Relationships are complicated enough, but add in the prospect of being in two different cities — or countries — and things can go downhill pretty fast. Maybe you’ve moved away to get that MBA, or perhaps s/he needs to pack her/his bags for a new job opportunity. Whatever the reason, there’s a good chance your relationship won’t stand the strain of time and distance. But there are ways to avoid an unhappy ending. Here’s our guide on how to not just survive but thrive in a long-distance relationship.

It is imperative to discuss the time period after which you will move closer to each other. It could be six months or two years, but a clear plan is a must. A long-distance relationship is not for the lackadaisical – ‘going with the flow’ doesn’t work. What does work is planning to the T.

You’ve got to be organised. If you are lucky enough to be in the same time zone, then you might have it easier but you still need to factor in convenient times for both of you to communicate effectively with each other. Yes, it’s beginning to sound a little scientific, but love is a science! If you consciously don’t schedule time for each other, things may get tricky. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. Instead, you’ll be left with a bad case of out of sight, out of mind!

P.S. This step is crucial for the ones in ‘across the globe’ long-distance relationships. Why? Because both of you will always be on two entirely different frames of mind by virtue of your separate time zones. ‘Then you have to factor in things like whether you both are morning or night creatures, since one of you will have to compromise. Or, take turns.

Sorry to make it sound like prison, the idea was to grab your attention. Make sure you plan as many mini trips as possible, so that the time you spend apart doesn’t start to irritate you, and make you see more negatives than positives in a long-distance relationship. Plan weekend getaways or trips to each other’s destinations. It’s important to feel at home when in your partner’s city and home, so that one doesn’t feel left out when apart. Besides, physical intimacy goes a long way in strengthening bonds.

All this scheduled stuff might feel like a burden if you don’t give yourself some time and space to do things that you want. A ‘free day’ once in a while will give you a chance to focus on yourself, which is just as important.

If you don’t trust each other, this is never going to work. It’s not possible to keep 24×7 tabs on each other’s lives – not even if it’s not a long-distance relationship. Don’t let your imagination run wild. If that is how you end up behaving, then consider being single! So, long-distance warrior… making this work is going to take time, energy and patience – but if your relationship is worth it, take the above advice seriously.

Our time apart only makes the time we spend together, sweeter. Plus, we constantly stay in touch over the phone – like about a 100 times a day.