Building and managing relationships take work from all parties involved. If done right, where awareness, accountability, comfort and compassion can flow, these experiences can become some of the most cherished of our lives. The magic of it all seems to stem from starting off rather unexpectedly. Even if you hit it off immediately, you won’t know until later on down the line whether things are going to last.

Add in a life change, responsibility or reality that calls you to live in a different place (from that of your significant other) and things can get a little complicated. Absence has been said to make the heart grow fonder, but is it also capable of making the heart grow disinterested? Here’s what we know about how to make a long distance relationship work. 

Set Expectations

getting rid of pleasure anxiety
Photo credit: Halfpoint Images

Say you spark with someone in such a special way that your desire to get to know and build with them supersedes being in the same place while doing this. You’ve found yourself in the midst of a developing, long distance relationship. Whether that’s different cities or states, there’s a chance that, with real effort (and a shared desire), you can come out on the other side. Here’s how:

I know the love of it all can make you feel like the act of planning taking the back seat is a good idea. It never is. Even if it’s early days, setting expectations helps to build boundaries and manage emotions to the best of your abilities. Set expectations about how often you’ll speak and have some flexibility around that. Set expectations about how often you’ll see one another and be flexible around that. Sometimes work or family may call for a reunion to be pushed by a day or a week.

Perhaps, meeting in the other partner’s hometown might work better. Take into consideration what would allow you both to spend time, be present and enjoy one another. It’s also important to consider what’s affordable and to work towards establishing a bond without breaking the bank (if possible). Here’s how you can get creative:

Get Creative

Getting creative isn’t just about fulfilling fantasies. It allows you to observe how your partner plans, how they speak up for themselves and consider your desires. Maybe you’ll cook a meal together over video chat or go see a movie at the same time (in your respective cities) and come home to critique it over the phone. Maybe you’ll send one another take out and talk about your week. It’s all about being there while you can’t be there.

If you’ve made the commitment and stand by it, focus on that and how to foster it so that you can stay connected. Speaking of staying connected, depending on your comfort zone, sex is/can be a big part of that. Being physically intimate usually requires parties to be in the same place. And then there was the internet!

Talk about your fantasies, kinks, things you want to do when you get together. Try video sex if you’re so inclined. Toys and tips are readily available – just do a quick google search. And, if this doesn’t fully cut it, know that you’ll be together soon which, technically, doesn’t have to be in either of your hometowns. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?


Road trip! Life calls for enough routine and responsibility. Love is a space for freedom to flow and that can mean leaving your surroundings behind to explore a new place with your new or (old) love. Whether from a film that you both love or that place on one of your bucket lists, making plans to travel and creating time for it can really strengthen the bond. You’re creating new memories, most importantly, spending time and learning about/from one another.

You’ll have reminders of why you fell for them in the first place and why this commitment feels right. You’re taking photos together and of one another sharing how beautiful the whole experience is and creating mementos for when you can’t be in the same place at the same time. Still, this level of adventure doesn’t need to be exclusive to when you’re together. How to really make a long distance relationship work? Spending quality time alone.

Live Your Life

You’ll miss each other like crazy when you aren’t together so spend time outside alone, with friends and with family. It’ll make the time that you do get to spend together that much richer. And it’ll give you the chance to deepen your bond with yourself and loved ones. A strong support system is important no matter the case, but especially in this one. Lean on them and enjoy them from time to time. Check on them and their relationships, learn from their wisdom and remember why you’re committed to your special someone.

Vent about the bad days when you can’t wait to be together while highlighting all of the things that work. And, when you do get that time to yourself, enjoy it. Rest if you need to or take yourself out for a date. This time is about you, but feel free to reflect on dates passed or the next time that you can be with your partner. Remember why you’re in it!

Define Commitment

Lesbian couple dancing in living room

An informal online survey of 1,000 American adults who were or had been in long-distance relationships confirmed that 58 percent of those relationships were successful. It’s also been said that 50% of marriages end in divorce. As a result, one could gather that the success of relationships, whether maintained in the same place or not, is up to the participants. In any case, especially this one, it’s important to communicate about what’s working and what’s not working.

To refresh one another’s memory on the love that you have for one another and when you’ll be reunited. It’s also important to check-in on whether that date of merging lives on the same coast can take place. Hope is how to make a long distance relationship work. It goes a long way, yes, but action can take hope even farther. We wish all of our long distance lovers the best in their relationships and personal journeys!