5 Ways To Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work (No Matter How Long You'll Be Apart)

5 Ways To Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Work (No Matter How Long You'll Be Apart)

I don’t think anyone has ever been able to avoid hearing the seemingly inevitable fact that long-distance relationships are impossible. Everyone says, 'they don’t work, there’s no way to save them. It’s too far, too long, not enough communication or physical contact.' It simply ruins every relationship that attempts to make it work.

Well ladies, myself, and many other people that I know are living proof that this is not always true. I have experienced long-distance relationships. Yes, sometimes it sucks to be in one, so bad. There is no sugar coating that. It’s not easy. Nobody ever said it would be though. In fact, most people say the opposite.

But I refuse to admit that long-distance relationships are impossible because that simply isn’t true.

People make relationships over distance work every day. People who are married — they don’t just get a divorce every time one of them goes on a business trip or has to travel. Military husbands and wives — they tend to have it the hardest, considering one of them travels for many months at a time and they can't always bring their families with them. Mormons — they wait for their missionaries for 18 months to 2 years before they see them again. All of these people are living proof that long-distance relationships of all types are possible.

RELATED: 26 Best Bittersweet Love Quotes For Couples In Long Distance Relationships​

The thing that tends to be the key and the common denominator between all of these successful long-distance relationships and why they are successful is — as cheesy as this may sound — love.

I know, I know, what a cliché. All those fairy tales and hopeful teens going around saying 'love conquers all’ and all those sappy lines. But honestly, that’s the only thing that I have actually found that gets these couples through it. Obviously, there are a lot of aspects to working on a relationship that goes into these successful pairings, but the basic necessity is that there is enough love between the couple to make the pain worth it.

Long-distance will not succeed if you're not yet in love with each other. It's simply hard to generate enough attachment or motivation to keep the relationship going if you're not at that "love" stage yet.

If a couple tries attempting long-distance and one or both of the people couldn’t see the relationship going anywhere long-term (i.e. marriage, moving in together — or even making plans to attend a concert a year from now), it's obvious that they're not in love yet, and without that commitment, it's hard — if not impossible — for the relationship to survive when they're away from each other for an extended period of time.

Time together to form a bond — a commitment — is what is needed to help people fall in love, but it is nearly impossible to fall in love with someone initially through long-distance if you aren’t already in love to some degree before you start the long-distance aspect.

RELATED: 8 Ways Couples In Long Distance Relationships Keep Their Marriage Hot And Happy

So, assuming you are going into your long-distance relationship being in love and being able to see a future with this person, you are still going to struggle. That’s the honest truth. It’s hard not seeing your person every day. Having to rely solely on FaceTime and texting and Snapchatting and maybe Marco Polo and whatever other technological modes of communication you have to physically see each other on a regular basis. But assuming this is all applicable to you and your significant other, there are a few things that will be particularly helpful during this period of time apart that will help you find success in your long-distance relationship.

1. Communicate in a personable way every single day.

Something that was helpful for me was scheduling a time that my partner and I would FaceTime every day — because we were in different time zones and had busy work schedules, we had to find a time that worked for us each day so that we didn’t feel neglected or like the other person was MIA.

RELATED: How To Make A Long-Distance Relationship Work When You're Starting To Lose Hope

2. Send each other regular care packages and gifts.

Sending care packages to let your partner know you’re thinking about them, and send them special things to show your love. Shopping for cute gifts and care packages gives you a reason to think about them even more throughout the day as you're going around, running errands. It makes you want to look for things that you could send them as a little gift or inside joke in your next outbound gift box full of surprises.

3. Become pen pals — write actual letters and send them via snail mail.

Sending hand-written letters commits you to spend more time and energy and love on giving them a message. There is something about writing down your feelings and emotions and thoughts for a person on a piece of paper. It brings out the eloquence in everyone for some strange reason.

Writing a letter allows you to reminisce and say every possible thing you'd want to express all at once because you have to wait so long for them to get it and then respond — you don't want to miss anything. Writing letters just encompasses all those feelings in the best ways and keeps them strong while you're away from each other.

RELATED: These 18 Quotes That Prove Love Knows No Distance

4. Get creative with your long-distance dates to keep the fire alive.

Don’t stop flirting and trying to woo your significant other just because you’re dating and doing long-distance. Keep the fire alive and the spark still ignited through regular virtual date nights — apply this to your relationship and whatever that will mean to you. It's hard not to be together physically, but there are other ways to enjoy one another's company even from far apart just through a screen. 

5. Plan a trip to meet up half-way.

Plan a trip to go out and meet up with them halfway through your time apart if possible. A vacation together to somewhere new gives you something to look forward to and stay motivated. Giving yourselves a little goal to make it to, rather than waiting for the whole time period to end to be able to see them again. If you can just make it halfway, it makes it a lot easier to stay motivated and count down the days to that.

These are just a few ways to push through long-distance and make sure that you are staying loyal and true to your loved one. But remember, you have to have that love there in the first place in order for your relationship to have a chance while attempting long-distance. It isn’t easy, but it definitely is possible.

RELATED: 6 Signs Your Long-Distance Relationship Is In Major Trouble

Hayley Small is a writer who focuses on pop culture, religion and relationship topics.