Long distance is hard, it takes work and commitment. In our 22 months of dating/being engaged we have been doing long distance for 12.5 of them. I'm certainly no expert in this area but I have learned some things in the process.
1. Communication: Obviously important in any relationship but hard to do long distance. Communication over the phone for a majority of a relationship takes work and two people who are committed.
I have a confession, sometimes I wasn't committed to communicating well with Jeremiah, and it caused problems, it made him feel shut out and disconnected from me. It was easier for me to just not talk about things that were happening in my life or issues that needed to be addressed in our relationship, I thought I was being righteous by just letting issues slide. This solves nothing, yea it's easier at first but relationships in general aren't easy they take work. By trying to just let any issues that arose slide I wasn't giving our relationship that attention it needed, and things just built up causing me to get more frustrated. Yes sometimes you can let things slide, every little thing doesn't always need to be addressed but when you realize that you are getting frustrated with something it does need to be taken care of. It took Jeremiah confronting me and admitting how I was making him feel for me to wake up and realize my attitude wasn't helping our relationship but hindering it.
2. Making time for them: Again a mandatory in every relationship but long distance takes thought and work.
Throughout our months of long distance we have come across a formula for making time for each other that works for us. When Jeremiah was in school, I was working full time and now he's working full time and I am doing the whole stay at home plan a wedding thing. It has been easier for us for him to call at night when he's done with school/work. Every night around 9 I know that I can expect a call from him, we both make sure that we have that time to talk. Usually on the weekend sometime we also add a Skype date. Honestly it's not always easy to make time for that, my family might be watching a movie I wanted to see, or he might have been invited over to a friends house, but everyone know that at about 9 o'clock it's Maia and Jeremiah time. My mom jokes about our nightly phone calls but she knows it's an important part of our relationship. In our relationship we also try to make time to visit each other every so often. We have the freedom to do this and I know not every couple does but I believe that when presented with that opportunity you should take advantage of it. Being able to spend time together is integral in a relationship.
I think I'll make this a series and write more about it later, but for now those are two of the things I have learned are important in a long distance relationship.