Hooray -- you've found your perfect match -- the two of you are terrific together, have the same goals and a wonderful romance. So, what's the catch? You both live in different cities due to work, families, whatever, and you both have to commute between two cities.
In our book "LOVE FOR GROWN-UPS: The Garter Brides Guide to Marrying for Life When You've Already Got a Life," we interviewed dozens of women who have long distance marriages and asked them for tips on how to make it work. Here are some key things that will make your marriage much easier.
Organization and Planning
Keep all your lists and plans in one place. (Here's where your smart phone can come in handy!) Organize your wardrobe. Do you have a business dinner outfit and a barbecue outfit in both homes? Do you have plenty of lingerie in both places? Make sure you have two sets of everything -- one for each location so you don't have to have a big packing job each time. Make-up, creams, lotions, medications, running shoes, tennis racquet, yoga mat, etc. You don't want to be spending unnecessary time preparing for your trips by doing laundry. What errands do you need to run in each city? Being organized and planning ahead allows you to spend more time together.
Make Your Luggage Carryon
As we said, try to keep on a permanent basis as much clothing as you'll need for each location. And keep a list of what you have in each city. If you can avoid checking luggage and manage with just carry-on that's an added plus.
Use One Phone Number
Only give out your cell phone number. Don't frustrate friends and family by having to keep track of where you are.
Keep Your Costs Low
The lowest airfares tend to appear on Tuesdays, but, watch the fares as much as you can because they can change day to day -- even hour to hour.
Make Your Travel Time Productive
Use the time you're waiting for or on your train, plane or bus to read, catch up on emails and get ahead of some work. If you're driving, catch up on reading with books on tape.
We can hear you groaning! But check your state tax laws to determine primary residence and decide if you are gong to file taxes separately or jointly. And then there are the bills. Pay as many bills online and use online baking as much as possible. You can then avoid scaling the mountain of mail at either place and actually keep up to speed on your finances.
Keep Up With Your Girlfriends
When you're apart use the time to catch up with friends -- take advantage of the separation to plan girls' nights and see chick flicks.
Use Skype And All Those Available Internet Connections
The times when you are away from each other make video chatting a regular part of your daily routine. Stay in touch via email and texting. You want to keep each other in-the-know about your day-to-day lives. Don't allow distance to make you lose touch. Today's "techie" world makes it easy to be together.
There's an up side to everything! It's a wonderful feeling to see each other after some time apart. As Garter Bride Mindy says "It's like a honeymoon all over again every time."
If you are in a long distance relationship, what ideas do you have to make it work?
Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl and Tish Rabe are the authors of "Love for Grown-ups: The Garter Brides' Guide to Marrying for Life When You've Already Got a Life", a relationship guide for women over 35 on how to find Mr. Right, marry and find life-long happiness. The Garter Brides are a sisterhood of women who got married later in life and wore the same garter at their wedding! They offer tried and true advice on how to have the love and life you want. Visit TheGarterBrides on Facebook and Twitter.
Follow Ann Blumenthal Jacobs on Twitter: www.twitter.com/the garter brid