1 - Ask the important questions at the onset, to make sure you are both clear on the parameters of the relationship. Setting parameters such as naming your relationship ( dating, seeing each other, boyfriend/girlfriend, engaged)as well defining exclusive(limited to one person,) non exclusive. These can be difficult and awkward questions to ask, but will save you great heartache and misunderstanding down the line. Example: "Are you open to the possibility of relocating if the relationship should become more serious?” or "What are you looking to get out of the relationship?". Stating your end goal or ideas will allow each person to maintain what they need.
2 - Communicate in some way every day, more than once if possible. Since you won't be seeing each other, it's important to establish and maintain an emotional connection. These don't always have to be long, in-depth conversations. Tell each other about your little triumphs and tragedies. Ask for advice. Use an instant messenger program or VoIP for real-time chat, or web cams for that visual connection. E-mail is great so make sure you use it, especially if long-distance phone calls put a strain on your budget. Remember that e-mail and even instant messengers can increase the possibility of misunderstandings. Write love letters. Send small gifts or flowers for no reason. In this case, quantity is as important as quality. You may discover an advantage over others whose partner is close at hand - you don't take communication for granted!
4 - Take advantage of the benefits a long distance relationship offers: more time with friends and/or family, no arguments over toothpaste caps, the pleasure of seeing your sweetheart again after a long absence, time to mull your options (rather than snapping at your partner impulsively) before you respond to that email s/he wrote that seemed so rude the first time you read it, etc. Most important, being far apart gives you a chance to maintain your individuality - something that can get lost in the shuffle when couples spend all their free time together.
6 - Avoid the temptation to be controlling. People have free will and no one can or should control another person. As long as you are both interested in being in the relationship, you will stick with it and distance will not make a difference. As soon as one of you decides the other is not a good match - or someone else is a better match - your relationship ends, whether you live 3000 miles apart, two streets over, or share the same bed with your wedding picture on the wall. You are going to have to trust each other completely if this relationship is going to work.
8 - Know when to say good-bye. While this is tough in any relationship, this can be especially hard over long distances. When communication becomes one-sided or sparse for too long and for no apparent reason, when arguments (yes, you'll have them) become too frequent, when the whole thing just seems like more trouble than it's worth, it's time to re-evaluate the relationship. You have to remember that for a healthy relationship, no matter how far or close, you must be willing to let go.
10 - Visit often. Try to make the time to visit each other as often as possible or as often as your budget permits you to. A relationship cannot thrive if the only thing you have is the phone calls. You need to see each other up close and personal every chance you get. The key here is to set up some "rules" about frequency of communication and visits and stick to them, consistency can help a LDR survive.
11 - Avoid jealousy and be trusting. One of the easiest ways to destroy a perfectly healthy relationship is to poison it with jealousy and drama. When you start a long distance relationship you must be realistic of the difficulties ahead. It always helps if you go in a relationship with the idea that everyone is innocent and worth of trust until proven otherwise. Don't fall in the trap to interrogate your partner every time he/she decides to go out for a drink with people you haven't met or he/she didn't get back to you right away when you called and left a message. Just because you are in a LDR, you lives won't pause. Your partner will naturally have a social life where he/she lives and so should you. Sure it helps to have your eyes open and not be totally naive but being overly suspicious is unhealthy for you and your relationship too. You should both maintain your social activity and be happy with yourselves.
12 - Be positive. Staying positive and not focusing on the negative aspects of a LDR is essential to keeping your relationship blooming and your partner content. Being away from your sweetie is not all bad news. Use the opportunity of personal time to pursue your interests and hobbies as well as your career objectives. Another positive points it that long distance dating pushes both of you to be more creative, communicate better since you don't have "face-to-face" time and test your feelings. As long as you see the long distance relationship as a temporary state, you will keep your chin up and transmit that feeling of security and happiness to your partner too.
Long distance dating is all about a balanced relationship between partners; a relationship built on strong foundations of trust, understanding and determination to make it work. The two partners should be reasonable about their expectations and willing to cooperate so that this relationship can lead to a happy ending. If these parameters are taken care of, you have nothing to worry about.