Let’s be real; no one likes to argue. It’s the worst 😩
Unfortunately in any relationship arguments are bound to happen. I feel they are even more common in long distance relationships because miscommunication is much more common, ugh! So after six years in an ldr I feel like I’ve mastered the art of long-distance arguing.
It’s important to try to argue mindfully, to improve the communication and have the conversation be effective and not harmful. In other words, fight fair and for a reason. Know what the issue is, and stick to that subject. Don’t let it escalate and bring in a bunch of little things that aren’t apart of the conversation.
Normal argument etiquette applies here.
⟶ Be respectful of each other. Don’t use their insecurities against them. Don’t say something you know will hurt them. Don’t criticize each other. Don’t bring up past history or name calling. Basically don’t be cruel to each other.
⟶ Try to listen to your partner fully and try not to interrupt.
⟶ Explain yourself and try not to get hot headed. Your partner isn’t going to be very receptive if you’re not clear or if you’re being aggressive. I find it best to say that you need to leave the call and can calm down. Once you gather your composure, you can come back to the conversation.
⟶ Use positive language and know when to apologize.
This stuff can be so hard to follow when you’re upset, but it’s always good to be mindful of it. Even though there is a disagreement, you want conflict resolution – not more conflict!
And now here’s where we get to the long-distance specifics…
Don’t hang up on each other. This is something you can’t really do in person but it’s so easy to do, and it’s really not fair. So if you do need to leave to gather your thoughts, explain that to your partner. Don’t just hang up!!
Sometimes my boyfriend and I will even “pause” the argument. We are in different time zones with crazy schedules so our time together is really limited. Pausing lets us put the fight on hold and spend some time together. Honestly, it’s really nice that we can do that. And if the argument isn’t that important, we kind of forget about it 🙊 So 10/10 recommend that.
Focus on the conversation. It’s easy to get distracted when the person you’re talking to isn’t right in front of you. So it’s important that you don’t let yourself get away from the conversation.
Video Chat (if you can). This will help you pay attention. And it will help you to read the physical cues you get when having a conversation in person. You get to see their facial expressions and their body language and that can help you understand how they are feeling about where the conversation is. And they get the same cues from you.
Don’t ignore each other. If you need time, let your partner know that. Don’t just disappear and leave them hanging in that weird idk what’s happening limbo. That will just strain the relationship even more! Even if you need space, keep communication open.
Never go to bed upset. As stated above, it’s alright if you need time alone. It is also important to avoid going to bed with unresolved issues between you. You may just wake up feeling awkward and distant from one another and continue the fight longer than necessary. It’s not always possible to avoid doing this but it will make a significant difference when it is.
I know these things seem so simple, and almost like common sense, but it’s so hard to forget them when you’re fighting. Emotions can get the best of you, and in the past they’ve gotten the best of me and my partner. We started dating when we were in high school and we learned these things from trial and error. Which I know sounds kinda silly but it’s true! We used to argue a lot over trivial things and this stuff helped us communicate better and argue constructively.
Effective communication is made up of so many different variables, and there are even more variables when you throw long-distance in! Just remember to be mindful and make an effort to understand the person and to be understood 😌
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