How to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work

How to Make a Long-Distance Relationship Work

It’s possible to make a long-distance relationship work, despite it seeming like a big task. Here are five things you can do to help you along:

  1. Set relationship goals
  2. Make a plan and a timeline
  3. Work on your communication
  4. Visit each other regularly
  5. Make your long-distance relationship fun and exciting

Let’s have a look at each of these steps in more detail…

1. Set Relationship Goals

One of the first things you want to do in a long-distance relationship is to set your goals. For you to have a chance at making a long-distance relationship work, you need to be very clear on your personal goals and your relationship goals.

Your personal goals could be:

  • Focusing on your study or work.
  • Doing exercises to keep fit.
  • Keeping up with your hobbies.
  • Hang around with your friends.
  • Spend some time with your family.

It would help if your partner were to have goals of their own. Often, one partner has no plans and nothing to do. If that is the case, they become needy and clingy. Not only can this be very annoying, but it may also negatively impact your relationship.

When it comes to setting goals for your long-distance relationship, consider the following:

It’s a good idea for you to take some time and think about these goals and set the goals that are important for you.

When it comes to setting relationship goals, it’s best to talk about it with your partner to make sure you’re on the same page.

Once you’ve set clear goals for your personal life and your relationship, you need a plan to achieve these goals.

If you need some guidance on what personal and relationship goals to include in your plan, have a look at this workbook.

2. Make a Plan and a Timeline

Having goals without a plan is like having a destination without a direction. Navigating a long-distance relationship without a clear idea of how to make it work, will cause you to hit many dead ends.

It is best if you could make a plan together with your long-distance partner. This way, you will agree on what is realistic and possible for both of you.

When making a plan, consider the following:

  • How are you going to communicate
  • How often will you talk to each other
  • How often will you be able to visit each other
  • Who is going to visit and when

Now, a timeline is an essential part of a good and effective plan.

For example, if your goal is to move in together, your plan would revolve around making your long-distance relationship work until then.

In this case, a timeline would include an end date for your long-distance relationship. You would also want to set dates between now and then for visiting each other.

If a goal is your destination, a plan is your navigation; then a timeline is a date of your arrival and a schedule of stops along the way.

Here, are some tips on making a timeline for your long-distance relationship or you can get our workbook on making a plan and a timeline for your LDR.

3. Work on Your Communication

You may have clear goals, a solid plan, and a realistic timeline for your long-distance relationship.

But even then, if you don’t have an understanding with your partner, it will be tough to navigate the rough waters of a long-distance relationship.

Understanding depends on two things:

  1. Being with the right person
  2. Having effective communication

You know you are with the right person when you conversations flow, you don’t need to explain yourself many times over, and you know what the other person means.

Communication can become a problem in a long-distance relationship if you don’t put in the work to continually improve it.

Without physical contact, and without seeing your partner in front of you, you cannot see their body language. As a result, you can’t observe their behaviour and miss out on many clues that could tell you how they feel.

The only way you communicate in a long-distance relationship is through words. It means that what you don’t say, your partner won’t know.

It’s also easy to misinterpret somebody’s words without seeing their facial expressions and body language.

Misinterpretations lead to confusion and cause unnecessary arguments. Now, suppose you don’t have exceptional communication to prevent these arguments. What are the chances you will be able to work them out?

By the way, if you find yourself in a situation where you love your partner and want to make your long-distance relationship work, but you are facing some issues and don’t know what to do, don’t give up just yet. Here is a workbook to help you improve your communication.

If you have burning issues you need to solve asap Get in touch. I’m sure we’ll find a way to give you some clarity about your relationship and the best way to handle your problem.

4. Visit Each Other Regularly

Let’s say you have excellent communication with your long-distance partner, and you’re able to work out your problems.

You have developed an understanding that allowed you to make common goals and a solid plan to achieve them.

You also have an exact timeline, so you know what is going to happen and when. It sounds like your long-distance relationship is on track to success, right?

Well, almost. But there’s something else…

This one thing can really put your relationship to the test, and I bet you know what it is.

So tell me, what is the biggest challenge in a long-distance relationship?

Did you say arguments, drifting apart, losing feelings, developing feelings for someone else?

If you did, you are correct. These are all very common problems in long-distance relationships. But, you can work out most of them with understanding, trust, and effective communication.

The one thing that will push your relationship to the limit is the lack of physical intimacy.

Why is it such a big deal?

When you are romantically involved with another person, you expect to be physically close to them. You expect to see your partner, feel them, spend time together, experience and share sexual intimacy.

When you are apart for long periods, the only time you get to be physically close is when you visit each other.

Now, if you have time and money to visit each other as often as you’d like, the distance isn’t a big deal. However, many couples don’t have the luxury of visiting each other regularly and as a result, have a severe lack of physical intimacy in an otherwise romantic relationship.

Usually, if you have a relationship with another person without physical intimacy, you would call it friendship, right?

In a long-distance relationship, that’s pretty much how it is. Yet, couples continue to call it a romantic relationship. Why? Because they love each other and want to be together.

The only way to make your long-distance relationship work in terms of physical intimacy is to have a clear goal of moving in together and avoid the distance lasting a long time.

If you want to see each other more frequently but are feeling powerless to do anything about it, this workbook will give a different perspective on your relationship. It will also help you make the most of your visits and learn to manage your relationship when you are apart.

Visiting In A Long-Distance Relationship - WORKBOOK

5. Make Your Long-Distance Relationship Fun and Exciting

We create romantic relationships to bring something special into our lives. A special someone can fulfil our life in many ways. How amazing is it to have a person with whom you can share your intimate thoughts, doubts, struggles, and joy?

But what if something goes wrong? What if the distance gets too much to handle? Excessive communication, for example, leads to long phone calls and boring conversations.

The moment a long-distance relationship becomes dull and monotonous, it is so much harder to manage.

Ensuring that your relationship is fun and exciting is essential if you are to make it work. Check out all the things you can do in a long-distance relationship.

Many long-distance couples focus on the struggles of being in a long-distance relationship. They complain about things they cannot have, like wishing to be together or waiting for the next time they speak or visit each other. But the more you focus on the negative, the harder you make it for yourself to enjoy the relationship.

In reality, a long-distance relationship has a lot of benefits. You get to share your life experience, thoughts and feelings with another person who cares for you. And at the same time, you get a lot of time to spend on the things that are important for you personally.

So apart for the lack of physical closeness, it’s a win-win. But closeness is still a problem. So how do you deal with it?

I should mention that there are two types of intimacy: physical intimacy and emotional intimacy.

Physical intimacy involves physical connection, touching, looking into each other’s eyes and having a sexual experience. These things can only be fulfilled when you’re physically together.

So we could say that to maintain physical intimacy, you need to visit each other regularly and occasionally go on different trips to explore the world together.

To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, you also need to maintain emotional intimacy. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of being emotionally connected.

Effective communication and understanding is one way to maintain an emotional connection by having meaningful conversations. But, you can also spend time together while playing online games, having virtual dates, engaging in relationship building activities and exchanging romantic gifts.

You can consider spicing up your long-distance interaction and trying some fun activities you can do while in a long-distance relationship, check out this workbook.


When you know how to make a long-distance relationship work, you might as well make it fun and exciting.

A popular belief is that long-distance relationships are really hard, and it’s almost impossible to make them work. And, of course, if you don’t know how to handle a long-distance relationship properly, it can bring you a lot of suffering.

A long-distance relationship can be an opportunity to be romantically involved with another person while having a lot of personal time and space to do the things you enjoy.

That said, long-distance relationships do indeed have the challenges. The biggest challenge is a lack of physical intimacy that can lead to sexual frustration and put an extra strain on your relationship. So make sure you talk about feelings and make necessary arrangement for virtual sex, regular visits and an open long-distance relationship if it comes to it.

Try to implement these into your relationship. You might be pleasantly surprised by how much your long-distance relationship will change as a result.

If you are serious about making your long-distance relationship work and want a more hands on approach, this workbook is what you need:

You may even find that you no longer need to make your long-distance relationship work. Instead, you can make the most of your time apart and enjoy those times you get to spend together.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do long-distance relationships work?

    Long-distance relationships work for people who meet online and want to get to know each other better. They also work for couples who are relocating and have to be apart for some time. In any case, it’s better if you can make it a short phase in your relationship.

  • How to make online long-distance relationships work?

    To make a long-distance relationship work online, you need to have clear, open, and honest communication. It’s only possible if you work on improving your communication. You also need a clear plan on how to manage your relationship long-distance and a strategy to fix problems when they come around.

  • How to make long-distance relationships work in college?

    Long-distance relationships can be hard to maintain while in college. You can try to make it work, but more often than not, it will keep you away from enjoying your college life.

  • How to make a long term long-distance relationship work?

    Long-distance relationships aren’t meant to last for a long time. A romantic relationship implies physical intimacy. In a long-distance relationship, you only see your partner once every few weeks or once a month. Lack of physical intimacy can lead to sexual frustration and negatively impact your relationship and your overall well-being.

  • How to make your long-distance relationship work again?

    If you already had a long-distance relationship that didn’t work, stop and ask yourself why. Sometimes, emotions take over, and it’s hard to say this situation for what it is. Having some time away from a relationship will allow you to see it from a different perspective. Once you can identify what didn’t work in your previous long-distance relationship, you can learn from it and do better next time.

  • How long can your romantic relationship last without physical intimacy?

    Every person has a different need for sexual intimacy. If you are in a long-distance relationship, you may need physical intimacy more than your long-distance partner. In this case, it will be harder for you to cope with being away from them for a long time. The healthy way to deal with it is to talk about your feelings and needs with your partner. Together, you can find a way forward that works for both of you.


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Alex Barinov

Hi, I’m Alex:) I am a relationship coach. My passions include understanding life, relationships and human behaviour. As a coach, I help couples resolve their conflicts and create a harmonious and loving relationship.

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