So… you’re head over heels in love, known each other since high school, even dated through college … but there’s one problem: He lives 500 miles away. Most of us have experienced a long distance relationship at some point in our lives-whether it’s been long term or short term. And I’m not going to lie, it’s hard. Either you fail to maintain it and have broken up or you stick through and sacrifice for the other person. But what are the common reasons for breaking up in those long distance relationships, and how can you make them work? It’s your desire to survive the relationship that makes the most impact in riding the outcome of your distance relationship.

“I’m in a long distance relationship because my boyfriend is worth it. He’s a great guy and we’re both young and mobile so it works. But there will be a time when we slow down and we’ll either make the decision to move closer or break up. A long distance relationship is a weird situation of convenience and inconvenience.”– Joi Marie McKenzie, Editor in Chief of The Fab! Empire

People will tell you that long distance relationships don’t work, but set your own rules. Don’t let anyone else define you. Here at Clutch, we’ve provided some tips in order to stick through the hard times:

1. Always, always, always be honest. (Did I say always?) The truth hurts, but it can also make the relationship last. Once the trust is gone, the entire relationship will be on eggshells.

2. Write love letters. Actual letters – NOT VIA E-MAIL! Try something romantic and write traditional letters. Make them passionate, and intimate, expressing your most heartfelt feelings. (Think “The Notebook”) You will be able to hold on to these letters 50 years from now remembering the love you currently have.

3. Make sure you both know where the relationship is headed. This is for the sake of both your hearts. Do you know where you plan to be in 5 – 10 years? It may not make sense to stay if he plans on staying in California while you plan to stay in Atlanta.

4. Make sure you compromise. There needs to be a balance in every relationship – don’t take out of the relationship more then you’re giving. Be flexible, whether it’s who visits whom every month, or where you both will vacation. Compromise will make the world of difference in the health of the relationship.

5. Keep it spicy. Always talking on the phone? E-mail? Why not use your webcam, or sexting (sex-texting). Why not plan a romantic getaway for just the two of you? Life can be stressful – it’s the little things that get us by in relationships.

6. Avoid temptation. Yes, we all know it’s hard. But if you really love the other person think of how hurt they will be. And even if you do slip and fall, make sure you get back up and keep it moving – don’t keep making the same mistake. No one is perfect. Just make sure you learn and grow.

This is just a template for how to work through a long distance relationship you’re your significant other. Each couple sets their own standard of success. Remember, “No one said it’d be easy…they just said it would be worth it.”

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  • erin whitlock

    I am currently in a long-distance relationship and I agree that it definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. It can work…if you’re both on the same page and mature enough to make it work.

    This is a great piece, Kimberly! I’m bookmarking it for me and my lovie’s next late night conversation :)

  • LaTigresse

    I totally agree with the convenience/inconvenience part and also add this rule: ”talk to each other every single day”. That’s what we’ve been doing my bf and I, and it works really well! I actually prefer talking on the phone instead of typing on msn or skype (sometimes it tends to be confusing and there’s always some misinterpretation of what the other wrote)… but we’re lucky that he has a really good long distance calls plan!!! And we actually manage to make it work with an ocean between us and by seeing each other every 3 months or so :)

  • ceecee

    Figure out #4 before you start doing #5, just in case the relationship heads south later on…

  • I loved this blog, i recently got out of a two year long distance relationship and we did all the things you listed and more. Our issue was that he had to move over seas and that just got to be too much. But I’d like to add one other thing to the tips. Do things together (i know it sounds weird) but if you try to do things like watching the same movies together, playing games online together it makes you feel closer, it allows you to share interests and hobbies, and that’s just my two sents! Thanks for blogging about this!