Spend your vacation time TOGETHER
Sorry, dude, but that golf vacation you're planning with the boys might fly if your girlfriend lives within driving distance. But now that she lives in a different time zone, guess what? Your vacation time is her vacation time, and vice versa.
"We used vacation time together," says Janie, who spent seven years with a guy she met in Italy. "If he had time off for holidays, I took time off to spend it with him. And we capitalized on vacations and used them to see each other."
REALLY learn about the other person
This doesn't just mean asking them introspective questions like, "Who's your favorite muppet?" It means learning about their family, their culture, how they treat the neighbor's dog, you get the idea. In the end, you need as much intel as possible on this person BEFORE one of you moves cities. Are they somebody you're going to immediately run from as soon as you're in the same place for more than a week? Best not to find out after moving into your new apartment in Minot, North Dakota!
"We both knew we were really type A before I moved out to Hawaii," says Julie. "So we never fought about dumb BS like the toilet seat or socks on the floor."
"I'm learning French now,” says Grace, 22, who met her boyfriend on a summer trip to Europe. "It’s such a huge part of who he is, it would be really tough to make the relationship last in the long run if I didn’t."