Like any relationship, this takes effort. A long distance relationship (LDR) will take even more effort, so make sure both of you are invested in making things work. It’s not all work though! It’s a balance of work and play (with more play, of course!) that will result in a healthier, stronger relationship between you and your significant other.
1). You have to do you first. This means that you have to stick to your normal activities and maybe even pick up some new ones. This is especially hard to do at the beginning of a long distance relationship because that is when you will yearn for their companionship most and, likely, will drop what you are doing to take that phone call, send yet another text, or what have you. You don’t have to stop doing those things, but you do have to stop sacrificing yourself all of the time. Do the things you love. It’ll make you a happier, well-rounded person. Plus, it will give you and your significant other something to talk about the next time you video chat.
2). Talk on a regular basis. I find that talking on Skype works best (because of the whole face to face thing), but even a phone call is good. These tend to be better than text messages because they allow you to have meaningful conversations as if the two of you were really spending time together. Added bonus: plan to watch the same movie or eat the same food together while on the phone or video chat as it will help feel like you two are doing something together besides just rehashing your respective days.
3). Visit each other. This one isn’t always possible, but when it is you should go for it. Sometimes, one of you will find that you are constantly driving/flying/skydiving/teleporting/rollerblading to see the other one. This will likely turn into resentment towards the partner who is not traveling as often. In order to feel like you are not the only one going above and beyond in the visitation department, try to take turns on who visits who or stick to scheduling specific weekends where you have set plans that make the whole trip worthwhile. It is more fun to travel knowing that the two of you are going to go to the restaurant you love or that apple picking is in T minus 9 hours.
4). Trust each other. If you don’t trust each other, I don’t know what you were trying to salvage here. Harsh, yes, but without trust you are going to find yourself blowing up your significant other’s phone trying to make sure they are where they say they are and that they are not out on a date with someone else. Trust is everything in any relationship. Earn it and don’t break it. Expect the same respect from your partner.
5). Don’t strive to make your significant other jealous. We’re all guilty of this at some point or another. Don’t do or talk to people just to get a rise out of your significant other, and don’t let them do that to you. That is one way to begin to unravel the trust in your relationship, and that is a path to destruction.
6). No guilt trips. You will not always be able to see each other. There will come a time when someone will miss a phone call or cancel a video chat, or worse yet a visit. This is life. You are both humans and you will both do this at some point. Don’t hold it over each other’s heads. Be understanding and give them a chance to make it up to you.
There are going to be times when you feel like all of the trouble isn’t worth it. This is normal. In fact, that’s “normal” in any relationship under the right circumstances. If you are feeling this way, take a step back and really think through why it doesn’t seem to be working. Is it too much effort? Do you feel like you are drifting apart? Do you miss regular physical interaction? Have one (or both) of you “changed”? Determine the issues and see if there is a solution. Maybe you need to visit each other more often or have more meaningful conversations. If the problem runs deeper than that or you feel like there is no solution, it might be time to end things. At least you know that you gave the relationship all that you had (a lot of people would have given up before long distance became a reality) and that you have come out of the relationship a stronger person than you were before.