Deterioration in Long Distance Relationship

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Introduction Long distance relationship, known as LDR is model of a romantic relationship that takes place when the partners are separated by significant distance. I have been experiencing this kind of relationship since 10 months ago and still going. As an international student studying abroad, my boyfriend and I separated within thousand miles between Indonesia and Australia. Although the time different is not far different and communication device is not a problem, deterioration still appears in our relationship. Habits and dating style changed create insecure feelings that raise negative perception of relationship.

Fighting and grumpy feelings most likely occur when we are having a bad mood while ego controls the logic. These negative issues affect our relationship because deterioration not only encounter our romance, but also our thoughts and idea about relationship. Nevertheless, there are some strategies that long distance couple could learn and understand more to built healthy long distance relationship. Major Theory and Discussion # Frequency and method of communication Long Distance Relationship (LDR) is like no other relationship.

Couple who experience LDR are separated with geographical distance whilst still carry on the relationship commitment. With the different ways of dating compared to normal relationship, there are many issues related to deterioration of LDR. Frequency and method of communication are one of the issues that affect deterioration of LDR. Communication is needed to provide the sense of care giving (Pistole, 2010). With communication, it shows the level of caring and attention from each person. Care giving is needed to maintain and increase the feeling of love while make relationship last.

If a couple experiences the reduction of communication, some negative thought may arise from each other perception. Example, with the absence of text message, calls, or emails received, LDR couple may think there is appearance of third person, the partner already forget him / her or maybe there are more things that more important than their relationship. These negative perceptions are dangerous for LDR, it makes deterioration of LDR easier to happen. # Level of uncertainty and satisfactory of future possibilities Another factor in deterioration of LDR is the level of uncertainty and satisfactory of future possibilities.

Couple who have uncertainty of future possibilities reported distress and have deterioration in their relationship (Kinney and Maguire, 2007). Distress occurs from the effect of insecure that couples feel when they are in doubt of their future. A couple who is satisfied with the future and has big chance of reuniting, have higher levels in relationship satisfaction than couple who has issues with their future prospects. Couples that already have good vision in the future most likely feel excited and happy while running LDR. Distress occur from uncertainty of future leads to deterioration in believe of commitment and feelings.

Moreover, the negative perceptions that appear from distress affect the romance and faith in long distance relationship. As I experienced the long distance relationship with my boyfriend for 10 months, it is clearly shown that this type of relationship is not easy and simple. The feeling of bored and insecure affects our communication habits. When negative ego encounters, I do not want to ring him in first place because I want him to ring me first. I have perception that if he ring me first, it shows that he has more attention and care for me. But the fact is not like what I hoped.

The more I am waiting for him to call first, the more our communication is reduced. Continues text, phone call and webcam call are no longer occurred and it makes us fighting. Communication is the only way to make our relationship last in this LDR and if it is deteriorated, it affects our romance and faith in each other. When we are missed each other news, negative perception is raised and made us possessive. Feel of worrying for what might happen to my boyfriend makes me insecure and confuse with my relationship. Believe and faith within each other slowly fades away and changed with ego.

Along with our relationship deterioration, I begin to think about our future. We have been in relationship for 3 years and this long distance relationship interrupt our romance. We used to be a fun, joyful, understanding and cool couple. Although, I feel that there is no sign that he would wait for me or ask me to marry me. Everything is just plain. I do not have any excitement anymore to continue this relationship because we have no goals. This LDR actually stressed me and I do not want to waste my time to person who not even has thought about our future.

Future and certainty are clearly important in this LDR relationship. Every serious couple would go through anything to reach their future goals. And actually LDR is not really a hard matters regarding to bright future. People who have future of their relationship would have happily gone through any kind of relationship because they already know that their pain would worth for the future. # Commitment In long distance relationship, commitment is required to built a success relationship. Commitment made relationship grow stronger and also built faith and believe in each other.

Without a strong commitment, LDR would be easy to get deteriorated, in fact that in ordinary relationship (without any distance apart) the absence of commitment would break up the relationship. My relationship was built in strong commitment but once the commitment is broken it is not easy to fix the dilemma. My boyfriend was found cheated on me and since then it is so hard to commit for him. It is affect my LDR relationship even he already regret and promise never repeat it again. The incomplete trust generates negative thought and perception then it makes very hard to be positive in long distance relationship (Rill et al. , 2009). Communication Style Every couple has their own style of communication either in normal relationship or long distance relationship. Since communication is crucial in long distance relationship, small issues in communication would deteriorate LDR. We cannot equalize our communication style with other couple communication style (Stafford, 2010). Communication style work differently in each individual, it is for us to find and understand which best communication style we should apply. We cannot force to apply the other couple communication style in our relationship because it is just lead to high expectation and zero result.

High expectation with zero result will make deterioration in LDR getting worse. Relationship would be unhealthy and suffering. Guidelines to safe deterioration in LDR Deteriorated LDR is a not a simple problem, but there are some way that couples can do to save their relationship 1. Make yourself busy A person that have more free time, found distress and lonely rather than whose busy with their job or hobby. Feel of loneliness make an individual generate more negative thinking especially in long distance relationship. By doing some hobby or work, a person mind could distract to something more productive. . Understand each other Understanding each other and respect her/his opinion could build positive idea and mind. Fighting occurred because individual think emotional and irrationally when making decision. With understanding, a couple could generate more care – giving which make relationship healthy and gets better. 3. Self reflect Look at yourself, “are you the perfect one? ” “Does always him / her who start the fighting? ” In a relationship, no one always right or perfect. Relationship is about 2 persons not individual, if a fight or argument happens means the both side caused it.

In conclusion do not afraid to apologize or admit the mistakes. 4. Communicate more The more we communicate, the more we are open to each other and it gets easy to understand both ideas. With immediate problem solved and routine talk, romance and trust would grow by itself. The absence of communication could build negative perception for our partner. 5. Positive thinking and throw away ego Negative thought would just make problem get worse, while positive thinking helps us to solve problem rationally. Throw away ego and prejudice because ego works against our heart and brain.

Do not wait our partner to make first move, a small start from us would make big different in relationship. Guidelines to Avoid deterioration in LDR To avoid deterioration in LDR, the are some strategies that couples can apply to built a healthy long distance relationship 1. Strong commitment With strong commitment that couple believe and hold, long distance relationship would not be big problem because they already trust each other and go through everything with the commitment. Strong commitment would generate certainty that raise couple’s esteem and confident. 2. Positive thinking

Positive thought play a big role in decision-making, idea and communication. Couples who think positively tend to not have lots of fighting and negative argument. Positive thinking could grow romance and healthy relationship. 3. Effective communication Make your routine communication giving benefit for each party. Try to have a fun, satisfying and high quality conversation. Fogler and Le Blanc (2008) once stated that do not ever let the conversation leads to fighting and discuss negative perception. Use online device such as webcam – call or messenger to feel their present.

It is better to hear their voice and see the face gesture rather than email because in some cases, text messaging and email could be miss-interpreted. 4. Trust Strong trust and sense of forgiveness could build more confident in relationship (Locker Jr et al. , 2010). Couple that trust each other tends to have less fighting and argument because they are already convinced each other in every decision they have taken. Example: when the guy said to the girl that he’s going to have a ‘boys night out today’. The guy convinced the girl that he would not do anything stupid, just some fun and still being loyal.

If they trust each other, the guy would have fun without interrupted with the girl’s whine. 5. Make yourself busy When you are entering long distance relationship, you have to realize that you are going to have more time spent without your partner. Do not waste your time to call him / her too much because you have life to be gone through. Try to do more productive activity such a work and hobbies. By having productive life, we also going to have a positive mind for our relationship (Maguire, 2010). Conclusion Long distance relationship is obviously different with other type of relationship.

The geographical distance make partner in LDR face some issues in terms of dating and communication style. Nevertheless, not all LDR couple could handle the issues or having deterioration of relationship. The success or deterioration of their relationship is all on their hand. In other words, a success couple would success because they can control their relationship and same thing happens to couple that experience the deterioration. Some issues that may occur in LDR are communication, certainty, future, commitment and trust.

If a couple could prevent and avoid these issues, most likely the couple would survive in their relationship. Interpersonal strength is needed to deal with LDR problems and it is clearly not a simple issue because it is related to human psychology. Interpersonal strength in long distance relationship could be seen when I fight my negative ego and build more logical thought by generate trust and commitment. Interpersonal weakness would establish when ego encounters the logic then argument and fight happen. These situations thought me that interpersonal strength is build by our own power.

Even some external distractions could make interpersonal become weak, we have power inside to break those problems and create strengthens. With interpersonal strengths, we can break our ego and build positive mind that could save our relationship or avoid deterioration. I believe that interpersonal weakness can be fought with believe and trust of ourselves. It is all in our mind. A good person with interpersonal skill can predict and reach their goals because they know how to control and which options they have to choose.

And they would fight everything that distracts the pursuit of the goals. Same things in LDR, couples who have strong interpersonal skill would survive in their relationship and LDR would not be a big problem for them because they know how to handle it. References: Fogler, H & Le Blanc, S, 2008, Strategies for Creative Problem Solving, 2nd ed, Pearson Education Inc, New Jersey Johnson, DW, 2009, Reaching Out : Interpersonal Effectiveness and Self – Actualization, 10th ed, Pearson Education Inc, New Jersey Kinney, Terry A & Maguire, Katheryn C. ‘When Distance is Problematic: Communication, Coping, and Relational Satisfaction in Female College Students’ Long-Distance Dating Relationships’, Journal of Applied Communication Research Feb 2010, Vol. 38 Issue 1, p27-46, 20p, 4 Charts, viewed 4 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library Locker Jr, L, McIntosh, W, Hackney, A, Wilson, J, Wiegand, K, ‘The Breakup of Romantic Relationships: Situational Predictors of Perception of Recovery’, North American Journal of Psychology 2010, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p565-578, 14p, 3 Charts.

Viewed 3 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library Maguire, Katheryn C. , “Will It Ever End? “: A (Re)examination of Uncertainty in College Student Long-Distance Dating Relationships’, Communication Quarterly Nov 2007, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p415-432, 18p, 2 Charts, viewed 4 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library Pistole, Carole, ‘Long-Distance Romantic Couples: An Attachment Theoretical Perspective’, Journal of Marital & Family Therapy April 2010, Vol. 36 Issue 2, p115-125, 11p, viewed 5 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library

Rill, L, Baiocchi, E, Hopper, M, Denker, K, Olson, Loreen, ‘Exploration of the Relationship between Self-Esteem, Commitment, and Verbal Aggressiveness in Romantic Dating Relationships’, Communication Reports Jul 2009, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p102-113, 12p, 1 Chart, viewed 5 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library Stafford, Laura, ‘Geographic Distance and Communication’, Communication Research Apr 2010, Vol. 37 Issue 2, p275-297, 23p, viewed 3 April 2011, retrieved from Victoria University Online Library Word Count: 2046

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