I am currently involved in my first long distance relationship.
To say it is difficult is cliche and pointing out the obvious.
We have been dating off and on for years, but I decided on my own to have him be my main squeeze. However, since we do not get to see each other as often as we would like and we are both still young, I decided to keep it as an open relationship.
This means that he and I may go out on dates in between seeing each other, but I do not take any other men that I may date seriously. It is casual dating more to have fun and enjoy what I have left of my youth more than it is trying to juggle men.
I have no desire right now to get married and I have sworn over and over that I never will, but with this person it is different. I can honestly see myself marrying him, and I guess it is in my Sagittarius nature to balk at that. I have never had a guy who consistently treated me the way I deserve to be treated, and that is very new in and of itself. That is not something anybody should take lightly or for granted.
Being constantly hurt is another huge reason for my disdain for even the thought of marriage. You can only have your heart broken so many times before you just say "Forget it!" I live in the 21st century, I do not live in a time where if I do not marry I am doomed to be the town spinster or even the crazy cat lady. I can have my career be more important than being married and I have grown to become perfectly fine with that.
Everything that has happened to me romantically aside, my freedom is the most important thing in my life. The older I get, especially now that I have a daughter, the more I crave it. While I do factor my main squeeze into what I do in the long-term sense, in the short term sense, I want to be able to do as I please and go as I please in my downtime.
The only way we make this work is constantly keeping in touch with each other by any means we can, and keeping the passion and spark in our conversations as much as we can. It is so easy for the romance and passion to just fizzle out if you do not do the work and become complacent with your affection towards your partner. Be consistent and thorough as you can be with your affection and a long distance relationship is so much easier to handle. Above all, be honest. It will save the both of you a lot of heartache.