Clear Up Expectations
The first golden rule in a long-distance relationship is that 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.
According to dating coach Fran Greene in her chat to Elite Daily, the first step to a successful long-distance relationship is discussing how it actually affects you when you’re physically apart:
“It is so hard, yet so important, to talk with your partner about your feelings about the separation. It starts with acknowledging and accepting that you [are] physically apart and how it [affects] you, your partner and the relationship.”
Be Honest and Don’t Lie
The second most important rule in a long-distance relationship is to be honest. Always.
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.
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.
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.
According to author Steven John in Business Insider, who was in a long-distance relationship for 3 years, communication was one of the most important factors in making it work:
“In any relationship, communication is key. In a long-distance relationship especially, all you and your partner have when it comes to communicating are your actual words.”
However, Don’t Communicate Too Excessively
This is a big problem that many people in long-distance relationships make. They want to communicate every hour of every day.
Unfortunately, this isn’t possible, and it isn’t healthy, either.
When you’re in the same city, do you communicate every hour? I don’t think so.
So don’t do it when you’re in different cities, or you’ll become exhausted and you’ll lose that spark that makes you two so great together.
As mentioned above, it’s important to keep in contact and let them know what you’re doing, but you need to live your life as well.
Author Steven John has some great advice again:
“I recommend only saying what you really mean and verbalizing everything you want your partner to know. Little rifts or confusions that could be patched with a kiss or a hand laid on an arm can grow needlessly in long-distance relationships, and they take much more time and effort to heal from afar.”
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.
The biggest danger to a long-distance relationship is a lack of contact, which can cause the spark to start drifting away. Having similar interests and hobbies gives you a reason to be in contact and it keeps the conversations fun.