In my forays into the world of internet dating, I met several guys who appeared to be great “boyfriend” material, at least what I thought I was looking for. Unfortunately, they lived out west, while I lived on the east coast, which pretty much quashed any further interest on my part.

While they were willing to overlook the distance I was not due to long standing, unresolved trust issues. I figured relationships were hard enough to maintain when the person was within driving distance of my home, let alone 2,000 miles away. When I finally made the long distance plunge, I experienced one of the best relationships I’ve ever known, and thousands of other women have done an incredibly great job of keeping those romantic flames burning by relying on these few simple rules.

Here’s how to make a long distance relationship work:

1. Trust, trust and more trust

All good relationships share a foundation of trust, one of the lynchpins that keep a relationship steady when the storms of life roil and beat against it. The absence of trust in any partnership is detrimental and will contribute to its demise. Being long distance from your sweetie requires trust times ten. Insecurities can easily arise when you have no ideawhat your significant other is doing, when he’s doing whatever it is he’s doing, or with whom he’s doing whatever it is. It’s so easy to allow your imagination to run free and dream up hurtful scenarios to explain why he missed your phone call or why he didn’t call you as he said he would.

2. Rules

Establish the terms and rules of your relationship from Day One. What will the relationship look like? Is it monogamous always or is it open when you’re apart? How often do you see each other? What about male friends and female friends? How often do we call, everyday? Once or twice a week? Anything and everything of significance that could or would affect the relationship needs to be brought up and laid out in the open. Discuss your expectations objectively, without reading anything into or out of the relationship. Be specific and direct about both of your desires.

3. Invest in Skype

Skype is one electronic telecommunication service which allows you to see your partner as you call, as opposed to you talking and imagining what your loved one looks like at that particular time. It provides a certain amount of intimacy, making you feel somewhat closer. However, by all means, don’t spend that time complaining and whining about how much you miss your partner and you wish he wasn’t so far away, etc., etc., etc. This tactic simply lays guilt on your partner and can be conceived as annoying and controlling. Smile when you do speak with him, and remind him sweetly that you miss him, but hope all is well with him.

4. Do You

Yes, you have a loved one who’s far away, but you also have a life to live right here and now. Don’t build your life around that phone call with your partner. Continue to do all those things that made you happy in the past and find new activities to keep your mind occupied and away from thoughts of what Long Distance Boy is doing. Volunteer at a food bank or hospital, join a gym and shape up, or take up running or tennis. Create the life you’ve always envisioned having and enjoy doing it. The upside of a long-distance romance is that while you’re involved with someone, you still have time to develop yourself into the person you wish to be – as interesting as possible – which makes you even more attractive when your loved one sees you in person.

5. Be Spontaneous

Spontaneity and surprise are great gifts to give any relationship. Surprise your loved one with a nice bottle of wine, a book he’s been longing to read, or tickets to a concert he wants to see in his city. Wrap these little treasures in beautiful paper along with a snapshot of you (or the two of you) and a message stating how much you hope he enjoys these items. Keeps things light and joyful.

6. Keep Hope Alive

When you and your partner are together, make your get-togethers as warm and pleasing as possible. Plan special outings and occasions to keep his interest up. Kindly tell your friends, family or roommates that the time is reserved for the two of you. If you are intimate, make the intimacy sparkle and something he won’t forget. If you’re not intimate, keep the time romantic and fun-filled and an adventure he’ll remember long after you’re apart.

7. Visit One Another

Don’t always expect your partner to do the traveling. Visit him as often as the two of you have agreed upon, even if it means sacrificing a few lunches to save cash and going the extra mile. Do not cause your loved one to feel as if he’s “going out of the way” to visit you, when you can just as easily visit him. Alternate visits give you the opportunity to view him in his surroundings and meet his friends.

8. Travel Together

Most couples enjoy traveling together. So, along with visiting each other’s cities, don’t neglect to take vacations as most couples do. Find a cruise or an island to explore, or find a meditative retreat where the two of you can spend time basking in the silence and getting to know one another spiritually.

9. Discuss Where the Relationship is Headed

All relationships have beginnings and ends and so should yours. Discuss and agree on where the relationship is headed, the approximate length of time you foresee yourselves apart, whether or not the two of you will reside in one city at some point, whether marriage is in the picture (if that’s your desire), and any and all other pertinent facts.

Long distance is doable, and if you’re up to it, give it a try. By following these suggestions and with a little hard work, you may not only learn how to make a long distance relationship work, but how to have one of the best relationships possible as well.

Originally published at Task.fm.com.

Author's Bio: 

Mari Lyles is a certified Life and Relationship Coach, having graduated IPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) and RCI (Relationship Coaching Institute). Her articles can be found at Task.fm.com and examiner.com.