Long-distance relationships are tough. No matter who you are, or what types of relationships you have been in before, the challenges of a long-distance relationship are very different from those of a regular relationship. However, knowing how to overcome the difficulties will keep the love strong. Follow our relationship advice to help you weather the journey of a long-distance love.

There are typically two things that can affect the success of a long-distance relationship: effort and time. Both sides of the relationship must be willing to put in the effort, and go above and beyond for their partner. The length of time is also important; the shorter a relationship is long- distance definitely improves the chances of success.

Forget everything you know about relationships
Traditional concepts of intimacy go out the window when in this type of relationship. You need to find new ways of keeping romance and passion alive, but on the plus side, you also have one big advantage: you have the ability to build a relationship slowly, rather than being pressured into a quicker connection.

Know that there are uncertainties
Long-distance relationships are tough to predict. Love is a weird thing, and knowing how your love and your partner’s love will react to separation is nearly impossible. Don’t let this cause you too much stress or anxiety. In lieu of your partner being by your side physically, spend more time with friends or family to keep yourself busy. Keep yourself happy outside of the relationship and you will bring that happiness and strength back into it.

Set some rules
Establishing expectations with your partner will help you feel more secure in your relationship. Just because the relationship is separated by distance, doesn’t mean the regular rules of any relationship don’t apply. Setting up some boundaries and expectations, such as how often you will communicate, or how you will communicate (email, Skype) can help relieve some of the burden of being far away from each other.

Romance is important
Another challenge is keeping the romance alive, when often your point of contact is a computer screen. Romance isn’t quite as easy as sitting down to a nice meal or snuggling up to watch a movie. Getting creative can allow you and your partner to let each other know how you feel without using traditional means. Don’t just use video chats and IMs to communicate; write each other letters, send small unexpected gifts and reminders of your love – anything to break the monotony and impersonal feeling of communicating via technology.

Remember to stay flexible
While there should be some ground rules and expectations, remember to remain a little more flexible than you normally would. You and your partner both have individual and busy lives, separated by different time zones and schedules, so being flexible will reduce some worry about how the relationship is going. For example, there are moments you may be lonely and need to chat to your partner, but they could be working, or out, or sleeping. Be strong and don’t take your frustration out on them next time you chat.

Carry on
The struggle of love distance love is hard for both of you. Most importantly, believe in your relationship. If you’re convinced that it’s doomed to fail, there’s a good chance the relationship will crumble. If you believe that your relationship is worth it, and you both put effort into it, then there’s no reason why it shouldn’t work.

Do you have relationship advice for anyone in a long-distance relationship?