Do Long Distance Relationships Actually Work?

Woman texting.
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Many people believe that long distance relationships are destined for failure. Is it even possible to sustain a healthy, happy, fulfilling relationship with someone when he or she is far away?

While long distance relationships do present their own set of unique challenges, this doesn't mean that they don't work. There are many people in highly rewarding, long-term relationships of this sort. If you're thinking about starting a long distance relationship or are wondering how to make it last, consider these five key secrets that can help it succeed.

1. Technology Is Your Friend

Luckily for those in long distance relationships today, technology is key to sustaining and cultivating their connection with their partner. Make texting, talking, and video chatting a real priority and try to communicate as much as possible. That way, even though your partner may be many miles away, he or she's still able to stay in touch with you and stay present in your life, even when he or she can't be physically present. There are plenty of date ideas for those in long distance relationships that are a lot of fun and made available because of technology.

2. Make Plans to See Each Other as Often as Possible

For those in successful long distance relationships, another important habit is that they set up concrete plans for the next time they'll be together, whether they're celebrating a holiday or are just having a weekend visit. It can be challenging to never know when you'll see your partner again.

Many couples create travel schedules and plan trips so that they have something to look forward to in terms of when they'll be together next. The sheer anticipation of seeing your partner IRL, even if it's weeks or months away, can help add to the excitement and energy in your relationship as well.

3. Place a Priority on Openness

Another key characteristic of a meaningful long distance relationship is that each person has a clear understanding of his or her partner's daily schedule. Long distance couples are transparent about their daily routines so that there's no mystery, awkwardness, or jealousy. Honesty is the cornerstone of any successful, strong relationship, and long distance couples are open and honest with one another about what each person's up to, who he or she's with, and anything else that's going on in his or her life.

4. Incorporate the Element of Surprise

While you may think it's difficult to surprise your partner when you're in a long distance relationship, this is actually not the case. Long distance couples often use the element of surprise to keep their relationship exciting, engaging, and interesting. Whether you surprise your partner with a care package, send a handwritten love letter, or have a bottle of wine sent to your partner's table when he or she's dining out with friends, long distance lovers often perform random acts of kindness from a distance in order to stay close. You can be present in your partner's life by presenting him or her with meaningful presents, big or small.

5. Be on the Same Page About the Future

Another key characteristic of a successful long distance relationship is that you and your partner have discussed your future together and how it'll work. If you live far away from your partner and neither one of you is willing to move at some point in order to be together, then you're on the road to relationship heartbreak. It's important that you and your partner are as specific as possible regarding your future in terms of how long you see yourselves being far apart from one another.

For instance, is this the reality for the next year or for the next five years? Is there a city you'll both live in together at some point? There are also couples who have long distance marriages, and as long as you're both open, honest, and in sync about your future together, then your relationship is far more likely to work out in the long run.