about them, but that’s not enough.
Send random audio and video clips of your day; talk about stupid, mundane moments and encounters; share your ramblings and annoyances.
Make them a part of your life, even if they’re thousands of kilometers away.
8) Think of It as a Test
A long distance relationship might not be your ideal set up, but it all depends on how you think about it.
Instead of seeing it as a burden, think of it as a test. Is your love strong enough to survive the distance and the time?
If it is, then you might be rewarded with the best relationship you will ever have in your life.
9) Send Each Other Personal Gifts
This doesn’t have to be anything expensive or fancy. Something small and something personal, a memento that has sentimental value to you.
Send your partner a letter or explain it to them before you part ways, and share the importance of the memento to you as you hand it over.
10) Be Honest
You might not believe it, but the moment you start lying, your partner will start to feel that something is wrong.
No matter how good of a liar you are, you can never completely hide when something is up. It might be a change in your behavior, your schedule, or two or three lies running into each other; whatever it is, your partner will notice.
And that kind of lying is something you will never be able to repair.
11) Learn How to Love Being Alone
One major reason why most long distance relationships fail is because people end up needing their partner more than their partner can accommodate.
With no one to hug, hold, and cuddle, you might start to feel unbearably lonely, to the point that you would give up your relationship for a closer yet less meaningful alternative.
The solution? Love yourself. Fill the void in your heart with love for yourself. When you wish you had your partner with you, just replace that with a sense of fullness drawn from your own self-love.
Not only will it ease the tension on your relationship, but it will also make you a more complete individual.
12) Play With Each Other Online
Games, social media, messaging apps—the Internet is more exciting and interactive than ever. Play with your partner and keep it fun; not everything has to be a romantic conversation.
Sometimes you just want to blast someone’s head off in an online game, and what better way to do that than with your partner standing and laughing beside you online?
13) Stay Positive
It’s so easy to become lonely and despondent in a long distance relationship.
You might feel like a ladder with one leg, standing up on your own with no one to help you balance. But the truth is simple—you just need to hold out.
Stay positive and keep smiling: it will be worth it in the end.
14) Visit Each Other Whenever Possible
This should be obvious, but visit each other whenever you can! If you can squeeze in a trip to your partner even just for a day or a weekend, then why not?
Not every visit has to last weeks or months.
In fact, the shorter visits might even be more meaningful than the longer ones, because it will prove to your partner that you’re willing to make that extra bit of effort.