Fix My Relationship Friday’s//Vol.1

Hey Everyone!

Thanks for joining me on the first official Fix My Relationship Friday series!! I’ve had the opportunity to ask several people to share their thoughts on their Long Distance Relationships (LDR).

Why this topic?  

This is just one of many topics that we will discus on this new series.  I also have more than a handful of friends, and even more family members who have experienced this as well. More and more people are deciding to try making their relationships work the long distance.

This is something that I can testify to as well.  Doing the whole long distance thing and all…is extremely challenging!! I was committed to a LDR for over 2 years.  There were long and lonely weeks, plenty of arguments, and frequent Skype dates. But, I knew I was with the right person.  If both are willing to put in the extra work (this is a must!), then both parties can grow in ways that you can’t even imagine.

Considering dating long distance?  Maybe you’re facing your own challenges on this very subject.  My hope is that you will gain a new perspective from the interviewees who have shared their story with you today…Enjoy!

*Background info: Ages: 23-31, male and female, 2/4 are still with their current partner*

Here are the questions that were provided for the interviewees:

  • How did you enter into the long distance relationship? (Did u know up front it would be long distance)? Dating since high school (for about 5 years).
  • Were you more apt to cheat because of the distance?

  • What were the biggest challenge(s) you faced with dating long distance?
  • How often did you spend time together?

  • What would your advice be for others considering, or are currently dating long distance?

Interview #1: 

We met through a mutual friend.  Originally, we lived in the same city. Then after 2 years, I left for grad school.  We decided to take a short break, due to being unable to get on the same page.  A month or so after that time, we got back together.  It wasn’t that much longer when my boyfriend took a job overseas!!  We couldn’t catch a break!  

I was definitely open to it after some time had passed, due to being so lonely. I even hung out with more people as a result. I never acted on my feelings of loneliness, but it did frequently cross my mind.

Our communication relied more and more on emailing one another. Our Skype dates faded away as well.  Our schedule was contingent on his availability, due to him being overseas. When we did get a chance to speak on the phone, I felt like my feelings were not acknowledged, because he was super busy.  His mind was elsewhere, and I was not able to share my experiences with him about what took place throughout the day. Like what grade I received on projects.  

We got to see one another 2-3x/month on weekends.  He had an extended weekend off from his job, prior to going overseas.  I was busy with school during the week, so this worked well. It wasn’t until he took another job (overseas) when things changed.  Advice: Unless you’re married, or seriously committed to the other person, don’t do it!!  Life is short.  Why spend your time pining over someone you aren’t sure you want to be with? You have to figure out the next step in your relationship.  Are there plans to relocate within the same city? Make sure this is a discussion you have early on and frequently.

Interview #2:

We met while I was on vacation so we knew it would be a long distance relationship from the beginning. I wasn’t tempted to cheat because of the distance. Finding time to dedicate to one another and communicate, since most disagreements happened via phone call, it’s hard to actually communicate your feelings and have a discussion. Physically, we were together about 1 week for every couple months…it varied as the relationship went on because we moved closer and further away. So, the distance determined how often we saw each other.

Advice: I would suggest staying away from long distance relationships unless there was a relationship that existed before it became long distance…I don’t think long distance relationships that start out long distance have much of a foundation to build upon.  For those currently in a long distance relationship, I’d say be as flexible with your partner as possible and understand that it will be a challenge.  For those considering it, I suggest you thoroughly evaluate the strength of your relationship because the distance will only make things more difficult.

Interview#3:

We were originally living in the same city.  About 2 years after dating, my boyfriend made the decision to relocate to live with parents in another city. I have often considered cheating.  We weren’t friends first, and the move was stupid to me, and out of nowhere.  I had the mindset that we could pretend we were together when he visited me, but when he was gone, I felt I was single.  This relationship was challenging, because we didn’t have a long-term game plan. We didn’t have plans to live in the same city.  There was no end goal, and we never discussed this.  We had different goals on what we wanted out of life.  He was going back to school, and I was working full-time.  A true future goal could not be established.  

Our communication remained hit or miss.  Honestly at this point, I was not as concerned as I should be.  I didn’t have a strong emotional connection with him.  I admit that I did resent him for moving.  He visited a few times per week.  But, I didn’t feel a strong desire to be with him, because I had one foot out the door. Plus, he was inconstant with coming to see me, so this didn’t help us at all. Advice: if you know in your heart that you don’t care about the other person, take this as a sign from God.  I unfortunately didn’t listen.  I kept this relationship going, when it should have ended a long time ago.

*End of First Round of Interviews*


Leave your comments below on which interview you can relate to, and any feedback for these lovely participants! I’ll be posting the second round of interviews later in the day.

Want me to share your story?? Email me here, or comment under the Relationships section at the top of the page.

Resources for YOU:

Loving From a Distance

20 Life Saving Tips

~XOXO

FreeBryd

Early Bird Special!!//Fix My Relationship Friday

Up Next on Be Free 2 Love

tumblr_lyzjhzaz5q1robbgco1_500So, tomorrow begins the Fix My Relationship #FixIt series on my blog. I have the results of the interviews that I’ve conducted on Long Distance Relationships.  I will share this info with all of you tomorrow.  🙂

While you’re waiting patiently for the results, I would love to hear from you too!  What have you learned from your experiences with dating long distance…or didn’t learn?!

Please leave a comment on the Relationships page, respond to this post, or email me at freebryd101@gmail.com, to join in on the fun! Let me know your thoughts are on the following questions, and we’ll discuss this tomorrow.

Here are the questions that I have asked the interviewees:

  1. Have you ever been involved in a long distance relationship? If yes, see the questions below.  If no, answer each question as if you were ever in a long distance relationship.
  2. How did you enter into the long distance relationship? (Did u know up front it would be long distance)?
  3. Were you more apt to cheat because of the distance?
  4. What were the biggest challenge(s) with dating long distance?
  5. How often did you spend time together?
  6. What would your advice be for others considering, or are currently dating long distance?

See ya tomorrow for #FixIt Fridays, to see what the interviewees had to say!!

~FreeBryd

You can check out my blog schedule HERE.

Image #1: http://www.wikihow.com/

Image #2: http://vodkabularies.com/long/long-hug.html

Understanding Empathy

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Finding yourself stuck in a cycle of negativity, or similar arguments with someone you love?

Our relationships can suffer because we minimize one anothers feelings.  Even if doing so was not our intention.  Many of us lack the ability to see another persons perspective.  Often times we are too focused on our own feelings and experiences, that we completely miss the mark.  We miss opportunities to connect with others, because we are being “selfish”, or at least coming across as such.

More and more, I’m noticing that much of what we communicate tends to get lost in translation.  We attack one another simply because we believe we were wronged in some way.  The worst part is that when these messages are misunderstood, many of us fail to gain clarification on the intended message.  As a result, maybe you spend the next day replaying that conversation in your head.  Man, have I been there one too many times! I admit that I have let my imagination run wild, without taking a moment to calm those nasty convos in my head.

Then, when I am able to confront the “issue”, I often learn that I was wrong.  So, realistically I’ve spent an unimaginable amount of time dwelling over things that could have been cleared up if I was able to understand the other’s interpretation without having my feelings block my judgement.

Psychotherapist Cindy Sigal, AMFT (Relationshipshttp://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2014/06/08/the-power-of-empathy-in-romantic-relationships-how-to-enhance-it/) has a wonderful perspective on how to improve empathy in our relationships.

What is EMPATHY?

Cindy discussed three different types: Cognitive (we don’t lose sight of our feelings).  Here we are able to recognize others feelings without experiencing these same feelings ourselves.

Emotional (sharing feelings with your partner or others). If your hurting, I’m hurting. If you’re angry, I’m angry too.

Compassionate ( a whole person response (changing our own behavior).  With this type, we realize what our partner may be experiencing, and actively alter our behavior to increase positive feelings.  For example, you may know that today wasn’t a good day for the other person.  Instead of adding onto their current stress load, you do something different.  You may say kind words, or pick up their favorite snack.

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In addition to understanding the different types of empathy, it will also be helpful to identifying the Road Blocks from experiencing empathy.

-Getting sucked into our own perspectives (how we are feeling vs our partner): From my experiences with others including what I’ve been through personally, is that many disputes/disagreements occur when you feel the other person isn’t listening, or feel as though they do not care.  Many of us become stuck with defending ourselves when communicating, because for some reason we feel attacked.  What can possibly be resolved if both of you aren’t even attempting to understand the others perspective?  You’d don’t have to agree with them, but this will help you grain clarity.  I’m definitely still a work in progress!

-Focusing on negatives: Can you imagine a lifetime full of complaints, with no motivation to make any positive changes? #exhausting. We all have our days of picking out the “wrongs”, but what about trying to clear a tiny circle off of that filthy mirror from time to time.  This will definitely keep your relationships “stuck” in the helpless zone. Try finding at least one positive for every 3 negatives.  This may be challenging if your thinking has already been shaped by constant negative messages, but your situation is not hopeless. Train yourself to think differently…it’s never too late to learn something new. 🙂

-Treat ourselves how we would treat others: I admit that am not the best example of this.  I allow others the ability to make mistakes, and offer them my best advice and encouraging words.  But, I don’t always allow myself these same luxuries.  Yes, I want to push myself, and learn from past experiences.  How will this be possible if I won’t even give myself the opportunity to reflect on these roadblocks?

I hope that today is a wonderful day for everyone, and we all are able to improve our Empathy!

What contributes to your overall satisfaction in your romantic relationships ( past, present, or future)?

-XOXO

FreeBryd

Photo #1:http://www.canstockphoto.com/

Photo #2: http://www.lifetimeloveaffair.com/