They can work, yes. I was in a long distance relationship with my husband back when we were dating. It only lasted about 4-5 months before we got married, but still. He was in Missouri and I was in California. We had very little contact because of the military, but we made it work.
You really have to trust the person you're with. You have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they won't do anything that'll ruin what you two have. My husband and I loved each other and knew we wanted to be together, so the only strain of our relationship was the distance. Because no matter what anyone tells you, it sucks. You don't get to see them when you want and if you're in two different time zones, you have to factor that in when contacting them.
You have to be strong emotionally, because distance can ruin a relationship if you're not. They aren't for everyone.