The Quick Report

7 Ways to Have a Successful Long-Distance Relationship

In This Article…

• Long-distance relationships can pose unique challenges, but with the right mindset and strategies, they can also flourish and thrive.
• Learn why communication, trust, and emotional connection are the most important factors in maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship.
• Discover seven practical ways to foster success and strengthen the bond with your partner, even when miles apart.

Artistic depiction of a long-distance relationship -- two people walking on a long road

Myth: Long-Distance Relationships Don’t Work

We’ve all heard it said time and again by many people that long-distance relationships never work. That simply isn’t true. Even long-distance marriages can and do work. 

There are various reasons for long-distance relationships. Some of the most common may be work, education, caregiving, and more. These couples may have to meet at their respective homes, remotely online using apps, in a neutral place, on vacation, and more. But they find a way.

In this article, you’ll learn the secrets to successful long-distance relationships and marriages. The adage, “It takes two,” comes into play. It starts with the key ingredients of an emotional connection, communication, trust, and a willingness to put forth the effort and not give up.

7 Steps to a Successful Long-Distance Relationship

By putting the following seven steps into practice, you’ll have the tools to build and maintain a successful long-distance relationship.

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels

Effective communication is the foundation of any successful relationship. Communication is even more critical in a long-distance scenario. Each person must be able to express their needs and desires. They need to be heard and to feel respected.

Schedule dedicated times for communication to create a sense of routine and connection. Breaks in communication can sometimes lead to misconceptions about a person’s interest level or priorities.

Establish clear communication channels that work for both partners. It might be regular phone calls, video chats, messaging apps, or email. Just be careful with text-only messaging, as it is more easily misunderstood than speaking by voice. 


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2. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

While regular communication is vital, the quality of your interactions matters just as much. Focus on meaningful conversations rather than sheer quantity.

It also requires emotional reliability. Not just “showing up,” but truly being present and accountable in the moment. Share your thoughts, feelings, and experiences openly to maintain a deep emotional connection.

Remember, quality communication builds intimacy and helps bridge the physical gap between you. There should be no gap between your hearts.

3. Build Trust Through Transparency

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. In long-distance scenarios – it’s paramount. 

Regular and quality communication helps establish a foundation. Missing scheduled communication times or dropping off the map for several days does not help establish trust.

Be transparent about your daily activities, share your plans, and express your feelings openly. Establishing trust requires vulnerability and honesty, creating a solid foundation for a lasting connection.

4. Set Relationship Goals

Having shared goals helps create a sense of purpose and direction in a long-distance relationship. 

Discuss your individual and collective aspirations, both short-term and long-term. The key is to strike a balance between independence and connection.

Setting relationship goals can be as simple as planning visits, celebrating milestones together, or envisioning your future as a couple. This shared vision fosters a sense of unity and commitment.

5. Create Shared Experiences and Rituals Despite the Distance

Find creative ways to share experiences with your partner even when miles apart. These are referred to as rituals and can help keep you grounded, as well as bring playfulness and joy. These rituals might be things you did in the early stages of dating.

Even apart, you can watch movies or series and discuss them later. You can read the same book.

Technology offers various tools to create shared moments despite physical separation. Playing online games, for example. You can share moments at a favorite location via video chat. By engaging in activities together, you maintain a sense of togetherness and shared interests.

6. Plan Regular Visits, Reunions, and Spontaneity

Ultimately, long-distance relationships have to share in-person moments. Physical proximity is essential for the health of any relationship. Plan regular visits and reunions with family and/or friends to bridge the distance and create cherished memories.

These in-person moments help solidify the emotional bond, reassuring and strengthening the connection. Knowing when you’ll see each other next can provide a sense of anticipation and optimism.

Always leave some flexibility to allow for spontaneity. It may take some creativity, even a serious effort to drop everything or move heaven and Earth. But it speaks volumes regarding how you rank your relationship’s importance. 

7. When You Fight, Fight Fair

Disagreements are inevitable in all human relationships, among the best of people, and romantic relationships are no exception.

While all couples will disagree, it takes a much more delicate approach in long-distance relationships. It’s harder to convey concerns at a distance, especially without further wounding the other. Expressing concerns, questions, disappointments, fears, pain, and vulnerabilities can also be harder.

It is important to argue fairly and use emotional intelligence in disagreements. Don’t give the silent treatment, withhold your true thoughts and feelings, berate the other person, or act in passive-aggressive ways. All of these behaviors are toxic to a long-distance relationship.

The only way to handle disagreements is to circle back to the cornerstones of transparency, clear communication, and trust. Allow each person to be heard and feel respected.