"Talking about nothing is what sort of cements the relationship in terms of intimacy, so that they can talk about more intimate issues as they need to," Navarra says. Furthermore, "it's how you treat each other when you're not in conflict that predicts how you're going to manage conflict." In short, the more a couple knows and appreciates each other, the stronger and healthier they are.
So, you've got your flirty banter down, and you can talk about both your dreams and the daily grind. But what about the other (forgive me) grind?
Just as you'll want to outline expectations about how often you'll visit and communicate and how to balance the burden of travel, you should also consider your sex drives – but keep it in perspective, says Rachel Sussman, a New York City therapist who specializes in couples counseling.
"In this day of instant gratification, I mean there is something to say about waiting for something that's good, even when it's a biological drive for sex," Sussman says. "You might love having a delicious cupcake every day, but you certainly can teach yourself not to have that." And in the meantime, she says, "I can certainly see there being a lot of playful texts and a lot of flirting in between weeks when you're not going to see each other."
In general, Sussman wants people to be careful not to put the kabosh on something with real potential. In New York City, she says, there are singles who blackball a prospect just for living in Connecticut. "Some people have such long laundry lists about what a relationship or what a guy or what a girl has to be like, or it has to be under these conditions ... The wider you cast your net, the more fish you're gonna catch."
And when it comes to catching a good one, don't put anyone else's opinions over listening to "your internal voice," she advises. If what you then hear is: "I could really see this person watching my back and us having a great relationship" – why not give it a chance?