Dovey app icon linking to download the dovey app on your mobile device
Don't know what to talk about? Download dovey

How To Make Long Distance Relationships Work: 25 Proven Ways

Long distance relationships (LDRs) have been shown to work. They might not be the ideal for the majority of people, but they are not a dead end. If you are involved in such a relationship, there is one major aspect to bear in mind: LDRs have their own unique challenges that you need to overcome. 

Most common issues for long distance couples are finding enough time for each other, ensuring a close emotional connection and establishing boundaries while keeping the spark alive.

Still, there is no reason why you shouldn’t learn how to make a long distance relationship work. With the right attitude, fair expectations and accurate long distance relationship advice, anybody can manage a successful, even remote love story.

Check out our tips below and find out how to spend quality virtual time together, how to connect to your partner when you are apart or how to stay invested in a testing relationship.

1. Set your expectations

Lay down relationship expectations right from the start. Discuss with your partner your plans regarding the frequency of your contacts, the decision-making process or how you want to settle your arguments. 

Then stick to what you both agree on what to expect and how to handle your relationship remotely.

2. Plan spending time together

It might seem a bit obvious, but spending quality time together is sometimes looked over in LDR. Texting, even on a regular basis, is not enough. You must remember to plan fun date nights, it will give you both something to look forward to. Also, going on a virtual date every week can insert a sense of normalcy into your relationship.

Besides finding shared activities, scheduling talking time is important for long distance couples, since they are less involved in each other’s everyday life. Various online platforms, such as FaceTime, Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts are quite useful for staying connected to your partner from a distance. 

3. Focus on connecting to each other

Do something more than just talking, really connect with your significant other. Talk in depth about your dreams and setbacks. Allow your partner to be there for you through your daily challenges and support them in a similar way.

4. Sync your calendars

Make up a shared relationship calendar that will help you stay connected and included in each other’s day-to-day lives. This is especially useful when the partners are in different time zones.

You can also choose to sync your calendars, for a more efficient way to communicate smoothly and to avoid interrupting important events.

5. Set out boundaries and respect each other's time

Long distance relationships require genuine effort, trust and plenty of patience. Boundaries are vital in any kind of relationship and even more so in LDRs. It is necessary to set boundaries and to respect them. Establish together when and how often to contact one another and keep in mind that both of you also have separate lives.

Once you do have a determined schedule, honor it. Respect each other by respecting your time and don’t miss planned dates. 

6. Fully commit to your time together

Don’t let yourself get distracted when you are talking to each other. Treat your partner as a priority in your life and be fully present every time you call them or you set up a video chat. Make sure you remove all distractions before you engage in discussions.

7. Share your achievements

Even though you might be tempted to focus your conversations on how much you miss each other, remember to share your accomplishments. Consider getting your partner up-to-date with all the good things that have happened since your last call. Everything is important as long as it matters to you and they will see it the same way.

8. Go the extra mile

More than often, long distance couples are confronted with the same difficulties that arise in long term relationships. So, put in the extra work to maintain a satisfactory level of intimacy. Pay more attention to your partner’s needs, be more considerate when they share their inner thoughts. 

9. Don’t underestimate the power of surprise 

It is always nice to surprise your far away partner with a thoughtful gift. You could go for something small, like a care package or tickets to see their favorite band or plan an unexpected visit. Either way, they will feel valued and loved. The time and effort you spend organizing those special presents say so much more than the usual calls and texts.

10. Declare your longing

Don’t be afraid to express the pain you experience in a long distance relationship. Be open and truthful about how much you need and want to be with your loved one. Your honesty will be highly appreciated by your partner and it could only bring you two closer together.

11. Get creative, yet serious about your dates

Sometimes people get caught up in their own lives and take their partners and relationships for granted. A virtual dinner date is the perfect moment to dress up and show your beloved that you still care and you are willing to make an effort to please them.

Moreover, do your best to keep your remote partner interested by appealing to their creative side. Choose fun, stimulating virtual dates. You have plenty of options, from outdoor activities to new, catchy games you might both enjoy.

Dedicated date nights will increase the level of connection in a long distance couple and reinforce their bond. 

12. Discover common interests

Picking up shared hobbies, like reading a book or painting together is probably the most common advice on how to make long distance work. And it is a great suggestion, as it will always give partners an interesting conversation topic, beyond the usual account of how they spend their days.

13. Surprise your partner with flirty texts

It is important to remind each other about the romance in your relationship. Your goal is to send your partner a clear message that you are still attracted to them and you have strong feelings about the erotic component, no matter the distance. 

14. Remember to celebrate

Make your days special by celebrating different milestones of your relationship, your first date, first kiss, first time you went to that new restaurant you both like, etc. You don’t need to go out of your way to celebrate the moments that mean something only to you two. Instead, reminiscing together will make you both happier and it will bring you closer.

15. Don’t stop getting to know each other

Even for long time couples, there is always a new feature you can find about your partner. Constantly discovering each other can work miracles for your emotional intimacy. You can try this by playing games together or answering questionnaires online.

16. Use the time apart for personal projects

Just like any other relationship, LDRs require both partners to maintain a level of independence. It is actually easier to build and enjoy a personal life when you are away from your significant other. 

You can take advantage of the free time to develop new skills, grow as a person or just spend time with your family and friends. Plus, you can do all those things your partner doesn’t enjoy, going on a hike or shopping, for instance. 

Keeping busy during the days apart and encouraging your loved one to do the same will give you plenty to talk about and it will distract you from the distance.

17. Move forward in your relationship

The key to how to make a long distance relationship work is to think about its future. A long distance couple needs to adapt, evolve and keep their eye on the ultimate goal. And that is to close the distance for good.

If you want your LDR to be successful, make sure you are both on the same page regarding the future of your relationship. A timeline can help you visualize the direction to your goal and ease the pain of being apart, since it is a reminder that someday you will be next to each other.

18. Embrace vulnerability 

One of the benefits of long distance relationships is the way communication can amplify your connection. When you are away from your partner, opening up and sharing your deepest desires and emotions might be easier. 

Thus allow yourself to be vulnerable, ask meaningful questions and create a safe environment for powerful disclosures. 

19. Face uncertainties openly

You have to be honest about whatever doubts, jealousy or other negative feelings you may experience in your relationship. In time, this can save your connection by eliminating tensions and mistrust. 

Furthermore, change is inevitable in the course of a relationship, especially a long distance one, so embrace it with an open mind.

20. Prioritize meeting in person

Being able to meet in person depends on various factors, but plan a trip whenever possible. Make an effort and spare no expense to go see the person you love. Your gesture will be greatly appreciated and could only help your relationship.

21. Document your time apart with photos

Record your days by taking lots of photographs that you later on send your partner. Catch their interest by looking at things from their perspective, what they miss from your city or from a day with you.

22. Keep some moments private 

In today’s world of oversharing, it might be difficult to keep some moments spent as a couple to yourself. But you should, because in a LDR, the few times you are actually next to each other are priceless and extremely private.

23. Start writing letters

Letters are a romantic way to stay connected to your remote partner. Writing letters makes it easier for you to express your feelings and to communicate everything you need to.

24. Don’t be careless

Whether it’s about communication, plans, or your day-to-day life, don’t treat matters carelessly. Even small issues can get blown out of proportion in long distance relationships, so it’s best to treat each matter with a certain level of attention and interest. This will make your partner see that you actually do care about them, their feelings and the relationship itself.

25. Let other people know about your relationship 

If you want the answer to how to make a long distance relationship work, the first step is to admit you are in one. You don’t have to talk about it all the time, still, you should consider letting people close to you know about your remote partner.

Always something to talk about.

dovey gives you something to talk about everyday, so you never have to come up with something yourself.

Apple Download from the App Store BadgeGoogle Get it on the Play Store Badge
An iPhone displaying the Dovey App chat where two users are sending voice messages back and forth

Explore the dovey Couples Store

Discover a curated collection of goodies, gifts, games and more - just for couples.
Shop the Store

More Dating and Relationship Advice

From funny jokes to childhood memories and current events, here is a list of what to talk about on a first date to get the conversation going. | The best advice for couples in long distance relationships. Dovey Virtual Dates for Couples

What To Talk About On A First Date

Long distance relationship games can bring you closer, strengthen your bond, but also just help you relax and have fun with your partner even when far away. Check out our curated list. | The best advice for couples in long distance relationships. Dovey Virtual Dates for Couples

10 Long Distance Relationship Games That Are Actually Fun

Long distance relationships are definitely different and it's wise to know what to expect if you're about to embark one, from over communication to insecurity. | The best advice for couples in long distance relationships. Dovey Virtual Dates for Couples

What to expect in a new long distance relationship

Long distance touch bracelets can help you and your partner feel closer and bridge the physical gap. Find out more about how they work. | The best advice for couples in long distance relationships. Dovey Virtual Dates for Couples

How Long Distance Touch Bracelets Can Help Your Relationship

See All Advice

Try Our Virtual Dates for Couples

Dovey Date Decorative Cover

Graffiti Maze Date

Dovey Date Decorative Cover

Hedge Maze Date

Dovey Date Decorative Cover

Dinner in Paris Date

Dovey Date Decorative Cover

Sushi in Tokyo Date

See All the dates