While you were once able to meet for a sandwich and hang out downtown, getting together with your S.O. these days may mean booking airline tickets and securing hotel reservations.
For people in romantic relationships who live in different regions of the country, a few yearly visits to maintain the relationship could cost big bucks. Add to that long-distance phone bills, the shipping costs for care packages, and going all-out when you do get to spend time together, and you may be looking at a pretty pricy love connection.
Of course, overall, your relationship's financial costs may actually be the same or less, since all those former daily outings and nighttime entertainments aren't happening -- but that's assuming your social life shuts down in the absence of your S.O. More likely, you still go out, but now you hit the town with your friends instead of your sweetie. In fact, a sense of loneliness or a need for distraction may leave you with a fuller social schedule than you had before the commencement of your long-distance relationship.
Even if you tighten your financial belt on regular social outings, the costs of maintaining that long-distance relationship can be quite high. There's the expense of traveling to one another (pricy either by car, train or plane), taking time off from work and kenneling a dog, as well as what you'll actually pay while in each other's presence after long periods of separation.
Next: U&I vs. ROI.