LDR Talk: To All the LDR couples around the world

February 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm (Blogroll, Personal, relationship) (, )

ldr-pic-1.jpgIt’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and for the first time since my boyfriend left I am able to transmute all the emotions that came from separation anxiety to something constructive which is writing this blog. Like how Isaac Newton realized gravity from a bonk of an apple, I realized that I am not alone walking this journey of long distance relationships (LDR), knowing this and expressing empathy through words is a great way to not get sucked into the negative facets (which I will talk about in later blogs) of LDRs.
I found out that out of an approximate global population of 6,602,224,175, over 10 million couples are in LDRs, so if you find comfort in numbers, this little bit of information should let you know that you are not alone in the struggles and you are not alone in trying to make a LDR work.

Anyone in an LDR can tell you that the separation anxiety when parting ways can knock the wind out of you. I know it did for me. One moment I was in love, then in another I found myself in this passage of LDR which from where I was standing looked really scary. Most people don’t realize this but when a human goes through change our “self” goes through a metamorphosis and if you don’t realize the phases of human metamorphosis, adjusting to the change can be very uncomfortable and if not careful, you can end you up at a worst place. Falling in love is a change, deciding to commit to an LDR is a change and the actual parting of ways is a change. I read this article a few years ago about human metamorphosis by Martha Beck and after reading this article it definitely helped me not go crazy whenever I felt like I was out of character.

Whenever I feel imbalanced and not my usual self, sure enough, I was going through some kind of change (yes, sometimes it can be PMS :P). You’d be surprised how many are not aware. And I think the root cause of all problems that seem to nest in the corners of our minds is not being aware…how are you going to solve a problem if you are not aware? You need to be aware, identify then acknowledge in order for you to come up with a constructive gameplan to be proactive. This is a general rule of thumb to deal with all kinds of problems but today the focus will be on changes. So take some time to read this article.

http://www2.oprah.com/omagazine/200401/omag_200401_beck.jhtml

I am doing a lot of research on managing LDRs which I will be writing blogs about subsequently but on a personal note this is what I have realized so far.

I think communication is key factor in the success of any relationships. What would that entail? Technically it would be to express yourself and to listen. These functions of communication seem like it would be easy but it’s a lot trickier than you think, because there is a difference between communication and effective communication. I took communication 101 and 201 classes because of my major and what I learned is when you speak you have the responsibility to make sure that the message that you convey is understood by the listener. Most people think that to express ends with just words coming out of your mouth but its not true. Two people speaking the same language can misunderstand each other because our forms of expressions are shaped by the way we grew up, the kind of communication we grew up in, how our parents communicated with us etc can differ. So how you say it is just as important as what you say.

Listening is the same, we receive information and translate the meaning in our heads based on what we know, and we digest the meaning accordingly, so just as the communicator has the responsibility of conveying the message until the listener understands their point of view, the listener also has the responsibility of being aware enough to ask questions to understand if in case the message conveyed doesn’t seem right to the situation. The following link I think explains better than I can about listening but I want to quote the definition of active listening a.k.a listening to understand from the exerpt

Active or Reflective Listening is the single most useful and important listening skill. In active listening we are also genuinely interested in understanding what the other person is thinking, feeling, wanting or what the message means, and we are active in checking out our understanding before we respond with our own new message. We restate or paraphrase our understanding of their message and reflect it back to the sender for verification. This verification or feedback process is what distinguishes active listening and makes it effective.”

http://www.drnadig.com/listening.htm

So effective communication is two people interacting with these two functions gracefully like ballroom dancing.

I didn’t know this until I took those classes by the way. And since then, I always notice how people communicate. It’s quite interesting actually. I also notice how I communicate…as they say Knowledge is Power.

I tried to find a good definition of effective speaking but could not find one that says it all, it’s interesting to see how there are many for listening but not an exact one for speaking.

These very basic functions of communication are necessities for all relationships, whether is friendships, relationships, work, etc…but I think it becomes extra needed when you are in a LDR. Because communication is the only thing that keeps two people who are separated geographically to be a part of each other’s lives. Since the physical aspect is taken away from the relationships, couples in LDRs have to find a way to remain close mentally, spiritually and emotionally with only one main mode…communication and thank god we are in the 21st century because now we have many mediums to communicate. Establishing this is not as easy as you think but you should be armored with tenacity to make effective communication happen because the root cause of all failing relationships would be ineffective communication.ldr-pic-2-kissing.jpg

I think being able to authentically love is such an amazing gift. So that we are clear there is a difference between authentic love to needy love or dysfunctional love. And to be honest I was an avid anti-LDR person until this relationship. Learning to believe, trust, hope and have faith is something that I only recently re-learned and being in this relationship is really testing my threshold to believe, trust, hope and have faith. And its truly scary for a chick like me who was one step away from being jaded and skeptical. But the love that I have for my man is nothing like I have ever experienced which keeps me going even when I get so freaked out that I want to run sometimes. I am sure all those who knows how we became one step away from being jaded and skeptical understand what a feat it is to be in a LDR.

So to all the LDR couples around the world, I salute you for being brave and for really allowing yourself to love someone. Because if we can become better individuals and become a stronger couple through LDR, when we cross that finish line…it’s going to feel Oh-S0-Good.

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