Being separated by distance doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed. But it does mean that you’ll need to put in a little bit of extra effort to make sure it lasts. If you’re considering pairing up with someone who lives in another city, another state or perhaps even another country, be sure to make sure you’ve got everything on this checklist for a healthy long-distance relationship.

1. Open Communication

When you’re dating from afar, you don’t get to communicate how you feel through physical closeness or little actions that can only be done in person. That’s why talking openly and honestly is the number-one priority to make a long-distance relationship work. You both need to be willing to put yourself out there when you talk, which should happen frequently to make sure you stay connected.

One of the best things about modern technology is that it’s easier than ever to stay in touch. So if you express yourself best in writing, you can send emails or Facebook messages. For those who like to see funny or short and sweet notes, text messaging is the perfect medium. Video chatting also makes it possible to interact in a way that more closely resembles an in-person date. Try different methods of staying in touch to see which ones work best for keeping the lines of communication open.

2. Regular Meetups

Even if it seems like you two are constantly staying in touch, you’ll still need to make sure you see each other in person regularly. Your schedules will have to determine the frequency of your visits. While some long-distance couples see each other every weekend, others can only meet up every other month. That’s okay as long as you make the effort to see each other when time and finances allow.

If you’re not seeing each other regularly, it could be a red flag that this long-distance relationship just isn’t worth it. Though it takes some effort to set aside the time and money required to meet up, those in happy relationships are more than willing to do so. If you or your partner keeps making excuses for why you can’t get together in person, it’s time to reevaluate the relationship.

3. An End Date

Long-distance relationships work all the time, but almost all of the successful ones have one important thing in common: an end date. Being in this type of relationship typically means you have to put in more work, deal with more loneliness and experience more stress than the average boyfriend and girlfriend. The one thing that makes it all bearable is knowing that, eventually, you two will be living in the same place.

If your long-distance relationship is pretty open-ended in terms of when the “long-distance” part will disappear, it’s time to sort it out. Is one of you willing to move? Will you be able to find a job in a different location? How long will it be until you can live closer to one another? Asking these questions isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the hurdles you have to overcome in order to make your long-distance status work for the time being. Pushing the thought from your mind will only make things harder if you realize later on that neither one of you is willing to budge when it comes to location.

Take these steps to help your long-distance relationship thrive. If you both work together, you can experience deep love even from afar.

You may also be interested in 5 Long-Distance Problems To Avoid

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