Communication is important in any relationship, but it can be tough to communicate effectively; however, when you are in a long distance relationship, it is that much more difficult. Why? In long distance relationships, you’ve got a physical and sometimes even an emotional void between you and when you are in the midst of an argument over the phone or the internet, that space is going to get worse. With these give rules, you can prevent a simple argument from turning into something much more serious.
Rule #1 – Give yourselves some space.
Whether you’ve just had an argument over the phone, by text, or even online, you will want to take a step back from the situation and let both people cool down. Think about it, when you have an argument face to face, you will want your space to calm down and regroup, lest you say something that you could regret one day. The same thing goes for a long distance relationship. You might feel like any silence after the fight is going to spell disaster for the relationship, it could actually help make it stronger because you are taking the time to reflect on what was said and maybe even see the situation from their side.
Rule #2 – Decide if the argument is legitimate or are you just feeling the pressure of being alone.
Long distance relationships are hard, there is no doubt about that. These types of relationships require more time, effective communication, understanding, and of course patience. The pressures of having your significant other living hundreds of miles away from you can be very hard to handle and sometimes it can cause arguments without cause. Many times, it feels like these arguments come out of nowhere, especially if one of you had a bad day at work, lack of sleep, or even if your plans to see each other have been canceled. Combine this with the fact that communicating through the phone or internet is hard enough as it is—you don’t have the non-verbal clues to hone in on and the like. If you come to the conclusion that the argument stemmed from just being away from one another, maybe you need to find more effective ways of communicating.
Rule #3 – Admit your role in the argument.
There is no one culprit to starting the argument. Every person has their part to play in it and once you admit to yourself the role you played (maybe you didn’t call when you said you would, or you were drunk and called them at 3 in the morning when you know they had an important meeting at 7am), then you can take responsibility for the way you reacted and clear things up in the process.
Rule #4 – Make time to make up.
Making up is usually the best part of having an argument because both parties are tired of fighting and just want get back to the cuddles and whatnot. However, people in a long distance relationship can’t quite make up the same with. With that said, you have to make an effort to make up with one another. This doesn’t mean to send a “I’m sorry” text and go on like the argument never happened. This means that you need to carve out time from your day and have a real conversation and hash things out. What’s even better is if you have a video chat so that you can see your partner apologize and know they are sincere (or vice versa of course).
Rule #5 – Forget about it.
Like with any other argument, you don’t want to hold any resentment and going back to this argument later down the road. There won’t be anything gained by doing this, except for some hurt feelings, bitterness, and maybe even distrust. When you go through the “making up” process, it is important to leave the topic at that. Once you apologize and agree to the role you played in the situation, you should move forward and try to avoid making the same mistake. Closure on an argument is important because if you harbor resentment and hold a grudge, you can never truly forgive each other and make up.