Ask Monae: How do I deal with bad communication in a long distance relationship?
Question: My Boyfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. It has been going fine for the past few years, but now it is getting hard. We are having a hard time connecting and communicating. How can we fix this? Do you have any tips to make it through a relationship like this?
Advice: First, I want to give you an imaginary high-five for staying in a long distance relationship for so long. It is very hard, and not many people are able to go the distance that you have been able to!
Long distance relationships are hard, but they are so rewarding. For both you and the relationship. You will learn a lot about yourself, and how to love, have patience, compromise, and what your limits are. Being face to face constantly can really overshadow that whole process.
Communication is key in any relationship. But, for a long distance relationship it is everything. There is a list of reasons why the communication can be breaking down. Either you or your partner can be having issues that are on this list.
- Time Zone: This is what many people put as their #1 reason for problems. Whether it’s a 2 or 3 hour distance, it can cause an issue when you want to talk. One person is sleeping, while the other person might just be getting off of work. But, don’t let it be a reason. Schedule around it, and utilize face time, Skype, and a simple text! I’m sure you can stay up an extra hour or two.
- Work Schedule: Your work schedule is not something you will be able to change, unless you work for yourself. Use your lunch breaks to give your partner a little message or a short phone call. It isn’t much but it can really uplift a weak point in a relationship.
- Family: Your family or your boyfriends family may get in the way at some point. This happens a lot more than people think. Keep family out of personal situations. Only talk about certain things that will not give any idea about your partner to sway their opinions.
- Friends: All I’m going to say is follow the same rules as you would for family. Friends can be vicious and jealous when it comes to relationships. Of course not all friends are like that, but they will think its their business to confront issues in YOUR life. Don’t give outsider power in your relationship.
- Secrets: There could be something hidden. It happens, and it’s okay. But, whats done in the dark will come to light at some point. It could be against your or something that is just too hard to talk about. Give it time and allow each other to share things during a vulnerable time. Do not be afraid of it!
- Feelings: You may have feeling that you are having a hard time sharing. I’ve been through this, and still go thorough it today. It makes it really hard to talk and show the love and appreciation you may feel for that person. Often times a partner might even excuse your feelings or prevent you from expressing them at all. Don’t let this be a reflection of who you are, and don’t let this deter you from continuing to build a better relationship. Always have another outlet to express yourself, whether it be prayer, writing, talking to a friend, or fitness. In the mean time, find ways to talk to your partner about this.
- Your Thoughts: Doubts, stress, worry, fear. Whatever that thought may be, get rid of it. I know, how can you do that so fast. You cant. But you should really try to figure them out. Why are they there?, Where did they come from?, and how can I get rid of them?, are things you should ask yourself. Once you figure it out get started with the process.
These are all some great reasons, but only you two will be able to know exactly what is happening. Take time for each other, weight out your options on certain things, and figure it out together. What is the other person lacking?, why?, how can it be resolved? This process has to happen and it will strengthen your relationship.
Some Tips: Considering there is distance between each other, I suggest you both take this time to get your personal life together. Whether it be finances, education, health, or issues that you don’t want to bring into a relationship. (Of course no one is perfect, and past will always find a way to the present, but it can be handled differently.)
Motivate each other! Work on certain things together, so you both can stay on top of goals.
You both should discuss any issues openly with each other. Be each others therapist! That sounds weird but, it really helps. If you plan on spending your life with this person, they should know everything about you. The good and the bad. By doing this, you will develop a better communication system.
If the person you are with or even yourself, can not handle this, then maybe you need to question whether this is a long-term relationship or something else. But, you have been together for quite some time so I think it is safe to say you should be fine.
I hope my advice helped!
Need any advice? Email me a question and I will be there to help!