Things You Should And Shouldn't Do In A Long Distance Relationship

Relationships are never easy, but long-distance relationships can be the hardest of all. Elon Musk and Amber Heard, Vanessa Hudgens and Zac Efron, Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney — these are all celeb couples whose long-distance love may have led to their eventual breakups.

So are all long-distance relationships doomed from the start? Not at all. Joe Jonas' relationship with Sophie Turner has worked out pretty well, as has Nicky Hilton's with James Rothschild and Bindi Irwin's with Chandler Powell, since all three couples are now happily married or, in Bindi and Chandler's case, about to be so. So what's the secret to making sure your long-distance love ends up happily, rather than crappily, ever after? There's no magic bullet, but if you go by the following guidelines, you'll at least give your relationship a fighting chance.

Do: Be clear about your expectations

While "we need to talk" are never words that anyone wants to hear in a relationship, the fact is, the two of you do need to talk once you come to the realization that a) you are in a relationship and/or b) it's going to be a long-distance one. Both of you need to be upfront about how often, and by what method, you plan to stay in touch, and when/whether you'll be able to visit — LovePanky advises that making these things up as you go along will likely lead to misunderstanding and disappointment.

Perhaps the most important thing to discuss is how you see the relationship evolving. Do you just want to take things as they come, waiting to see how the relationship pans out before you make plans for one (or both of you) to relocate? Or are you already rock-solid as a couple, but just need to work out some logistical details regarding who's going to live where? You both need to be on the same page as to whether the separation (or the relationship) is seen as long-term or temporary.

Do: Keep in touch

This seems like a no-brainer — of course you need to stay connected. Otherwise, it isn't much of a relationship. Still, it can be easy to get too busy, too caught up in your day-to-day life, and somehow just never find the time to call or send a text. It's true that out of sight can sometimes lead to out of mind... but not if you don't let it. All relationships take work, and long-distance relationships doubly so.

Plan a regular "date night" where you FaceTime, Skype, or at least talk on the phone — Odyssey suggests doing so twice a week. You should also arrange to see each other in person as often as is possible. If you're a few hours apart, maybe one weekend a month would be doable. If you're across the country, or in different countries, you may need to settle for just once or twice a year. No matter your circumstances, the two of you do need to spend some time together to remind you both that there's a real person, and a real relationship, at the other end of that phone line.

Don't: Stick to just one method of communication

It may be easiest for you to text or talk on the phone or even email, but if you and your sweetie only ever communicate in one way, it may get a little old and stale. What's more, LovePanky points out that any one medium or other may have hitches or glitches in its delivery — rather than assume your texts are being ignored, maybe try calling to make sure everything's okay. 

It's also a sweet gesture to send a real letter or postcard, or maybe even a care package from time to time. A real, non-virtual reminder of your love may be the next best thing to being there.

Don't: Compare your relationship to other people's

Yes, it can be kind of frustrating to have to hear all about your friends' or coworkers' love lives — all the nights out (or in), the vacations, and the holidays spent with their significant others. They never have to go out solo, or settle for another evening of TV and frozen pizza. They don't have to lay awake at night wondering where their partner is and what they're up to... or do they? Don't forget that non-long distance relationships have their ups and downs too.

While distance is a stressor, it's hardly the only factor that can make a relationship fail. In the end, each relationship is entirely unique to the two people who are in it. If you and your love are both committed to making your long-distance relationship work, there is no reason you can't make a go of it. While Meghan Markle's first LDR (with ex-hubs Trevor Engelson) didn't pan out, her second one landed her a fairytale wedding to her very own Prince Charming.