Now, I've had relatives, friends, even informal acquaintances talk, sometimes sneer behind my back saying things like LDRs don't work, they're not normal, etc...
If you've had this happen to you, I understand how you feel.
And that's why I'm so committed to helping your LDR function more easily.
Which led me to write this 5-part series based on my research as a psychologist over the last 7 years.
I knew I needed to share my findings. If you haven't seen the earlier parts, I encourage you to go back and read them, either before or after you read this final 5th part.
My research led me to create these kinds of “communication triggers.” In actuality, the questions would vary somewhat based on where you are in your LDR (starting an LDR or been at it, kids/no kids, other issues and problems you specifically deal with).
If you've had difficulty in your LDR, these discussions can be the missing ingredient to change your LDR for the better.
I discussed the foundation for these questions in the previous parts, so, let's get right into the final three now:
We all have stresses in life. And what feels stressful to you, may not feel particularly stressful to me. We each often experience the same thing very differently.
Knowing what stresses your partner can be used for good by avoiding those stressful things and providing understanding when they can't be avoided. You can even avoid fights and disagreement. Of course it can be used for bad, that only makes things worse.
Follow-up with questions like Why do you think you find (those things) especially stressful? Are there clues you give when you're especially stressed? How do you control stress? How do you think I can help the most when you're especially stressed?
If you're just starting your relationship, there may not have been any heated disagreements. But as your relationship develops, you probably will...
One of you may feel compelled to keep a heated argument going and not stop until the problem has been solved. And the other may prefer to stop heated arguments until everyone has calmed down.
In LDR mode especially, it's easier to miscommunicate and pour salt on the wound of a big disagreement.
Discussing in advance how to handle heated arguments, you can avoid a lot of unnecessary misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and complications.
I'm not saying you'll find a workable solution if you each fall into different extremes. But it's your best chance of doing so.
Follow-up with questions like: How important is it for you to (do it your way)? Why? What do you think might be a workable solution? Can you expand on your thinking about that?
When I was given investment advice, I was told “past performance is not a guarantee of future performance,” or something like that.
It may not be a guarantee, but it's certainly an indicator...
Can they give you honest self-reflection? Is there a good mix of positive and negative observations?
If everything they say is bad about their previous partners if they have nothing good to say about them – be careful. Few people are all bad.
This can also lead to a healthy discussion about how you each feel about commitment, honesty, cheating, sex, monogamy, family, and love.
It's not a good idea to simply assume your partner holds the same values as you. In an early relationship discussion, you can get a surprise – to find out much later can cause permanent damage.
You can compromise on something you just want or like, but it's a bad idea to compromise on something you need.
Follow-up with questions like: Can you tell me more about that? How did that make you feel? Why?
There you have it. 11 questions you should discuss early in your LDR. They can lead to intense but valuable discussions which build a strong foundation for your relationship.
Not knowing questions like these in the past is not your fault.
They're pretty heavy and not always easy. But, now that you know, it's your responsibility to discuss some, or even better, all of them with your partner.
For my next post, I'll get into something a little lighter and more fun. It may just be the next best thing to feeling your partner's arms wrapped around you when you're apart. See you then.
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As always, wishing you an even greater LDR success.