Photo credit: Aaron Burden,

Let’s face it. RR (romantic relationships) are hard work. Tiring, sometimes really messy, annoying, time consuming, and the list goes on and on. Relationships are also very rewarding, fulfilling, exciting, fun, joyful, and that list goes on and on.

They say LDRR’s (Long Distance Romantic Relationships) are not for the faint-hearted. A very long time ago, I tried a LDRR and failed miserably. Since then I have told myself: NEVER AGAIN.

Well, never say never right?

Along came a romantic relationship into my life… and I messed it up beautifully.

Through my learning from the first LDRR and being deep into the second LDRR, here are five important rules (plus one mega-fun tip) to better navigate the distance:

Rule #1.       Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is crucial in maintaining a healthy LDRR. Understand the environmental factors such as time differences, weather conditions, internet/phone connectivity, and find the best fit for your needs. If you’re generally more exuberant in the morning, try to use that time to leech on the positivity!

Develop a habit of communicating at a fixed time of the day for a minimum amount of time. This shows commitment and prioritisation towards each other.

Speak of the interesting event that occurred in your life, the day before, that made an impact. Speak of what you plan to do in the coming days. Communicate.

Rule #2.       Continue To Explore Your Personal Growth Independently

Take the time you have and leverage this precious commodity into an opportunity. Explore your own potential. Share your learning curve with your partner. Keep doing the things you love and fill your time with things/issues/people that you’re passionate about.

Make sure you encourage each other to keep becoming the better version of yourselves.

Rule #3.       Have Common Long-Term Goals And Future Plans

I did an interview with an elderly couple living in a small town in Germany on what makes their relationship work. One of the important takeaways from the conversation was the importance of having common long-term goals and future plans.

When you’re clear on your long-term goals, you can choose to achieve them with methods that suit you as a couple, or as individuals. This is particularly important in LDRR’s to constantly remind each other of your overall relationship motives and/or vision. And the more you speak and communicate your individual method to each other, the less conflict it will create in the long run.

Rule #4.       Trust Completely

Easier said than done? Try to maintain rule number one, two, and three, and let positivity flow through your relationship. Be honest with each other’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. Dishonesty shows unwillingness to move forward as a team and sometimes is an indicator of unresolved past issues.

Rule #5.       Be Sensitive To Each Other’s Feelings

Treat your partner as you would love to be treated. Understand each other’s emotional need and try to provide the best alternative solution to show your other half that you care. Always let your partner know how grateful you are to be around them every day.

And one mega-fun tip:

There’s an advantage to being in a LDRR too. You can constantly explore your imaginative mind and turn those visions into reality! Remember the things you used to do as a child to show affection? Making silly cards, telling funny jokes, twirl (not twerk, but hey it’s your imagination!) around in the park, and laugh your lungs out?

This is your opportunity for you to be free, young, and bring that inner child of yours out to play! With the advancement of technology the only limit you have is your imagination.

Good, worthwhile relationships need work. Great relationships need constant reflection, affection, and the fun factor. Choose to be “great” always.

What’s been your experience? Comment below!