YES THEY CAN!
BUT... they also can break down if certain characteristics are not present in the relationship
If there was one word our culture has described long distance relationships, it is "doomed." When you tell someone you're in a long distance relationship, there is usually that look on their face and they ask, "Why would you subject yourself to the torment and inevitable failure of a long-distance relationship?" Our culture today says that most long distance relationships end up failing, but is that really the case?
What is considered a long distance relationship?
125 miles apart or more
In my experience in a long distance relationship, a successful one has four things in common:
It is very common to have the fear of your partner "fooling around" on the side, especially at the beginning when you're still getting to know each other. It's crucial to have that trust in your partner for the relationship to flourish and grow. If you can't fully trust them, you are going to worry yourself sick to the point of no return and the relationship will come to an abrupt end. Always make your partner feel like you are 100% committed to the relationship and communicate that in as many ways as possible.
This one is a little bit tricky. I think that it is extremely important to never make your partner the "centre of your world" because what if something happens and the relationship ends? You will have nothing going for you. So, when I talk about prioritization, I really mean make your partner a priority, but they don't necessarily need to be your number one priority over everything else in your life at all times. Everyone has things that are important to them and goals they are working towards, so you have to know how to respect that. But at the same time, it is crucial for a thriving relationship that effort is being put forward from both parties. Without enough effort in a long distance relationship, it will never work. You need to feel like your partner actually cares about the relationship and is willing to put time aside to talk with you on the phone, to Skype and you must do the same for them.
3) Share Your Time
I know first hand that when you get to see your partner after not being with them for a month, all you want to do is spend time with them. But, it's very important that you don't just spend time with your partner alone. Share! Spend time with your family and friends, allow your partner to be apart of that social setting with you. If you cut them off from the rest of your life, they don't get to know who you truly are.
This one is for couples who are getting to be more serious about each other. Plan for the future when the relationship will no longer be long distance anymore. It doesn't matter how far in advance you plan, as long as you have an actual plan of how you will be together one day. The only reason you are in a long distance relationship in the first place is because you really care for the other person and it's important to look forward to what your lives could look like together.
My Long Distance Relationship
Valentine's Day will be very different for me than for all the other couples in the world - I won't see him, get to hold his hand, go experience something with him, hug him, or anything like that today. I will be in my room, video chatting and eating chocolate with him over a Skype call while we tell each other about our days and plan how we're going to spend the next time we see each other. But it's all worth it to me. Even though we can't physically be with one another, we will still laugh and joke around with each other and talk about the same things we would if we were together on this day.
So this Valentine's Day, we will physically spend apart, but not emotionally or mentally. I will be with him in his heart and on his mind. We don't have to be together today because it's just another day closer to us being with one another again. We will laugh, eat chocolate, and be happy together, 375 miles apart. I will see him shortly after Valentine's Day, so we will have a later celebration of Valentine's Day together anyways!