Do long distance relationships work? It's been one of the more controversial subjects - we're sharing our thoughts, and how to make the most of yours.

You’re 100% sure this time -  you’ve met “The One”.

You’ve got the classic signs of infatuation: butterflies in the stomach, the delicious anticipation of seeing her.

There’s just one problem: there are miles and miles between you.

Maybe you met your special someone on a holiday abroad or your hometown sweetheart moved away. Whatever the case, you’ve got a long-distance relationship on your hands.

Do long distance relationships work?

Yes!

But (and you knew this was coming), there are conditions.

The thing is, you have to be willing to do the hard work to keep a long distance relationship going. It’s going to be hard, but think about your loved one...she’s worth it, isn’t she?

And here’s some good news - you’re not alone on this journey. There are 14 million couples who claim they’re in a long-distance relationship. That’s a lot of longing phone calls and pining hearts!

Long distance relationships have their own special set of rules, too. What might sink a regular relationship doesn’t apply to an LDR.

For example, a huge reason why regular couples break up is that they get too used to each other and the passion fizzles. If you only get to see each other occasionally, then this doesn’t exactly apply to you.

If you find yourself in the ranks of those who don’t get to see their S.O. often enough, don’t worry; this guide is going to walk you through everything you need to make your LDR bulletproof.

Communication is key

Communication breakdown is a big reason for ending an LDR - in fact, it’s one of the main reasons why regular couples break up. You need to touch base with your partner in a meaningful way as often as possible.

Does that mean being "clingy" and sending them meaningless “hey how are you” texts all day, every day?

No.

Bring meaning and intimacy to your long distance relationship by making your communication count. Call them a pet name. Have a “good morning” and/or “good night” ritual. Always keep on top of what’s going on in their life and ask follow up questions.

With the variety of apps and social media networks out there, staying in touch in a long distance relationship is easier than ever! We're no longer limited to snail mail or cheaper long distance minutes on Sunday night anymore.

Another bonus of quality communication?

Statistics show that 70% of LDRs end when something unexpected happens to one-half of the couple.

If you’re talking things through and encounter a bump in the road, you’ll be more likely to be able to navigate uncertain territory.

While you’re communicating…

Line up your goals

Figure out what the end goal is going to be for both of you.

Making sure you’re still on the same page is important so that one of you doesn’t cross the other’s boundaries.

Does your significant other hate it when you go out clubbing? Talk out your trust issues and make sure they see the night out as just a way to blow off steam with the boys.

Do you need to hear their voice and are only available on a Saturday night? Line up time to chat and make sure they get that talking to you over the phone is important to you.

Those are little goals to consider and strengthen the relationship - consider what your future will bring.

Are you going to ride out the relationship and see where it goes? Or at the end of the year do you want to move in together?

These are big questions for couples who live in close proximity; they get bigger for those who are miles and miles apart.

Finding out where you are and where you’re going is going to make your LDR much stronger and healthier in the long run.

Do things “Together”

Modern technology has made it easier to communicate, but let’s face it - nothing beats an old fashioned date.

How do you make that happen if you’ve got miles between you?

It’s actually easier than you think! When you get creative, you’ll find a way to carve out some time together in the real world.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to watch a movie at the same time.

If you know your favorite TV show comes on every Tuesday night, be in front of the TV and ready to text as the action plays out.

You can even pop in a movie or press play on an online video at the same time.

Try taking a walk while on the phone or recording a live video chat.

In fact, set up a live video chat and each of you can eat a meal while seeing each other face to face.

Texting and phone calls are great, but it makes such a huge difference when you’re able to see each other’s expression and body language.

Enjoy some alone time

This may seem counterintuitive, but it’s actually incredibly important for all couples.

You might think, “I’m already alone - they’re not around to be with me!” but this isn’t about being physically close.

You may have heard that you need to be a whole person before you can be a couple, and that’s truer than you think.

It does you no good to obsess over and pine for the person you’re missing, so get out there and live your own life!

Connect with your family. Bond with your friends. Or even just spend some time completely alone, exploring your town or staying in and working on your hobby.

Not only is it good for you mental health but it makes the time fly between meetups.

Your girlfriend loves you for you - so make time for yourself and build yourself up.

Just think - you’ll have tons to talk about next time you chat and you can show her a thing or two when you get together again!

Give her something to remember you by

Flowers fade and memories are intangible.

While it’s nice to have the thought of the fun things you did together and it does strengthen your bond, a great way to give her something to remember you by is with a physical gift.

When she sees your present, she’ll remember you and what you’ve got together.

Make it extra special by giving her a present “just because” - it doesn’t always have to be a Valentine’s gift or a birthday gift.

While flowers do fade, an Eternity Rose is definitely a unique gift that will wow her and show her you’re in it for the long haul.

Think of a gorgeous rose, the symbol of passionate and true love, picked at the height of its beauty and dipped in gold.

Is there a better way to declare your love and devotion?

There are many options - you can get a brilliantly colored rose glazed and tipped with gold or you can choose from three different types of precious metals.

Jewelry is overdone - go with an Eternity Rose for a symbol of endless love!

Make your LDR work for you

Now when someone wonders “do long term relationships work?” you’ll have the keys to their success on hand.

There’s no denying it takes some work and creativity - but what relationship doesn’t?

If you’re willing to go the distance for the special love you have, then you’re going to do just fine.

Follow these tips and you could be celebrating your 25th anniversary together!

I would love to hear your comments or answer any questions you might have about this post.

Yours sincerely,   


Dr. Carissa Coulston, Clinical Psychologist

BSc(Hons), MPsychol(Clinical), PhD, MAPS