How to make a long distance relationship work

Give yours an International Boost

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Man and woman sitting on gravel outdoors with telephone receivers and world map
Long distance relationships can be tough going. Whether your partner moves overseas for work, education or family it can put a tremendous strain on your bond.

You can find some pretty extreme measures to overcome physical separation these days (robotic kissing mouths, anyone?!) but what are the key factors in making a long distance relationship work?

Writing for Huffington Post Lifestyle, blogger outlines three lessons he learned from losing someone he was with due to the pressures of living apart:

1. Find closeness

Before going long distance, I understood love to be trapped in the wild feelings, like the butterflies I felt when our glancing eyes met and the embers I felt when she smiled at my jokes. My idea of love relied on us being in the same space, whether that meant sitting opposite each other in a dim restaurant or holding hands by the kettle. Love meant closeness.

Surviving a long distance relationship means adapting closeness so that you feel something between the moments of physical unity other than just the absence of it. Instead, closeness might mean brief midnight conversations or sharing the quiet parts of your heart in rambling letters. Amidst all the longing, treasure the interactions that make you feel connected to each other. Long distance doesn't mean you have to become good at being apart, but while you are do all you can to feel anything approaching closeness.

2. Accept the changes

You'll both change and you might worry about that like nobody's business. You might become jealous in ways you never were, or you might find that your strengths together become vulnerabilities apart. You might go from extrovert to introvert, and you'll notice even the most subtle changes in each other. That might frighten you, but you've just got to go with it. The soul of the person you love will become richer and stronger over time and it's up to you to recognise and appreciate that. Do all you can not to fear change and what it could mean for your long term compatibility, because change will happen whether you're distant from each other or not.

3. Talk, and talk and talk

In the limited windows you'll have to talk, be truly present and say everything. Say what you're too nervous to say. Say if the distance is making you feel strong or weak. Say sweet things, and be sincere. Say that you're certain you'll both make it, and mean it. Say that you're all about them and always will be, and let them keep that in the corner of their heart and be sure of it. Say if you're concerned that you're not aligned with each other. Say if you think it isn't working. Say what you're thinking, especially that, because communication is all you've got. Communication is your closeness.

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- Make Unlimited* calls any time, day or night to landlines and mobiles.
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* Subject to Fair Usage Policy