You've fallen in love with an incredible man, but can your relationship last when you live apart?
This is something I haven't talked about for a while, but a lady client asked me about it recently and I'd like to share what I told her. "Can long distance relationships work? Are they worth the risk of getting hurt?" The thing with this question is there isn't a clear-cut answer. It's not really a yes or no question. Can a long distance relationship last? Yes, I think it can, but only if the two people in the relationship are prepared to work at it, and are well-aligned.
Let me share with you what I think are the 5 secrets to making a long distance romance successful:
1. Have Open Expectations
When you decide to get together, you need to be clear how often you want to see each other. It doesn't really matter whether you agree to meet up once a week, once a month, or once every couple of months. What's important is you're both cool with the agreed gap between visits.
If he's happy to see you once a month but you want to spend every weekend together, let him know. Don't settle for anything less than you're comfortable with. Otherwise, you're always going to be in conflict. Make sure you're both happy with what you decide.
2. Be Realistic
You shouldn't start a relationship with someone with the intention of making him move to where you live. Sure, if the relationship continues to go well, he may decide he wants to live near you, but don't force the issue. If your plan from the start is to persuade him to move, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. If you can't cope with the possibility he'll always want to live where he is, you shouldn't start the relationship in the first place.
3. Limit Expectations
Don't Expect him to do all the running. This is so important if a long distance relationship is going to work. You have to take it in turns to travel to see each other. You can't expect him to always come to where you live. It's not fair and before long he'll start to resent the relationship.
It happened to a friend of mine once. He started seeing a woman a few hundred miles from him. It was OK to begin with, but never once did she attempt to make the trip to his. When he told her he thought she needed to come to his, her answer was, "You're the man. It's only fair you come to me." Wrong attitude! He called it off.
4. Keep In Regular Contact
Back in "the old days", this was harder. Today, you have no excuse! Email, Skype, Facebook, phone (remember that?) and text means you can stay in contact as if you were living together. The key here is to not go over the top. Don't call and text 20 times a day. But a few flirty text messages are great for keeping the fire burning.
5. Be Honest From The Beginning
Some people have open long distance relationships where they see other people. Is that something you'd consider? You need to be open about your relationship from the start. Are you going to commit to each other or is this just casual fun? Again, it's really important you and your partner are on the same page about this or there's going to be problems.
The key to long distance romances is to set your expectations from the beginning. It's not easy to keep them going, but it is possible as long as you're both open and honest about everything from the start. Just go into it with your eyes open, and you never know, before long, your long distance romance could become an every day "living together" romance.
For more dating advice for women, head over to my blog. Right now you can download a free 32 minute video which teaches you, "How to Speak Man."
More dating advice from YourTango: