Being far away from each other can be rough on a relationship. When words are all that exist to connect to the other person, it is best to make the conversations really count. From the crucial to the simply entertaining, consider the time apart an opportunity for growth. Spend the time learning as much about the other person as possible and hone your communication skills.
Having different goals can be extremely damaging to a relationship. If the physical distance isn't enough of a challenge, then being on diverging paths of life will definitely cause strain. Take the time to get on the same page about what you expect from the future. Talk about where you both want to be geographically, what marriage looks like to you, what you want out of your career and how those things will affect the other person. Then build a solid plan to find a unified path. This is a time when being apart could be considered an asset because there are no physical distractions to get in the way of progress.
Everyone has something that drives or inspires him. Find out what that is, then talk about it and ask questions. This will let your sweetheart know that regardless of distance, you are still engaged and desiring to connect. It will foster security and demonstrate selflessness. Also, do not be afraid if that thing changes over time. If your loved one is still willing to share with you in the change, all is well. Make sure you also tell your mate what drives you. Be specific about the time you spend volunteering at the soup kitchen, the poetry you write or the kids you read to at the library.
Sometimes all there is to talk about is the mundane. Allow for that. Discuss the burnt dinner or the clogged sink. Commiserate over terrible traffic and laugh over bad haircuts. If you were living in the same house, you would share these things. There is no reason to not share them while you are apart. You might be surprised by how much you can learn about someone when talking about daily life.
"What Did You Learn About Me Today?"
Ask, "What did you learn about me today?" and invite her to do the same. This is an excellent way to gain perspective on how you are perceived by your loved one. Put no expectations on the depth of observation. It can be anything from finding out about you leaving your underwear on the floor to why you no longer have a relationship with a parent. It only needs to be new and noted.