Long-distance dating is hard. It sucks when you can't do stuff like cuddle or have sex. You have to settle for doing things like talking on the phone a lot, which is a living nightmare for some people. But barring the fact that you have the sex life of a single, agoraphobic shut-in, long distance relationships can be totally great, as long as you're both serious about it. Here's how to be a great long distance girlfriend (but a lot of these go both ways).
1. There's no such thing as too many sexts.
It is impossible to send these at a bad time. Even sending them when he's in the middle of a meeting is great. You could literally take a different picture of your boobs every day from the exact same angle and he would save every single one of them. Every one. Your boobs would become a fixed cost in his life because he'd have to start paying for monthly cloud storage.
2. You (both) need to make an effort to check in regularly.
It doesn't have to be every day necessarily, but you should figure out a time that works best for both of you in advance and do your best to talk. Don't just wing it when you have time, or you'll wind up spending weeks forgetting to talk to each other.
3. But don't make him feel bad if he can't make a Skype date.
As much as you want to always stay in touch, don't fault each other if you have to skip out every once in a while in favor of drinks with coworkers or a family event. Getting home late or falling asleep is OK. It shouldn't feel like a burden keeping in touch.
4. Go on remote dates.
You don't always just have to just talk on the phone. "How was your day?" only takes a conversation so far. Watch a movie together, or try cooking the same dinner, or play a board game long distance. You can still both get some candles and wine and have a romantic dinner together without being in the same place.
5. Plan visits way farther in advance than you think necessary.
You'll always feel a lot better if you have something to look forward to. Don't leave your next visit in limbo. Depending on the distance and ease of travel, you can try to do scheduled visits or at least agree on the next convenient time. Even if you have to wait 6 months, at least you know when you'll see each other again.
6. If he comes to visit you, offer to split the bill.
You don't want to have one person constantly visiting the other, even if it's technically easier for one of you to take off work and/or travel. Split expenses. Make sure traveling isn't stressing one of you out.
7. It's OK to not plan things when you visit.
You don't have to turn every visit into a vacation. In fact, that might just tire you out. Stay in. Have a bunch of sex. You're not wasting "time you spend together." That's impossible.
8. Learn to enjoy your free time.
Sure, you might have been spending your weekends with your lover, but now you can catch up on reading, or go to the gym more, or even just enjoy sleeping in. It's tough having to spend time apart, but appreciate it. You have the best of both worlds right now! Well, the best of one world and the kind of medium-OK of the other world, but still.
9. Trust. Honesty. Patience.
Unfortunately, since you're not always there to know what they're up to, you have to trust that the other person isn't messing around behind your back. The second one of you feels like they're getting policed, you're fighting an uphill battle to keep the relationship working.
10. Don't text constantly.
It's fine to check in, or send jokes or cute messages and pictures (see #1). But unless texting is your only feasible form of communication, you don't want to feel like you've done all the talking you need already, or have nothing to share when it's time to call/text. Make sure you're keeping those as your real form of communication. Too much texting isn't a good thing.
11. Initiate tons of long-distance sex.
It's not as good as the real thing, but talk dirty to each other, have phone sex or Skype sex. Even if you feel weird about it, it'll keep you two focused on each other. Plus, you're building up a lot of sexual tension for when you finally see each other again.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.