Thanks to technology, it鈥檚 easier than ever to stay connected to an S.O., no matter where you are. It might even be how you meet them in the first place. And yet, you still hear the same advice any time you bring up the idea of dating someone long-distance: 鈥淒on鈥檛 do it.鈥

Welcome hug in the airport.

Sure, a long-distance relationship means you might miss out on an extra-creative last-minute date night (adorable), or evenings where you stay in making each other romantic home-cooked meals (double adorable). But, according to dating and relationships coach Lindsay Chrisler, you shouldn鈥檛 be afraid to go for it just because it鈥檚 a challenge.

鈥淔alling in love doesn鈥檛 happen every day, so if you meet someone who you see potential with, don鈥檛 write them off because they live far away,鈥 she says. 鈥淚 hate 100 percent black-and-white advice about love, because you have so many options to make it work.鈥 (And for the record, she鈥檚 done long-distance successfully herself.)

In fact, Lindsay says there鈥檚 a key advantage that long-distance couples have over everyone else: You have no choice but to keep your own lives. 鈥淭he natural instinct for everybody when they fall in love is to consume the other person and share one life,鈥 she says. So, if there鈥檚 literally already space between you, you鈥檙e less likely to fall into that love buzz-killing trap.

The fun, warm-and-fuzzy, totally-crazy-about-this-person phase of the relationship also has the potential to stay turned on longer. 鈥淲hen you鈥檙e living together [or in the same city], you see each other by default, and there鈥檚 not as much choosing or desire there because they鈥檙e always around,鈥 says Lindsay. But with long-distance, you actively have to tell them you miss them and care about them, and work more to connect. 鈥淭he relationship actually gets more intimate, and you get to know each other in a different way,鈥 she explains. But how do you make it last?

Young Asian Girl Chatting On Messenger With Her Boyfriend

How to Make Long-Distance Relationships Work

1. You better both love talking. Lindsay says one of the biggest keys to a long-distance relationship is communication鈥 literally. 鈥淚f the chemistry is amazing, that鈥檚 great, but can this person talk? Because you鈥檙e not going to have physical intimacy and touch, you鈥檙e going to need communication, either verbal or written or Facetime.鈥

Of course, you can also go for some more unconventional date ideas beyond just long conversations. Lindsay suggests writing letters or watching movies together over Skype. But you might not even feel the need to get that creative. 鈥淟ong-distance is really so romantic,鈥 she says.

2. Be self-aware, and manage your own emotions. Long-distance relationships can come with a lot of anxiety and loneliness. 鈥淵ou want to have something to help you manage those feelings of fear,鈥 Lindsay advises. It鈥檚 not fair to put all that on your S.O., but you don鈥檛 have to do it alone. She suggests turning to friends, therapists or professionals (like, say, your friendly neighborhood relationships expert) for support.

3. Never fight over text. It鈥檚 so easy to misconstrue meaning over text message or be accidentally passive-aggressive. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e going to be so reliant on texting, but everyone鈥檚 got to be really self-aware of how they鈥檙e feeling and how they鈥檙e doing, and be open,鈥 says Lindsay. If you鈥檙e feeling lonely and not talking about it, that might come out in weird, mean ways that lead to a fight. Instead, talk about what you鈥檙e actually feeling 鈥 which is probably lonely and scared of being apart.

If you start to feel that happening, immediately stop texting and move the conversation to Facetime or Skype. 鈥淲hen you鈥檙e 鈥榠n-person鈥 everything gets more present in reality and real,鈥 says Lindsay. 鈥淵ou can go into your head for a long, long time when they鈥檙e not right there, and that鈥檚 the biggest trouble spot 鈥 being way too in your own head, and not actually in the relationship.鈥 Also: Drunk texts can be just as damaging as they are when you鈥檙e single. Just don鈥檛 do it.

Take Me With You After This Vacation

4. When you do get to spend time together, it鈥檚 still OK to take breaks. And don鈥檛 feel bad about it. They might need a break from being cooped up with you more than usual too. 鈥淭here鈥檚 all this pressure to spend every moment together if you鈥檙e seeing each other just for the weekend, but if you鈥檙e feeling overwhelmed or irritable, go take space,鈥 says Lindsay. 鈥淕o for a walk, see a friend, touch back to your old life. That space will allow the relationship to stay good, and you need to take it even if the time is limited.鈥

5. Know when to commit. 鈥淭his is hard with any couple,鈥 Lindsay admits. 鈥淭he three-month mark, when there is a deeper commitment starting to be asked for, that鈥檚 when fears start setting in, and the realities set in of the things you might not like about the other person that you鈥檙e either going to have to accept, or let them go.鈥 When it鈥檚 long-distance, it might take longer to get there (even as long as a year), but don鈥檛 shy away from the conversation if you鈥檙e feeling it. 鈥淏e really honest with each other and put it out on the table, and see if you鈥檙e on the same page. The key point is to keep telling each other the truth,鈥 Lindsay stresses. And she also points out that emotional openness and honesty in a relationship isn鈥檛 usually something you鈥檙e taught; you have to learn by doing it.

6. Don鈥檛 rush into big changes. Committing to each other doesn鈥檛 mean you both have to move to the same city ASAP and start living together. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a transition, so it鈥檚 going to be awkward and weird. That鈥檚 normal,鈥 Lindsay assures us. 鈥淚 like the idea of thinking of it as an experiment. Like, decide to live in the same city for three months, and see how that goes. And then if that feels good, move in together, and so on.鈥 It can be scary to uproot your life or ask someone to uproot theirs, but making or giving into hard demands about where to take the relationship next isn鈥檛 going to help. 鈥淓veryone wants a guarantee, but there is no guarantee,鈥 she says. 鈥淭ake the next phases one step at a time. You get information every step of the way, and deal with more fear every step of the way, but they build on each other for a really great relationship if you go slow and stay honest with each other.鈥

And if after all that, you鈥檙e still on the fence? Lindsay鈥檚 got your back. You can schedule a free video consultation to get her take and support on your specific situation.

How do you make long-distance relationships work? Tweet us your tips @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)