How to make a long-distance relationship work

September 14, 2018 - 10 minutes read

How to make a long-distance relationship work

It might at first seem like a scenario restricted to the movies, but I bet you know at least three couples who have tried to make a long-distance relationship work out.

How do you define a long-distance relationship? It’s completely relative. A London-to-Manchester relationship, for example, might seem like a complete trek to see your other half.

However, look at a couple trying to make it work between the UK and Ireland, USA, or even Australia – there is always a person involved with someone from somewhere further away.

Long-distance relationships are extremely difficult at times, and there is no all-inclusive cheat sheet to seeing one through to completion. However, there are some basics to keeping a connection strong without constant physical companionship.

Dating with a lot of space can be and often is pulled off successfully. It can actually have some advantages over close-contact dating, and I’ll also give you some insight into those to help you reframe your situation.

I’m going to run you through how to keep the engine running in a relationship when the drivers are in two different vehicles.

Know why you want to be in a long-distance relationship

The first thing to bear in mind about any relationship is that they are supposed to be fun and enriching. Why invest all that time and energy into a relationship you don’t enjoy, or that doesn’t add anything to your life?

If you strike it off in a big way with a potential long-term partner who lives a considerable way away, it is going to add extra time, travel, and money commitments to your life. This is by no means a negative thing – most relationships will have the same requirement.

But having to put time aside to develop a relationship without the immediate gratification of sexual contact or convenience can be a drain.

You have to be ready, and you have to see the enhanced future benefit of embarking on a long-distance relationship.

Set the terms of the relationship early. Will you be open and see other people or are you planning to be exclusive? How often will you see each other? Do you plan to talk to each other every night or keep each other at arm’s length?

There is no right answer, and the dynamic can change as the relationship moves forward. The key, however, is communication: If one of you is experiencing difficulty with the practical side of the relationship, dialogue has to be open and clear.

Sometimes, a long-distance arrangement is simply not right for the people involved. It’s unfair on both parties to prolong it on uncertain terms. 

Trust is key

Being able to trust each other is an absolute foundation of any relationship, but it becomes twice as important for people who live miles apart.

A long-term commitment to any woman involves sacrifice regarding opportunities for connecting with others. From the outset, you both have to establish the status quo. If you’re going to be exclusive, you need to be ready to stick to your commitment.

You can never 100% guarantee that a partner is faithful, but if you act in a trustworthy way on your terms, you will at least be able to keep feelings of jealousy at bay.

You both have fully operational lives. Those lives will contain friends of both sexes, and each of you needs faith that the other is acting in the best interests of the relationship.

If you kick off an attempt at long-distance love, you know what you are getting into.

Exclusivity might not be what either of you is after. In that case, make it a discussion.

Keep it sexy

Whether you’re in different parts of the same country or different countries altogether, if you’re away from each other most weeks, the sexual part of your relationship can remain mostly unaddressed unless you work at it.

This is important for maintaining trust as well. If complete sexual fulfilment isn’t on the cards due to practicalities, you both need to work at building anticipation and maintaining sexual tension using different methods.

Luckily, a long-distance relationship in 2018 is not the same as attempting one in 1968. You can video call each other every day, for as long as you want, without paying a penny. You send picture and text messages through a dizzying array of platforms.

There’s no excuse not to communicate effectively.

Explore your sexual imaginations together. The mind is the largest and most powerful erogenous zone. Engage in role-playing; let your woman know when you are thinking about her sexually. Send each other sexy pictures.

Even masturbating together on Skype can be a way of connecting sexually when physical proximity is not on the cards.

Satisfying the emotional part of the relationship, however, is equally healthy for the sexual desire element as well. Care for her, and take a genuine interest in her day, her life, and the people in it.

This will ensure that even though you are apart, the relationship is still enriching both your lives and remains exciting enough to justify full commitment on both sides.

Make the most of your space

While you should be a firm feature in each other’s lives, you cannot lose sight of your own.

You will no doubt be hit by periods of missing the other person like crazy, especially if you’re separated by national boundaries. Long-distance relationships take more emotional management than a geographically convenient one.

Reframe the relationship as one excellent part of a life that you’re very much engaged in and on top of back home.

It can seem difficult through those pangs of longing. However, setting yourself professional or non-romantic personal goals outside of your relationship can not only take your mind off the absence, but also place you in a stronger position should you decide to build a life together.

Do not pursue a relationship at the expense of yourself.

What next?

The other challenging aspect of long-distance relationships is that every single one will reach an ultimatum.

This is important. A relationship cannot survive forever with miles between the two parties. Sooner or later, one of you is going to have to make the hop to where the other lives.

At this point, many connections fall apart. The practicalities are dense and complicated: Moving costs, admin, and, sometimes, a complete change of livelihood and friendship group can alter the world of one of you. Most international couples will also have visas to consider.

Attempting to organise this from a distance is incredibly stressful and emotionally draining. Whoever is avoiding making the sacrifice of moving has to deal with the emotional fallout of the decision.

It is a decision, however, that has to be taken by both of you. Be practical first and foremost. Think about where you’d want to end up, who has more money saved to move, the professional impact of moving in together. What is your best combined chance at building a happy life?

Closing in on a long-distance relationship is also a HUGE gamble. The dynamic will change almost instantly as hanging out moves from a rare treat to a constant in your life. You are transforming from people whose lives have been separate and relatively undisturbed until now.

Changing from an exotic speciality to a housemate will expose sides to your partner you may not have seen before. You have to be ready to re-learn each other.

For one-to-one guidance on finding and keeping the woman you love, get in touch at