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Sustaining a Long Distance Relationship

by Sierra Koester, studioD

Long-distance relationships are tough for couples, no matter what the reason might be for the separation -- work, school or a military deployment. But that doesn't mean that long-distance relationships can't be successfully sustained with a lot of hard work and effort. There are several things you can do to maintain a good relationship while you are separated from your partner.

Communicate Daily

It's essential for long-distance couples to maintain an emotional connection. Therapist and relationship adviser Dr. Terri Orbuch suggests couples in long-distance relationships communicate daily by phone, e-mail, text message or video chat. She asserts it's not necessary to have an in-depth meaningful conversation every time you talk. Instead, talk about your day, ask your partner her opinion on a situation you're dealing with or celebrate the small victories in your lives together.

Have an End Goal

Break-up coach Eddie Corbano says it's essential to create a plan for your long-distance relationship as soon as you realize you want to be together. Decide whether you or your partner will move to where the other lives or whether you will both move to a new location. It's also important to create a time-frame for meeting your end goal.

Set Rules and Parameters

Online Dating Magazine reports a study on long-distance relationships showed that 70 percent of couples who did not set rules and parameters in their relationships broke up within six months. It is essential that you set rules in your long-distance relationship in order to sustain it. Discuss how often you will talk and how often you will see each other in person. It's also important for you and your partner to make a commitment to your relationship and not date other people.


Trust is essential in sustaining a long-distance relationship. There will inevitably be times when you and your partner are not able to reach one another because you're busy with your friends, family, work or school. Don't jump to conclusions. Instead, keep each other informed about your lives and your feelings about the relationship. Dr. Orbuch recommends that you should trust your partner until he gives you a reason not to.

Keep Romance Alive

It can be especially difficult to keep romance alive when you're in a long-distance relationship. Online Dating Magazine suggests having date nights, even when you are apart. For instance, you could both rent the same movie and watch it together at the same time. You can talk on the phone while you're watching it or discuss it afterwards. Send your partner special gifts, such as flowers, homemade cookies, candy or a stuffed animal, suggests eHarmony. You could also gather some smaller items together, and send them in a care package.

About the Author

Sierra Koester has been writing professionally since 2006, contributing to several websites and blogs. She received her B.A. in psychology from DePauw University in 2004.

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