One of the hardest things I have been having trouble with in my relationship so far is communicating with my partner. With my increasing workload at the University and his continuously demanding, new career in California, there is literally no time to talk! Even text messaging becomes something that we MIGHT be able to do synchronously. With all of these missed chances to actually Skype, engage in a an online movie, or even just call, communication is lacking. The flow of ideas, information, love, and support are starting to dry up from the gully-washer it once was. The next lesson I am taking away from this Long Distance Relationship is this: Communication is important to make time for, say what you need to say, and follow up with other creative ways to communicate.
People communicate in different ways in every relationship, so this hopefully can interpret in one way or another to someone. I once knew a girl who had an on and off relationship with a partner in Dallas who would text her maybe once or twice every two weeks, who always ignored her texts, and when they would talk, he was super negative or uninterested. As soon as they saw each other, they were back to normal. Even though this was what my friend wanted, I can safely say the communication in this LDR was horrible. There was nothing for my friend to base her trust in besides an idea of a person that was there. She would carefully monitor Facebook to make sure she wasn’t being cheated on, and constantly worried and stressed over someone who could care less about her.
I’m not saying my relationship is like this, but I have learned the basic do’s and don’t’s from both this example relationship and my own about the importance of communication.
Do make time for your significant other and try to stick to a set time you can look forward to. For me, I can depend on my boyfriend to be ready to Skype around 11pm every other night or so. Being able to set a time you are both expected to be available to have a nice long talk is essential; this is something that should be expected in every LDR. Even though your significant other is not there, they should be able to make time just like if they were physically around.
Do be up front and honest about what you’re feeling. If you are feeling amazing about the way your LDR is going, tell your partner why, and specifically what’s working for you. Also, acknowledge their efforts and show appreciation for all the things they do, whether it’s big or small. However, if you’re starting to feel neglected or you feel like the relationship is going in a different or weird direction, speak up to your partner. Tell them what you’re getting from them, how it’s making you feel, and ask them how they feel. They might not have known how you felt or even might have felt the exact same! Either way, acknowledge what you have been feeling, and agree on whatever works for y’all next (more communication, less negativity, etc.) This is a hard conversation to have, and I was on the floor balling my eyes out because of how much of a toll this relationship was taking on me. But in the end, we had a more productive relationship than the one that would have ensued if I hadn’t brought it up.
Do come up with new and innovative ways to communicate. Texting, calling, and Skyping may create a good, solid base for LDR communication, but there are many other different ways to engage in communication: watch a movie together on Let’s Gaze, a website that allows you and your partner to watch a movie at the exact same time, download apps that create a unique LDR space for the two of you. I suggest this app called Avocado, where you and your significant other can text message, send drawings and photos to each other, and share a calendar between the both of y’all. Lastly, try finding app games or online games like Scrabble and Monopoly, where you and your love can sit and engage in a game together; the only difference is y’all play online.
Don’t use communication as a device to identify your partner’s problems. This includes bringing up that one time they did that thing you didn’t like, even if you already made amends about it. If you create a defensive environment, nothing grows from it. Try to be objective in the problems of your relationship to make the best decisions; letting your emotions out during communication fogs your judgement and you might do or say something irrational that you will regret later.
Don’t start a fight, rather, explain why you are feeling the way you are feeling in an objective view and listen to your partner. If you feel like you’re about to blow your top, step away from the phone and tell them you’ll call/text/skype later when you get your bearings back. Tell them that you want this relationship to grow with love, not with anger, and that’s why you are stepping away to think over your problems before you do anything rash.
So I’ve said a lot of do’s and don’t’s and I hope they help. I’m trying to live by my own advice too, so getting it out makes me feel a lot better!
Anywhoot, here’s your call to action: some ways you can make your communicating a lot more effective (or fun) include finding LDR apps, computer programs, or good ol’ creativity and a stamp. Some apps I like to use are Avocado, an app all to y’allselves, like I mentioned. I have the free version, but I’m sure the premium app is great to! I want to start trying out Let’s Gaze; it looks and sounds really cool! Or make a care package with all of their favorite goodies. I like to theme mine, so get creative with your communicatin’!
After a while crocodile,