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Five Keys to a Successful Long Distance Relationship

So you have met someone online and the relationship is going very well. The only problem – and it’s a biggie – is that the other person lives miles away and the two of you cannot carry on a typical dating relationship in person. So now what?

It's true that many long distance relationships end due to the difficulty and stress of maintaining them. It’s definitely a challenge but the good news is that it can be done if you and your partner can master some strong communication skills and set some relationship ground rules.

Here are five tips to help with achieving long distance relationship success:

  1. Agree to Communicate Every Day
    Daily communication is critical in all relationships, but especially those that are long distance. Luckily, we have the Internet, which allows us to stay connected more easily. You have many options, including sending an instant message (IM) to your partner, exchanging email or using a free phone service to save on your phone bill.
  2. Set Some Rules for Your Relationship
    Will you date other people? How often will you see each other? Basic questions, but with important answers. Setting some expectations will go a long way in helping you to stay together. Be sure that you both agree to and understand each of these!
  3. Send Gifts to Your Partner
    Care packages show you are thinking about the other person. Personal items such as a poem or a book with a written message inside from you are typically much appreciated. But you can also be creative with your gift giving and send something that benefits the relationship, such as a phone card that can be used for calling you.
  4. Share Your Feelings and Interests
    It’s important to reassure your partner that you are committed to the relationship since the two of you do not spend as much time together in person. However, not having time together can also be an asset because you tend to get to know each other better through written and verbal communication. If you have any common interests such as sports, travel or a particular author you enjoy, keep these in mind and discuss them as often as you can.
  5. Trust Each Other
    Don’t compare the other person to someone from a past relationship. Recognize that everyone is different and assume that the other person is trustworthy until he or she gives you a reason to not trust. You have nothing to lose by having some faith in the other person and it is a critical element of every relationship - especially a long distance one!