Careers, college, family struggles can all uproot a stable relationship and move it 3,000 miles away. Or, perhaps, you two met on the Internet and neither is ready to give up your life in your hometown. Either way, the bottom line is this: What do you do when you're in a long distance relationship?

Gulp.

The horror stories of long distance relationships are all over the place. Infidelity. Missing the other person. Worrying that the relationship won't last.

But before you decide to throw in the towel, here are some tips to manage a long distance relationship.

Define your expectations. If you're looking to keep it casual, "we're dating other people"- type of thing, okay. Tell the other that. If you're working toward marriage, that's a very different ball-game. Who will move where? When? How long will you be separated?

Keep the lines of communication on a schedule. No one likes to live on a scheduled timetable, but in a long distance relationship, scheduling time to talk is key. Schedule time every day (or every other day, depending) to talk, text, chat, IM, or email the other person. Be ready for the spike in your phone bill and use free services like Skype to talk to one another. Communication is very important when living far apart.

Put visits on the calendar. Sure, you can keep relationships going through communication alone, but physical touch is important, too. Visits will show your significant other that you still care about him or her, no matter how far apart you are. Try to make this visits special -- plan some fun things to do while together, so your relationship continues to grow.

Trust each other. It's hard as can be to not let that little green monster (jealousy) sneak it's way into your life when your significant other is off with other people. But in order to make it work, you're going to have to trust that he or she means what he or she says and wants to be with you and you alone.

Any tips for long distance relationships?

 

Image via nimble photography/Flickr