[[quoteright:201:[[Webcomic/{{XKCD}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/xkcd-faraway_7104.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:201:Maybe "[[Memes/{{Webcomics}} sudo *hug*]]"?]]
Perhaps AliceAndBob started out dating while they [[GirlNextDoor lived close together]] and one had to move away (far enough away that they can't see each other on a regular basis); perhaps they began the relationship through the mail (or, in more modern stories, over the Internet) and never met in real life at all (but may be planning to at some point).

At any rate, a story that has a long distance relationship often deals with its pitfalls, the #1 being that AbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder. If they've promised to reunite but one party takes his / her ([[DoubleStandard generally his]]) time, it may result in IWillWaitForYou; if outside pressures force the waiting party to be with someone else, this then becomes YouHaveWaitedLongEnough.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/VoicesOfADistantStar'' and ''Anime/FiveCentimetersPerSecond''. MakotoShinkai ''loves'' this trope.
* Koyuki and Maho in ''Manga/{{BECK}}'', but [[GeckoEnding only in the manga]].
* In ''Anime/{{GunBuster}}'', Kazumi's relationship with Coach Ohta is not only long distance, it very quickly becomes a MayflyDecemberRomance because relativistic effects means that Kazumi will outlive Ohta (and most of human civilization, as a matter of fact) by a long shot.
* During the ''Sailor Stars'' arc of ''Manga/SailorMoon'', Mamoru went to America to study, leaving Usagi behind for a large part of the series. (And then it turns out that [[spoiler: Mamoru actually had his heart crystal ''stolen at the airport'', and Usagi witnessed it, but she was so traumatized that she repressed this memory. In the [[Anime/SailorMoon anime]] it's slightly changed; Mamoru gets killed off a little after his plane took off, and since Usagi didn't see it she truly believed Mamoru wasn't able to contact her.]].)
** A lesser example is Motoki and Reika. Reika agonizes over accepting a two-year trip to Africa because it will take her away from Motoki. He promises to wait and, after the usual monster attack, she goes. In a later season she returns, only to turn right around and go back to Africa again--this time for ''ten years.''
* The anime version of ''Manga/MarmaladeBoy'' had this for a while, when Yuu takes a scholarship and goes to study in America leaving his girlfriend Miki behind. [[spoiler: It didn't work very well though: they did their best to try mantaining their bond, but Miki is emotionally exhausted due to being pursued by other two guys and, after a rather tasteless prank from a ClingyJealousGirl who's after Yuu, they break it off for a while.]]
* In ''Manga/KodomoNoOmocha'', Sana goes on an extended film project out in the woods and is plagued by rumors and [[YokoOhNo angry fangirls]] of her colleague who hate her for apparently dating him; later, the prospect of her love interest Hayama going overseas to recuperate from serious injury is enough to send her into a HeroicBSOD, though eventually she comes to terms with it and they are reunited in the DistantFinale.
* [[LesYay Subaru and Teana]] fell into this after ''MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' when their personal goals stationed them in different posts. But as Teana told [[GenkiGirl Subaru]] [[{{Tsundere}} in an annoyed tone]] when they reunited in ''Audioplay/StrikerSSoundStageX'', the latter kept on bombarding her with so much e-mail that she didn't even notice the distance.
* Variant in CaseClosed: Ran thinks that Shinichi has run off to investigate some kind of case, but in truth he's Conan, aged down thanks to plot.
** Also, [[spoiler: Sonoko and her boyfriend Makoto, who's a world-ranked karate practitioner and is always travelling.]]
* Implied at the end of PsychoStaff.
* ''Manga/TheConditionsForParadise'' is a GirlsLove manga that centers around the challenges of maintaining a long-distance romance.
* ''{{Planetes}}'' often deals with this, given that most of its characters are astronauts working in orbit. Some relationships even get more long-distance than most when [[spoiler: Hachimaki and Goro]] depart for Jupiter.
* Used in ''KimiNoIruMachi'' and ended badly, when the female lead Yuzuki decided to cut off all contact with the male lead Haruto and date her dying childhood friend as a pity date. Since this is a Seo Kouji series, [[JerkAss it never crossed her mind to explain this in any way shape or form to the male lead]].
** They try it again later when Haruto gets a job that requires him to move. He is initially encouraged when he finds out his senior at work has maintained a successful long distance relationship with her boyfriend for five years. Until she shows up at his apartment distraught and begging to sleep with him since she just broke up with her boyfriend. The distance was more emotional in her case. As much as she and her boyfriend loved each other, their dreams for the future were just incompatible. Her boyfriend wanted her to quit her job and move in with him so they could raise a family, and she wanted to stay at her job. They avoided confronting the issue for years, but it finally came to a head.
*** To which they once again break up.
* In ''LightNovel/TheCircumstancesLeadingToWaltrautesMarriage'', the Valkyrie Waltraute marries the human Jack Elvan, but humans can't survive in Asgard due to the thin atmosphere and Waltraute has too many responsibilities to stay in Midgard for long. She visits Jack's house regularly for a date.
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[[folder:Film]]
* The film ''Film/TheLakeHouse'' has an interesting variant: the distance isn't in space so much as in time.
* The movie ''Film/GoingTheDistance'' is set around a couple trying to have a long distance relationship.
* [[spoiler: Jason and Kelly]] by the end of ''Film/MysteryTeam''.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* In L.M. Montgomery's ''Literature/AnneOfGreenGables'' series, Anne and Gilbert carry on one for roughly three years, while he attends medical school and she teaches high school. ''Anne of Windy Poplars'' is composed entirely of Anne's letters to Gilbert while they are separated.
** In ''Rilla of Ingleside'', many of Anne and Gilbert's children carry on long distance relationships during World War I. The one emphasized, obviously, is Rilla's sort-of, unofficial (she's confused) long distance relationship with her childhood friend/crush Ken Ford.
* In ''The39Clues'', Amy Cahill and Evan Tolliver's long-distance relationship (carried on mostly via phone) starts after Amy takes off on a series of missions around the world.

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[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Done to all the married couples on ''Series/DefyingGravity'', what with half of each pairing being in space for six years.
* Ziva had one of these on ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' - cue "sympathy" from jealous Tony, as well as comments from an ex-hooker suggesting that Ziva look closer to home. Now, ''who'' could she mean?
* Kathleen and Jeff on the ''TheSecretLifeOfTheAmericanTeenager'' whenever Jeff goes on one of his frequent and extended medical missions to Kenya.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': Chandler and Monica in Season 9, when Chandler is transferred to Tulsa. Being HappilyMarried and hating his job Chandler eventually quits so they can spend christmas together.
* This trope is petty much the entire point of the show Ny-Lon, which is about a relationship between a girl in New York and a guy in London... which, naturally, leads to a break-up or major fight about how hard long distance relationships are just about every other episode so that one character can dramatically fly across the ocean to re-proclaim there love. Of course, in the end [[spoiler: they break up anyway.]]
* ''Series/StargateUniverse'' takes this to another level, with multiple characters having left significant others on the other side of the universe. The communication stones make things easier. Camille Wray looks likely to stick with her partner, Sharon. Colonel Young's marriage, on the other hand, is less solid.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': Mulder and Scully carry on a rather clumsily-written version of this trope in the show's final season.
* ''Series/{{Zoey 101}}'': Chase and Zoey attempt this via webcam after [[spoiler: she overhears Chase tell his roommates he's in love with her and they switch places in an attempt to be together]], but after their video date fails, the come to the conclusion that it wont' work and resolve to try it for real when they're together again.
* ''Series/{{CSI}}'', post season 9. Grissom and Sara are married, but Sara is working at the lab in Vegas, while Grissom travels and researches and lectures.
* Ted in ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' with Victoria, his first serious girlfriend in the series when she moves to Germany for a baking scholarship. Future!Ted tells us right from the start that long distance relationships never work. Including theirs.
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[[folder:Music]]
* On the Bruce Hornsby and the Range album ''The Way It Is'', the narrator in "Every Little Kiss" is in one.
* Long-distance relationships are the subjects of two FranzFerdinand songs ("Come on Home" and "Eleanor Put Your Boots On").
* "So Far Away" by DireStraits.
* Music/BobDylan's "Boots of Spanish Leather."
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[[folder:Oral Tradition]]
* Name a fairy tale where the OfficialCouple get together in the first few scenes, and one or the other will have to leave their lover behind for whatever reason. Cue LaserGuidedAmnesia.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ''TokimekiMemorial'' series has a couple of examples of this, most notably with [[spoiler: Kaedeko Sakura]] in ''Tokimeki Memorial 2'' and [[spoiler: Chiharu Aoki]] in ''Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side 1''. Due to the series' alignment to the far end of the idealism's side of [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism the Sliding Scale]] and its extremely strong [[ThePowerOfLove Power of Love]] theme, they always work out in the end.
* In some romantic endings from Franchise/FireEmblem, one half of a support-built couple goes back to his/her land of origin, but the other one visits them once in a while, and after some time they get officially together. Some of them are:
** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe FE 7 (Rekka no Ken/Blazing Sword)]]: Sain/Fiora, Kent/either Fiora or Farina, Erk/Serra, maybe [[LesYay Lyn/Florina]] if you ship them.
** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones FE 8 (Seima no Kouseki/The Sacred Stones)]]: Ephraim/either Tana or L'Arachel, Eirika/either Saleh or Innes, Forde/Vanessa, Innes/L'Arachel, Kyle/Syrene.
* In TheKingOfFighters, the few leads we have of Yuki and Kyo's relationship after the Orochi saga implies that they went from HighschoolSweethearts to this. In the ''Maximum Impact'' series Kyo is seen calling her from several phone stalls in South Town, and in ''XIII'' the pre-fight dialogue between [[DownloadableContent NESTS!Kyo]] and Athena implies that Yuki asked Athena to tell Kyo that she and others support him no matter what.
* HK-47 in VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic 2 states: "Definition: 'Love' is making a shot to the knees of a target 120 kilometers away using an Aratech sniper rifle with a tri-light scope... Love is knowing your target, putting them in your targeting reticule, and together, achieving a singular purpose against statistically long odds."
* It's never explicitly stated, but it's implied that Walter and Lyn's relationship is this in VideoGame/FrontMission 5. Likewise for Darril and Elsa, the protagonists of FM4, who got married in between 4 and 5.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''BittersweetCandyBowl'', the main character Mike is dating a girl named Sandy, who moved away when they were younger.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'', "The Longest Distance Relationship" is entirely about this. Naturally, it's [[UpToEleven exaggerated to the most illogical extreme]]: Hayley finds [[spoiler: Jeff Fisher after a whole year.]] The kicker? He's contacting her [[spoiler: from space.]]
* A nonromantic example occurred in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'' A Sitch in Time when Ron's family movies to Norway (courtousy of Future Shego). Despite Kim saying they can still make Team Possible work, two times, Ron shows up late to the mission, and when they're finally together, they're out of sync, so they regrettably agree that Kim should go solo. Fortunately, Ron accidentally hits the ResetButton and causes everything to go back to normal.
** Ron was worried about a straighter version occurring after graduation, believing that the distance would ruin his relationship with Kim. Whatever happens, WordOfGod says they stay together forever.
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