If it's true that even the most convenient of relationships require a good amount of effort to thrive, then long distance relationships must have a slim chance of succeeding; at least that's how the conventional wisdom goes. There are several questions that need to be answered about this type of relationship, and it should also be noted that they don't work for everybody.
1. What are the details of the relationship? In other words, how far apart will you be, how long will you be apart, how often will you see each other, and so on. The more deeply in love the two of you are, the less important you will think these questions are. But the truth is that the more you love each other, the more important it is to understand the impact of the answers. It's a good idea to know as many details ahead of time so you can make a realistic plan.
2. How will you communicate with each other and how often? They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and there is some truth to that. The ability to communicate makes a big difference in the success of long distance relationships. You can use any method that you prefer from handwritten notes sent through the mail to exchanging e-mails; from talking on the telephone to online video chat. You should set up a schedule for when the two of you will talk, and this schedule should not be broken unless both of you agree to it (such as in the case of an emergency). You can also have guidelines about unexpected calls, but these would be optional. Seeing each other in person would also fall under the question of communication.
3. How much do you trust each other? This is often the biggest problems long distance couples face. Perhaps you and your partner have always trusted each other, or maybe you just thought that you did. But now that the possibility of a long distance relationship has entered the picture, you both have some doubts. It's gut check time. You need to make sure that you trust each other completely if there is any hope of things working out.
4. What is your end game? If things simply aren't working as well as you should, then you have two basic choices: you can either end the relationship, or you can end the long distance aspect of it. It's okay to operate from the assumption that things will work out just fine, but it's also a good idea to know when it's time for a change. You or your partner may notice that your feelings start to subside the longer the two of you are apart, and may decide that it's time to move on. On the other hand, your feelings may stay the same, but the long distance is becoming too burdensome. Either way, having a gracious way to handle those situations will make things a lot easier.
As you can see, long distance relationships really can work. They may take more time and effort, but it's worth it if the two of you can stay together while distance separates you.