Being hours or miles away from the one you love is tough but a long-distance relationship doesn't have to suck!

As someone who dated a man who was 5 hours ahead of me and over 4,000 miles away – I know a thing or two about making your long-distance lover feel closer. (P.S. We’re now engaged and STILL long-distance).

Here are my top 3 tips…

1. Communicate

Okay, I know you’re thinking “is this seriously the first tip?”. You probably already knew that. But let me explain. In a long-distance relationship you’re not afforded the luxury of touching, smelling or even tasting sometimes when you really want to. You must talk.

That means when you’re upset and want to storm away (i.e hang up the phone) you can’t!

Being able to talk to my partner was crucial for our relationship. It strengthened it. In every story we told each other, with every detail we shared we had to describe it in a way for us to literally picture it in our heads. Instead of him telling me his day was “good”, he elaborated. He vividly explained streets, co-workers and sent pictures or videos.

I won’t get too deep into arguments; just know there were some moments of silence but we stayed on the phone until we talked it out.

Being able to effectively communicate means making time for each other. In a long-distance relationship a ten-minute conversation won’t suffice. Again, unlike couples who are near, you aren’t able to see your loved one in the morning, after work or on most weekends. I recommend finding time to talk. For me, my lunch break was dedicated to him. With our five-hour timezone difference, we alternated who sacrificed a few hours of sleep.

Look, I didn’t say it was easy, but it works. Communicate with your long-distance partner and it will make them feel closer to you.

2. Plan Dates

Again, I know this may sound obvious but let me explain. Plan dates while not being in the same place. Now you may applaud me for my genius. I got this tidbit from my cousin who was also in a long-distance relationship and I’ve shared it with other friends.

My then boyfriend and I had movie night together. We would schedule a time to FaceTime on the computer, select a movie and screen-share it to watch it together. It’s romantic, it’s something to do together and it can facilitate…. you guessed it – communication! After we watched our first movie, we discussed it and had good conversations surrounding it for days! If you can find a movie that you two haven’t seen, that’s even better because it’ll be a first experience you two can share.

So, plan dates. Movie dates, grab ice cream and just eat it together or download games and play it with each other.

Don’t neglect a date because you aren’t physically around your partner; get creative!

3. Trust

You need to trust your partner. Period. I can honestly say I never had doubts that my then boyfriend and now fiancé was ever cheating on me. And trust me, people will try to convince you otherwise. But I always thought “how could he cheat when we were always doing tips 1 and 2?”

I couldn’t catch a flight across the world or install cameras in his apartment — I just had to trust him. By us constantly communicating and dating, it was easy to.

Trust your partner. Keep trust in the relationship.

That’s it. How original, right?

Listen, I’m not saying these are 3 secret methods. It’s a little bit of common sense and a lot of effort.

When dealing with your long-distance relationship make communication, dating and trust your top priorities.

It worked and continues working wonders for me.

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