Love Knows No Distance
Credit: MsSaraKelly on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

As the world becomes more and more connected online, this has changed the dynamics of relationships. In years past, while long distance relationships were possible, they were probably less common. Also, while once perhaps considered taboo, online dating is also, for the most part, accepted as part of today's norm. 1

While long distance relationships have always existed, new and improved technologies have offered a bridge for people from different places to connect and meet one another. As a result, the number of people entering these types of relationships have become much more frequent. Chances are many people will (or have already) be involved in at least one long distance love relationship at some point during their lives.

Although, relationships that have the added hurdle of geography do often have many challenges, there are many partnerships which flourish despite the miles that separate them. These couples have successfully balanced the challenges contained within the relationship with the drawbacks. It is these couples who are the ones who have learned the secrets to making a long distance relationship work.

If you are new to a long distance relationship or are finding yourself involved in an online dating situation, you may be wondering just how people successfully manage to keep their relationships alive. There are many approaches you can take to your relationship to help it develop into a lasting one.

Establish Routine

A significant contributing factor to making a distance relationship work is to find a way to establish routine contact with your loved one. Fortunately, technology has provided many avenues for people to do this. Possibilities include instant messengers, online video chatting, social media chatting, cellphones, webcams and email to connect. Skype has become a very popular way for people living in different regions to stay closer in touch with its messenger and video capabilities.

In a relationship situation, the more often two people can talk to one another, the more "connected" they'll feel. If you are in this situation, the digital connections will make the miles between you and your partner feel lessened because of the many ways technology allows you to easily communicate.

Down the Road
Credit: Leigh Goessl/All rights reserved

The two-location geography factor is tough in a relationship, however, by working together and finding ways to connect, this can alleviate some of the pains created by distance.

Practice Open Trust and Communication

Trust and communication is another vital component of a long distance relationship. Without these two attributes, you'll likely find your relationship experiencing a lot of pressure and stress. If you don't trust your partner, or he or she does not trust you, this will cause problems between the two of you. While the miles between you are far, keep in mind if you can connect through your hearts and achieve that important trust factor, this will alleviate the burden of the distance aspect.

Symbolic Gestures 

Another way you can keep the vibrancy alive in your long distance relationship is to send frequent thoughtful gifts or symbols of love to show your partner how you feel. It also serves as a tangible reminder of the bond you share (or are trying to build). The gifts don't have to be expensive; it is the thought and sentiment of the gift that matter far more than the money spent. Write a short note or poem, drop a photo in the actual mail instead of email, buy a nice card or send some other small token of affection.

Personal Visits

Time spent together may be infrequent, but if you make a concentrated effort to make trips to see one another as time and finances permit this is another way to help keep your relationship going strong. The good part about this is the time you spent together will be appreciated more because time is of the essence and you won't take it for granted. Remember it is the quality of time spent which is important, not the quantity.

If time or money is an issue to travel to see each other, one thing you can consider is to find good frequent flyer programs or to discover places you can meet halfway to make the travel less stressful or burdensome for one (or both) of you. If you each make a shorter trip to a place neither of you resides, it gives you the opportunity to explore new places together and also reduces putting too much pressure on one person to do all the traveling. Spending your time in places neither of you reside also provides you with new and exciting experiences to share and subsequently bond over.

It's worth the wait
Credit: Neveen on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution

Maintain Your Own Separate Life

Believe it or not, an incredibly important aspect to making your long distance relationship work is to maintain your own friendships and keep actively involved with your personal interests. If you spend the majority of your time sitting at home pining for your love and fretting over the distance factor, this is not healthy nor will it help keep your relationship strong. On the other hand, keeping an active lifestyle will help you fill those days, weeks or months with other things to do besides missing your love. When you get involved in outside activities and spend time with friends, this will make you feel less isolated from your partner. And you'll probably feel better in general. 

Maintaining a busy life also gives you a variety of things to talk about with your mate when you do talk, rather than spending your time discussing much you miss one another. In this respect, it grows your relationship because the two of you aren't focusing your relationship about the drawback of the distance which exists, which is nothing new.  The distance factor is the same old, same old. However, talking about active days with new news or information can help keep your relationship fresh and vibrant. By keeping busy with your own separate life, you'll probably both end up feeling more connected than ever because you'll have so much more to talk about.

By refocusing on the positives of your long distance relationship, in many ways this actually enhances your relationship rather than focusing on the negatives associated with being apart.  When you focus on the downsides of the miles between you it tends to put a damper, but by concentrating on positive energy, this helps nurtures your relationship.

Long distance relationships have their issues, but increasingly many people are finding ways to erase the miles and experience happy, healthy and fulfilling relationships with the person they love.

Long distance relationship
Credit: Brian Ingmanson on Flickr/CC by 2.0 with Attribution