How To Make Long-Distance Work

Long-distance relationships can seem frustrating and discouraging at times. Everyone can agree on the fact that it isn't easy, but it can be extremely rewarding! Being in a long-distance relationship can bring you back to the essential things in a relationship that it is so easy not to appreciate when you live close to each other.

Thanks to modern technology we can stay connected like never before! No more having to wait until the weekend to call each other on the landline or having to take pictures with your camera, take the rolls of film to a print shop, and then mail a picture of yourself to your S.O. in another state. Now, we are spoiled because we can snap a quick photo of our morning latte and instantly send it to our boo halfway across the country or call them for a video chatting session any time of the day. 

Can a Long-Distance Relationship Work? 

Absolutely! Couples have successfully been figuring out to make their long-distance relationship work for centuries. A long time ago, they had to rely on letters that took months to receive. And who knows when you'd get to see your love in person next! 

We now have modern technology to thank for our ability to keep up with our favorite people when they live far away. With modern technology, a little creativity, and a whole lot of patience and communication, anyone can maintain a loving, long-distance relationship. We at Lovebox have put together a guide to help you find what will work best for you and your S.O.!

Keep reading to discover our most researched 27 best tips on how to make your long-distance relationship work

27 Tips To Make Long-Distance Work 

No relationship is the same. Everyone is as unique and different as is their relationships. So, some of our tips will work great for you and your S.O., and others not so much. And that's okay! We're all different, and so are our relationships. That's why we've included as many tips as we could find so you can try them all out and see which one helps you stay connected the most in your long-distance relationship

The main thing is you communicate with your long-distance significant other on how they feel about making your relationship work. Then, ask your S.O. what tips and suggestions they want to try. You never know until you ask! Maybe they've had a few ideas on how to stay connected in different time zones and with different schedules that you hadn't considered.  

 Ready for some of our best long-distance relationship tips

 Let's dive in! 

1. Keep Up With Each Other’s Schedules 

One of the best things you can do in a long-distance relationship is keep up with your schedules so you can feel a part of each other's lives. It isn't due to a lack of trust, to control the other person, or to know what they are always up to because of jealousy, but to stay connected. It helps you feel closer day-to-day as you try new things, make new friends, and explore different places.

For example, find out what time they go to their favorite coffee shop and find out what they ordered. Know when they are giving an important presentation at work so you can call or text their support before they present and then congratulate them when it's over. 

2. Honesty Is the Best Policy 

Honesty really is the best policy in all relationships, but especially when it comes to long-distance couples. So let them know when you are eating with a coworker or what movie you're watching on Netflix. Not to check in but so that they can always trust you and count on you. 

Staying honest in a long-distance relationship helps you also be able to express your valid fears, hopes, and regrets without feeling exposed. In addition, when you maintain an honest and open relationship, you can be vulnerable to each other without insecurity or misunderstanding

3. Avoid Over Communicating 

Sometimes, it is easy to start over-communicating when you are apart for an extended period of time because you are trying to find things to say to fill the gap when conversations begin to lag between "good morning" and "good night." Texting makes it especially easy to over-communicate during the day (and night). 

But, in reality, we don't need to text each other 24/7. There's nothing wrong with the constant communication, but sometimes you can just be silent and wait until you have something you need to say. 

Knowing how often to communicate with your long-distance love has unique challenges, but planning quality time and virtual date nights can help keep some of the pressure off during the day-to-day, as can setting clear boundaries. It's not about the quantity of communication, but the depth.

4. See Long-Distance as a Learning Opportunity 

All relationships are learning opportunities, but especially long-distance relationships! We learn and grow both as individual people and as committed people in loving relationships. When your relationship is long-distance, you can take the time you need to learn about yourself. 

You can find learning opportunities in being patient, being satisfied with seeing your favorite person less often than you would prefer, and being thankful for the time you have together. Another significant aspect of learning in a long-distance relationship is that you are both learning together. 

5. Discuss Ground Rules for Managing Both of Your Expectations 

It's essential to discuss each other's expectations and understand your preferences before something unintentionally hurtful happens to either one of you. It's easy to get our feelings hurt when we expect a situation without discussing it with the other person. 

Be sure to discuss each other's communication expectations and ideals. Make sure you discuss how you will handle sticky situations with others, such as coworkers or mutual friends. It's much easier to discuss the expectations first before something happens. 

6. Give Them a Personal Memento to Remind Them of You 

 An excellent way to feel close to each other while you are physically separated is to give one another a personal memento or gift that is a reminder of the other person—for example, a favorite well-worn hoodie or a stuffed animal you've had since childhood. 

Perhaps you lend them your well-worn copy of your favorite books so they can reread them and feel close to you. Whatever memento you'd both like to share is up to you. The main thing is that it is something that connects you while you are miles apart. 

7. Decide What Messaging App Works Best for Both of You 

Decide at the beginning of your long-distance relationship what messaging app is best for both of you. There's nothing more frustrating than someone messaging you on an app you don't use or that you may not even have downloaded on your phone.  

Or maybe it's just an app you don't like to use a lot, like Snapchat. Whatever the case may be, chat with your partner about how they would like to communicate with you. Maybe it's through texting, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, or Instagram. Whatever you both prefer, as long as it's shared early on, so there's no frustration in your communication. 

8. Become Pen Pals 

Yep! Good old-fashioned snail mail! Becoming pen pals with your long-distance significant other is a great way to share what's going on in your life and how much you miss them. 

Plus, physically writing out your thoughts can help you process your own emotions and desires easier—your S.O. will appreciate the thoughtfulness and attention you put into your communication. You could buy each other fun stationery and stickers and stamps to make letter writing more creative. 

Don't forget your stamps!  

9. Stay Positive

Positivity matters. No matter what we’re doing in life, it’s essential to stay positive for our mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health. However, it is necessary to stay positive when you are in a long-distance relationship. Not just for your health, but the health of the relationship. Remember, everything is just for a season. 

There will be times you are apart and times you are together. We all can feel sad and discouraged sometimes, but when your general outlook on your long-distance relationship is positive, everything will go much smoother for you and your S.O. The best is yet to come. 

10. Have an End Date in Mind 

It helps to have an idea at least of how long you’ll be doing long-distance as a couple. For example, maybe your S.O. is in medical school out of state, and you know they will be back in two years. Or perhaps they are doing contract work, and they are just gone for the summer. 

Whatever the case may be, having a date on the calendar helps you stay focused and hopeful of the future. A super cute idea would be to buy a calendar or countdown planner so you both can look at the dates and know there’s a date you will be together in the future. 

11. Don’t Forget Why 

Maybe you are in a long-distance relationship because one of you is advancing your career. Perhaps one of you had to move to another city to get an advanced degree or career training. The important thing is not to forget why you are in a long-distance relationship

This way, when times get tough, you can shoot the other person a text or make a quick FaceTime call and be honest about feeling tired of long-distance, but you are super proud of everything they’ve accomplished. You know soon you’ll live closer, and you’ll be together, but for right now, you fully support them! 

12. Send Each Other Care Packages

A fun idea of doing long-distance work is gathering up some of your boo’s favorite items, writing out a sweet card, and mailing them a care package. For example, you could include their favorite candy or a new book they’ve wanted to read. 

Another fun idea is to send themed care packages. So, one care package could be a movie night theme, and you could send movie tickets, popcorn, a blanket, and some hot chocolate mix. Then you could schedule a night to stream a movie together. The possibilities are endless! 

13. Don’t Put Your Own Life on Hold

It is often easy to unintentionally put our own lives on hold while in a long-distance relationship. We will think, well, we don’t want to go on that trip with friends because our significant other is on the other side of the country. Or we will not take our dream job in another location because we aren’t sure what the future will hold. 

Go live your life! You never know how long it will take for you to be together again in the exact physical location. There will always be plenty of time to go do things together, but now is the time to truly live your life and discover who you are.  

14. Maintain Quality Communication 

As we’ve mentioned, we tend to over-communicate due to such easy access to modern technology and immediacy. So it’s essential to make sure when you do communicate that it is quality communication. Talk about the books you are reading, the podcasts you are listening to, and the shows you are currently binging. 

Don’t worry about filling the silence with words when the conversation goes dry. A helpful tip may be to list topics to talk about the next time you chat. For example, maybe you could read the same book and when you finish, have a quality conversation about what you liked and didn’t like about it.  

15. Boring Is Okay 

Sometimes it may seem as if your relationship is on the boring side because it’s challenging to do a lot of enjoyable in-person things when you are far apart. Boring is okay! Life can sometimes seem boring. But the boring part is just as important in a relationship as the exciting stuff. 

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, the everyday things you talk about can get boring. But now you’ll be ready when, years down the road, you are living together and find your life boring. Boring won’t scare you or make you think that there’s something wrong with your relationship. You’ll know it’s just a part of life! 

16. Do the Same Things

If you and your long-distance partner both like running, try to keep up with their training schedule and work towards a marathon together. Recommend the same books, movies, T.V. shows, and podcasts to each other. This way, you will always have something to talk about when conversations can become somewhat monotonous. How did you sleep? What did you eat for supper? 

These questions can feel routine over time. So doing the same hobbies and free-time activities, you will always have something to share with the other person, some running tips you read about, or a recommended show to binge together next. 

17. Be Patient With Each Other 

Nights apart can be lonely. Not seeing each other for months at a time can be frustrating. You know something is off, but they aren’t sharing with you why. We’ve all been there! Being patient with each other during moments like that can help you maintain a healthy long-distance relationship

We all get angry, tired, and sad. Sometimes it can be harder to communicate those feelings over text messages or FaceTime. Be patient. Let them know you are there for them when they’re ready to talk.  

18. Trust the Process 

Long-distance is a process. Learning about each other when you’re not in the exact physical location takes time. Consoling each other, supporting each other, and encouraging each other through phone calls and texts can be challenging, but always trust the process. In some ways, you can even learn more about each other when you are in separate locations because you have to be intentional. 

It will get better. It just takes time.  

19. Keep a Goal in Mind

Discuss your relationship goals. You may feel like it is too soon or too serious about starting the discussion, but it’s not. If you’re investing a good amount of your time and energy in someone who isn’t even in the same place as you, you need to keep your goals for the relationship in mind.

Keeping your long-distance relationship goal in mind is also great for planning for your future. For example, maybe you want to get a job promotion in another country for a few months, or perhaps you want to travel full time for a year. Knowing how long and where you’re going in your long-distance relationship gives you (and your S.O.!) the freedom to make the best choices in life and pursue your passion.  

20. Include Them in the Lives of Your Friends and Family 

It’s essential to keep your S.O. involved in your friends and family’s lives to make them feel included in yours. Just keeping them up-to-date and having them in their important life events such as weddings and birthdays will help you maintain a healthy long-distance relationship. Including your S.O. in your family’s lives also helps them feel secure in your relationship and trust you are thinking of them in your future. 

21. Share Your Feelings

Share your feelings. No matter how uncomfortable or embarrassing they may be, always share your feelings. That is what will keep you connected and bonded over a long distance. Of course, vulnerability matters in relationships, and it can be a challenge to share over the phone, but it will become more manageable for you over time. Encourage your S.O to share their feelings as well. 

22. Be Spontaneous 

There is a certain monotony that comes with a long-distance relationship. That is why it’s important to be spontaneous whenever possible. Of course, it’s helpful to have a routine of when to chat with your S.O., but a random call on a Tuesday just to tell them you were thinking about them and you’re hoping they’re having a great day is sure to bring a smile to their face. 

Better yet, send them flowers just because or order their favorite meal and have it Doordashed to their office to surprise them on a Monday morning.  

Don’t forget the dessert! 

23. Take a Trip 

Take a relaxing trip to the mountains or the beach. Or wherever may be in the middle of both of your houses. Try not to have too much planned or too many expectations beyond wanting just to enjoy each other’s presence. You could take a nonconventional trip and rent a treehouse in the mountains or go glamping. Anything different and fun but relaxing. It’s essential to spend time together. 

24. Visit Each Other Regularly 

Sometimes it’s just not possible to see each other regularly. Maybe you have demanding or conflicting schedules. Whatever the case may be, it’s a good idea to schedule regular visits where you alternate who is going where. Even if it’s just for short weekends, it’ll boost your spirits and keep you going until the next time you see each other. 

Plan to visit when there’s not too much going on either. It can be stressful when your S.O. comes for a visit in the middle of your final exams or an important presentation, and you need to prepare. They feel conflicted wanting to spend time with you, but they know you want them to succeed. They want to see you and spend time with you, not spend the whole time in the office. Just plan accordingly and communicate when the best time is to visit for both of you. 

25. Surprise Each Other 

Everybody loves a surprise! When your S.O. is least expecting it, try to book a flight to see them and surprise them at work, school, or their favorite coffee shop during their afternoon coffee run. It’s sure to bring a smile to their face, and it’ll be a memorable time for both of you. 

If it just isn’t possible to surprise them in person, then surprise them by sending them a bouquet of their favorite flowers or a basket of their favorite wine and chocolates; anything that says to them you are thinking of them. 

26. Focus on What You Can Control 

When you are trying to maintain a long-distance relationship, there’s a lot that’s out of your control. As a result, it can be overwhelming and frustrating. But maintain focus on what you can control in your relationships, such as your attitude, communication, and ability to put the other person’s needs before your own. 

Staying focused on what you can control also helps you stay patient and understand how hard it is on your S.O. as well. You may not communicate with each other often, but long-distance is tiring and stressful. 

27. Get Creative With Communication 

Communication can get boring when you go between texting, Facetime, WhatsApp, and Skype. So at times like those, it’s essential to get out of your communication rut and find creative ways to stay connected over a long distance. For example, try new ways of sending love notes, such as our Lovebox—the world’s first love note messenger. It’s a creative way to send loved ones notes all over the world. 

First, send them a Lovebox and download the free app. When you want to send your S.O. a love note, you can choose between sending notes, drawings, stickers, or pictures. 

After you have your message, you send it to them, and their heart spinny will spin around to let them know you sent them a message. Then when they open the box, the heart will stop spinning, and they can send you a shower of hearts over your screen in response. Our free app is super easy to use, and you get to choose the color of your spinny! We even have a special Lovebox for lovers
 

Summary 

Knowing how to maintain a long-distance relationship comes with time and patience. Following our best researched 27 tips for maintaining your long-distance relationship will help, but it’s through trial and error that you will know what will work best for your relationship. Every relationship is different, just like every person is different. 

However, making long-distance work is possible and rewarding! As long as you have consistent communication and that you see long-distance as a learning opportunity for both of you. 

Keep surprising each other and keep involving each other in the lives of your friends and family as well. Involvement and quality communication will ensure you stay connected and bonded during your time apart. Remember everything is for a season! And stay positive! 

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Sources: 

8 Best Tips to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work | Time

10 Tips to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work  | Psychology Today

8 Tips To Make A Long–Distance Relationships Work: Life Kit  | NPR

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