Relationships take work, we all know that. However, where long distance relationships (or LDRs) are concerned, there tends to be scepticism around whether or not they past the love test. Whether you’re keeping the flame flickering from Scotland to Ireland, or maybe it’s a UK to Oz job, there are various ways to maintain the spark, and excitement, in a long distance relationship. Take it from me; I spent a fair few months staying in contact with my boyfriend from a different country, and so proof is in the pudding that it can work if you put the effort in (and if you’re willing to stay up all hours of the night chatting…say what?!). Just bear in mind, if absence does make the heart grow fonder then you’re on to a winner, and if you don’t do anything stupid before you see them again then both tickers will be happy ones. So, here’s how to ramp up the heat in a long distance relationship.

Designated Date Nights

Seeing as you can’t physically be with eachother for date night, setting aside one night a week (or two if you’re feeling cheeky) for a “date night” together will keep things heated up. Maybe it’s a case of grabbing some popcorn and catching up on Netflix together over Skype, or go the whole hog and cook the same dinner, rustle up a few roses and some bubble and get those lights dimmed. A little extra effort will go a long way.

Be Open About Your Emotions

Harbouring emotions can be a deadly game when you’re going the distance, because bottling it up will just leave you feeling anxious and, without realising, this might have a detrimental effect on the relationship. Let your partner know what you’re feeling – if you miss them, tell them! Love them? Tell them. It’s a great way to get an open discourse flowing that will allow you to feel as though you can say what you feel.

Set An End Date

iPhones, Skype, WhatsApp etc are all well and good, but setting an end date can help sweeten the time and distance. Whether it’s in a month, 6 months a year or even more, it gives you both something to look forward to, and to plan towards.

Make Technology Your Bestie

The digital era allows us to feel connected to people even when they’re a world away, so why not use it to your advantage. No matter what the time difference is, we’re pretty contactable all the time. So reach for iMessage, get personal with Skype or send photos via WhatsApp. Whatever works for you, it’s a way to keep in touch instead of being incommunicado. However, don’t badger! You want it to look like you’ve got your own life after all, and that you’re not entirely dependable on them (even if you do lie in bed at night weeping when they’ve popped our for a cheeseburger as it means a half hour without talking). Keep in touch, but don’t lose touch with your own plans.

Don't Put Your Life On Hold

LDR’s may require a whole lotta talking, but don’t put your life on hold and ostracise other people, plans and especially family. Waiting around will only make time go slower, so keep yourself busy and maintain your usual activities. We’ve all heard the phrase ‘You Do You’, and this is the perfect time to love and embrace yourself, and work on things you’ve wanted to for a while.¬†Maybe keeping busy will also make time go faster, and you can also use free time to plan your time together when you do eventually see each other. Embracing the humdrum is important though, eating noodles in front of the TV, strolling down streets holding hands, so whilst planning a dinner might be an idea, advice would be not to jam pack the short time you might have together.

Let Yourself Trust

Whilst it might be easy to think the worst when there’s an ocean of distance between you, learning to trust is a tremendous trait of a long distance relationship. It will help maintain a tight connection between both of you, and help avoid arguments. Also, see point 1 about being open about your emotions; if you feel something is amiss, perhaps bring it up in a gentle manner because falling out over the phone is a lot harder when you can’t see the person for reconciliation…unless you fancy forking out for a pricey flight.