If you are your partner are having problems in your long distance relationship it can be tough because you just can’t reach out and touch that person. A lot of arguments in traditional relationships can be ironed out rather quickly and sometimes don’t even start because couples can play off of each other’s body language and facial expressions. If you have been having problems in your long distance relationships, I am going to discuss three things that can be done to resolve those problems quickly and two things that will be necessary to do to avoid future problems.
It takes two strong people to be in a long distance relationship. The biggest mistake when involved in long distance relationships often come from bad communication or misinterpreting each other’s words or feelings. It will be vitally important that you communicate effectively with your partner. I recommend visiting Bob Grant’s website on Long Distance Love for tips on effective communication.
Problem Solver #1
Admit it – This is going to be tough, because what I am going to ask you to do is to apologize to your partner whether you were wrong or not. You actually do not have to admit you are wrong, there are three ways to apologize that lets the person know you want to work through a problem, without placing total blame on yourself.
- You can apologize that the argument escalated to a point where it has become a problem in your relationship – you should have been better at communicating the little issues before it blew up into a big problem.
- You can apologize for the way you handled the argument. Did you blow up at your partner or hang up on them? Have you avoided talking to them? Did you say things that you knew would cause the other person to get upset? – you can apologize for this.
- Or you can apologize for what you said during the argument. You know realize that it is possible that it could have been misinterpreted. You can tell your partner you understand how they could feel that way when you said ________________ (insert the thing you said that could have been misinterpreted). You can apologize for not communicating effectively.
Tip: When apologizing – make it brief. Don’t make the whole conversation about how you are sorry. Eventually you will want to get to the issues causing the problems.
Why in the heck should I do that?
When you apologize you let down your guard a little and let the other person get a “win”. Your partner might have their defenses up since you are having problems, this will allow them to be more open to finding a solution to the problem if you understand their point of view.
Problem Solver #2
Admit it again – After you have let your partner know that you are sorry for any understandings, let them know that you care about them a lot and that you really want you guys to work out. You want to express to them that you would never want to do anything intentional to hurt them or cause them to be angry.
Problem Solver #3
Let your partner know that you really do have some issues or an issue you would like to discuss that you feel would make the relationship better. Assure them that it is nothing too terrible or horrible but you do want to get a few things off your chest.
Then you will want to ask them when a good time to do this is. Don’t ambush them with problems you have right after smoothing things over, allow them some time to figure out an optimum time to sort through the issues. They might say that now is a good time, just be prepared to communicate
- It is imperative to learn your partner’s schedule or to schedule a time to have serious conversations with them. You may be more of a morning person and your partner might be more of a night owl. A compromise needs to be made of when you will have a phone conversation regarding a serious issue in your relationship.
- You may be really talented at multitasking. You may be able to watch your favorite television show while making dinner and still talking to your partner on the phone about a serious issue, but since your partner is not able to view your body language and know that you are really listening, it will be better just to have quiet uninterrupted time while you are talking on the phone about serious issues. The worse thing that can happen is that you and your partner are on your way to ironing out some serious issues and your partner hears “American Idol” in the background. Whether you have your full focus on them or not, it will seem that you are dividing your attention between two things.
Make sure you are comfortable when you are having a discussion and someplace where you won’t be interrupted for the next 2-3 hours. (Sometimes it takes a little time to iron out issues)
- Make sure you listen fully to your partner. Yes, it is tempting to cut in your partner says something that is obviously not true about you to defend yourself. But it is best to wait to the end of what they are saying and then repeat back what you hear them saying. This will let them know that you actually understand the issue. And it gives them the opportunity to correct you if you are misunderstanding what they are saying.
Tip: It will be helpful if both you and your partner agree to allow each other a period of time to express yourselves without the other interrupting. After one person has aired out their feelings than the other has the opportunity to repeat back what the other has said. This serves to let them know you were actually listening and then vice versa. You should have uninterrupted “stage” time while your partner listens and repeats back what you said.
This helps because often times disagreements and problems arise simply because the one person has misunderstood the other. If you allow each other to repeat what was said this decreases misunderstandings.
Ultimately, the best way to handle problems in a long distance relationship is prevention. It will be important to discuss how problems will be handled before they arise. This will be vitally important because during the argument is not the best time to set ground rules for conflict.
Looking for a guide to help you with your long distance relationship? I recommend Long Distance Love.