Falling in love (in this case with a person, not a place) can be one of the many consequences of traveling and studying abroad. But after returning, it is a challenge to prevent physical distance from becoming emotional. Of course, you don’t have to shave your legs every day or clean your apartment all the time, but it will take determination, optimism, and why LDR don’t work relationship into a long love story.

1. Find the best time to communicate (regularly)

Although writing messages and sending emails work 24/7, sometimes it is necessary to talk and get an immediate response. Depending on the distance, it may take a while to find the best time to chat, but the practice makes the teacher and funny voice messages can compensate for bad connections. And no, it doesn’t matter if you can only call on Sunday mornings – making time for each other is essential.

2. Find the best means to keep in touch

Once you have found the time to communicate, it is important that you discover the best means. Luckily, it was never so easy or so cheap to keep in touch with the world: WiFi is all you need to use Skype, chat and messages. Make sure your main communication tool is easily accessible to both of you, and don’t forget that using different media will make communication much more exciting.

3. Be creative

Record a voice message during the night, write a letter, send postcards or create a music compilation. Use your imagination and find new ways to show that you are thinking of the other. This does not mean that you have to empty your account at the bank: instead of hiring a plane to write poems in the sky, why not hide papers with cute messages during your next visit?

4. Don’t avoid fights

If they see each other a couple of weeks or months, and maybe they even speak different languages, it’s easy to ignore problems or doubts. Nobody wants to spend time arguing when they only have 48 hours together, but avoiding fights and arguments can become harmful over time. The more they talk about what bothers them before it becomes major obstacles in your relationship, the better. However, do not fight for messages or emails. Try to discuss it in person or by phone as soon as it comes up. Having said this…

5. Talk to solve

Try to be open and honest about your feelings always. Ignoring where the other person is or who he was with Saturday night can lead you to think too much and get into an unnecessary panic. The fact that social networks make it easy to see (or imagine) how much the other is having fun makes everything worse. It is important that you trust each other enough to share your thoughts and feelings and find ways to cope with jealousy, anxiety and doubts together.

6. See the glass half full

The fact that you live your daily life with a long-distance relationship can be both a blessing and a curse: you may feel that you are missing out on doing “normal couple things”, such as going to look for the other for work or lunch together. However, it can also be a great advantage to be able to concentrate on your things: if you study or work for many hours, you will not have to disappoint your partner by canceling plans for dinner or watching a movie, for example.

7. Know when they will meet again

Depending on how much time and money it costs to find, it can be difficult for them to see each other. Not knowing when it will be the next time it happens will uncontrol your feelings and your life. So it is better to try to set a date as soon as possible after you return home. That way, you can both plan ahead and take advantage of cheaper flights and special promotions, not to mention having something to look forward to (spontaneous surprise visits are great too).

8. Do things together

Desperate times require creative ways to spend time together: even if they are not in the same place at the same time, they can still do things together: thanks, video calls. They have no excuses for not sharing a screen and cooking, eating, shopping, or going for a walk together via video call. Don’t forget that you can also watch the same movie while they talk.

9. Have a memory

Sometimes, not calling or sending a text message will compensate for the fact that the other person is not. What can help solve this is to wear your favorite shirt or drink with your favorite cup. Memories like those can be clichĂ© but they work. A sample of your favorite perfume can make time differences disappear for a moment – don’t be shy and do this if you are desperate for a little closeness with your partner.