Psychology of a Long Distance Relationship

Now when it’s easier to travel than ever a lot of people encounter the issue of a long distance relationship and speaking frankly – many of them fail. It is very hard to keep up with another person when you don’t see him on a daily basis, when you both have different circles of friends, different activities. Drifting apart gets really easy. These are the points that are important in keeping your relationship alive even in a long distance.

1. MATURITY

Couple holding hands

yes, capital letters. Both partners have to be mature enough to understand the value of their relationship and to understand what will be the expenses. Especially if you are meeting a lot of new people in your new place, there is a great chance that you will meet another person who you will find attractive. Or a bunch of people you will find attractive. And it seems ok for a while, but what will you do if they start showing you attention? It is a matter of choice – long distance relationship means committing to each other. If you feel that’s too early for you than… maybe it is?

2. Knowing that the distance is temporary

plans

If you have plans that you will live in the same city or even together after the long distance thing, that’s great! Knowing that you are not waiting in vain helps. Of course it depends on how long will you have to wait – 6 months? A year? Two? Four? Everyone has a limit of their own. Commit to a long distance relationship for a year or two might be too much for some. It’s definitely a long period of time. If you are struggling, the best option is to talk to your partner – it won’t be easy but you both need to know that you are both committed but if it starts to feel like a sinking ship you can still abandon it. It might be painful but it will makes things easier later. Being in pain and acting that everything is ok won’t save your relationship.

3. Trust

jealousy

This one is probably the hardest one. When the trust is strong everything will be fine. However, when you don’t see your significant other, don’t know who is he hanging out with and what is he doing it is very likely you will get jealous. Yes, you have to prepare for that because at some point you will get jealous. Maybe someone will post a picture where your boyfriend is in a club dancing with another girl or your girlfriend hugging a guy you never heard of. And probably it’s nothing big but it will annoy you. My suggestion – don’t keep it. It is better to ask but also be cautious – don’t make a scene out of it. If you manage to ask nicely making it sound playful not angry then probably your partner will even enjoy it – he will know you care. Just don’t overdo it! Blame and guilt won’t make anyone feel better and it will make you drift apart.

Some couples make agreements that they can still go on dates and even have one night stands but this is a risky business. Even if both agree to do this probably one of them doesn’t want it as much as the other. I’m not saying that this is impossible but it might just build up a big baggage of trust issues, jealousy and even blame. If you decide to do this, make some strict rules not only about how far can you go and how often can you go out with the same person but also how much will you talk about it. Remember, avoid any comparisons, don’t go into details and don’t talk too much about it. That’s the easiest way to avoid an argument. However, don’t lie, if you went on a date don’t hide it. Moreover, never miss a “web-chat” evening with your partner for a date. There’s a very big possibility that it will end in an argument. So, make arrangements with your boyfriend/girlfriend beforehand.

4. Visiting

travel

If you can visit, do so as often as you can. It is the best way to keep your relationship strong. However, if you can’t do that often be prepared when you come to visit that it might be a little bit uncomfortable at first. You might not find a lot of things to talk about, you might feel different to each other, thoughts that you’ve changed might become overwhelming. How to prepare for this? Plan some activities that you both enjoy doing. It’s a good way to remember the things that you have in common and to make everything feel a bit more natural.

5. Similar activities and interests

runescape romance

Studying a similar subject, reading the same books, watching the same movies or working in a similar field might help to keep some topics that you can speak about when you don’t have any more questions as “how do you do?”, “what is the weather there?”, “what did you eat today?” and “how is your dog doing?”. You have to find something that will suit you both. If you are both a little bit into games – try regularly playing a multi-player online role-playing game together. If you both like watching let’s say “How I Met Your Mother” do that “together” – at the same time and then you can talk about it after. Anything you can think of will work. Only thing that matters is the idea that you are doing something together.

6. …And the sexual topic
flirting

It’s hard talking about it but this might be an issue. A long distance relationship is an opportunity to shape all the skills for writing dirty messages, having “phone sex” or even doing things in front of the webcam. You just have to make sure you are comfortable with it and that you both want it. It might feel really uncomfortable especially if you are not used to flirting and seducing. Or you find yourself tortured when trying to say or even write something dirty. You can try and some will find it really pleasuring. However, if you are really conservative or shy, don’t push it. And if your partner is pushing you into doing more than you feel comfortable, stop him. You want to make this pleasuring for both of you. Maybe you can make a compromise, making you go out of your comfort zone a little bit but not too much.

Be cautious with erotic pictures or videos of you/your partner – you really don’t want other people to see that. My suggestion – don’t keep those in your phone. Remember that many friends like to scroll through your pictures when you show them something…
For college students: don’t leave them in the most obvious places on your computer as well. Create a folder in a folder in a folder and don’t name it with the name of your partner or any words like “erotic” or “nude”. Especially if you have noisy friends who like to post stupid messages on your facebook when you are out of the room. It is easy to make a search for “Angelica nude” on your computer.

These are the most important points in my opinion. Of course, it will differ from couple to couple. It will be easier if you enjoy having long talks with each other and it will be harder if you are more of a silent type couple. A long distance relationship will require a lot of energy and devotion. However for some it is a way to get to know each other better because you will have to talk about things and you might notice some character traits you haven’t noticed before. So, use this time. Exchange stories of your childhood, your dreams of the future. Don’t focus on the negative how hard it is on you. It will be hard on both of you if even one of you feels that this relationship is just a burden.

Stay positive and strong 🙂

Copper

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From Analytical Psychology

The works of Carl Gustav Jung always astonished me. After reading his “Memories, Dreams and Reflections” I had a great list of books that I just had to read. Sadly the list is moving really slowly. A month ago I read his “Psychology of the Unconscious” and it opened my eyes to so many things. I really was intrigued by his explanation of neurosis – that it has a purpose to get some sort of a result, for example, a woman afraid her husband might leave her for another has these neurotic phases, pleading her husband to be by her side, to save her, to take care of her and not to leave her. The husband will feel guilty if he had even the slightest thought to leave his wife. He sees how ill she is and how much she needs him. Unfortunately to all the “neurotic people”, at the end this works in the opposite way – after many times when the husband is put into a role of savior and nourishment (a neurotic person becomes like a small child), he will be fed up with it. How long can you act as a mother to a grown up infant? The husband needed a wife, maybe he had a mistress but that happened for a reason as well – maybe just midlife crisis, or maybe the relationship was just getting cold and the husband needed someone to look at him and see a man, not a care-giver. I’m not saying that it is the woman’s fault her husband needed a mistress but I’m saying that the fault might fall on both of them.

So, what did I learned from this? I’m not neurotic, but as a girlfriend, I used to mistreat my boyfriend by blaming him for no actual reason, getting mad at him for no reason and even having some small heart beat issues after that (of course, only when my boyfriend was with me). Saying that “for no reason” I mean, that there was no reason for the reaction of this kind and strength. I mean, that a normal person would react in a less dramatic way, maybe he even wouldn’t react. But I did. And I would always understand a few hours later what happened wrong, so I would apologize and apologize to him for my mistakes. I always thought that my “little neurosis” came as a result from my complexes, childhood problems and that it was a normal reaction for me that I couldn’t change or alter. And it felt like that, I just get so angry that to think straight would become an impossible thing to do. Somewhere deep I would understand that my boyfriend is not the reason, but the thought was just too weak. I would still feel that he is guilty for not understanding my childhood issues and saying or doing something that would make me react like this. After reading the book I understood that I shouldn’t be looking to my behaviour like this:
Some bad stuff in my past —> my “neurotic” reactions to regular things

but I should be looking at it like this:

My “neurotic” reaction —> result: my boyfriend feels really guilty

And I started to be very conscious of my behaviour, I wanted to prove myself that I was not wrong, that it is not about my boyfriend. But it was. One evening we got into a fight, and again I started it for something really insignificant, trying to convince him that behind his actions lies deep hatred for me (my choices made our relationship really complicated, half of the year it is a long distance relationship) and when he didn’t admit his anger, my heart started skipping beats resulting in lose of breath, chest pain and blurred vision. My boyfriend thought that it was his fault for causing me this pain and he was agonizing inside not being able to help me. And when I came back home, everything ended. No more pain or shortness of breath. Then I realized everything – I am causing myself all of this pain, I am making myself ill to make him feel guilty about it, to make him take care of me. And actually, somewhere deep I felt that it is his “fault” that we are together and it is his “fault” if everything falls apart. This struck me hard. I felt really bad, ashamed. I explained everything to him and apologized even more than ever. And since then I am controlling myself. Even if I start to have this “neurotic phase” again, I just stop it with the thought that I can get better results by talking to my boyfriend about what I need and what I feel than making him feel guilty for not understanding that telepathically.

Mine is only a small example what might be causing people to act out like this. I believe that everyone might have a quite different structure and can seek a different result. Or maybe the causes are not so different. Freud explained neurosis through sexuality, Adler through the need of power, but Jung put everything really well into one idea – both Adler and Freud were wright, it is just a point of view, a way to find the system of the behaviour (and different ways are more easily accepted by different people) and then it is easier to search for a solution, for the way to change.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” — Lao Tzu

For the enlightment,

Copper

The red of Copper

Today I start writing this blog. It is an interesting thing – you are reading this and you don’t know who I am. I won’t introduce myself, I want to stay hidden in this small internet chamber and speak freely. An alternate ego? Why not. Just for the sake of providing a way for you to write “sincerely” at the end of your letter, call me Copper. I don’t feel like I’m not worthy enough to call myself Silver or Gold, I just think that Silver or Gold have their worth for their shinny surface, that is merely affected by air and water (and for their ductility and malleability but copper is also good for shaping). I am not a shinny person nor am I immune to forces of my surroundings. That’s why I chose red of the copper.

My plans of writing are quite vague at the moment. I feel that I have a lot to say about what I experienced and how I’m going through my life. Science and art are also my deep passions, so I plan to write some reviews of articles and experiments as well as literature, music and paintings. However, I still think that the majority of my posts will cover insights on self-development and psychology.

Maybe it’s easier to say what you won’t find in here – politics, economics or pictures of food or cats. Sorry for the disappointment.

Until we meet again,

Image

Copper.