Here are some tips to help you if you need to know more, just PM me anytime. I'll help
you with any question you have to the best of my ability. If you would like to know
others' opinions, just make a topic and I'm sure you'll get it.
Also for the Relationships: General section this is for any relationship. Anything written in this section was written by Josh (Uronacid) and me (Insurmountable)
List of Content
- Are you cut out for a long-distance relationship?
- Signs to show your partner might be unfaithful.
- Ten signs your relationship is "real."
- Reasons not to rush intimacy in a long distance relationship.
- Instant messaging Do's & Don'ts
Good communication is a key element to any relationship. There are so many problems in our lives that could be avoided if we only knew how to communicate with each other. We all know how difficult it can be to say things some times. I have been in the relationships section on CB for quite some time, and the biggest problem people seem have is communication. I can't quite stress it enough. I would say that the most common replies in the section are "Talk to him/her about it" and/or "Tell him/her how you feel". Please, PM me if I'm wrong. Good communication is extremely important in any relationship.
Communication occurs more often than anyone thinks it does. It's the way you walk. It's your posture. It's the way you accent different words when you speak. Communication is found in more than just words. Good communication is vital to a relationship, and it's even more vital when you're in a long distance relationship where you don't have the ability to physically express yourself. You have to be able to consistently express yourself with dialogue, and at times this is extremely difficult. When you're angry or just plain moody/stupid you can't expect your partner to know how you feel and respect it. You literally have to tell them that you feel that way, or show them that you aren't in a good mood without saying or doing something stupid. It gets really awkward sometimes, and if you don't have to ability to do that I would suggest you either practice or not get into a long-distance relationship.
Become a Good Communicator
Learn to be a listener: Listening is the most important communication tool that there is. There are few things that can make a person feel so valued. Here are a few tips on becoming a good listener.
- Focus on the person you're talking to, really pay attention to what they are saying.
- Don't give advice unless asked. It's not uncommon to want to help your friend and give advice, but when people want advice they ask for it. In many cases, people only want someone to listen.
- Help them out by asking questions about how they think or feel. Ask questions that help them figure out how they are feeling. It lets them know you're interested, and it helps them to better understand how they feel.
- Confirm what they have said so you know that you understand. There are so many times when people take what you say the wrong way. It's better to ask than to have a false assumption.
Learn to be assertive
Being assertive means to express your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in direct, honest, and positive ways that are respectful. It's important that you to express yourself without affecting your partner in negative way. Here are a few tips on how to be assertive.
- Don't make accusations. Accusations put people into a defensive position. This generally doesn't help.
- Stand up for yourself in a way that is respectful to you and your partner.
- Use humor in conversations, and have fun.
Benefits of Good Communication
- It can help you to better understand your partner's needs and wants; and visa versa.
- It can help you to better understand your own needs and wants.
- It can strengthen the bond between you and your partner.
- It can lead to trust.
- It can lead to a better understand of how to love your partner.
- It can lead to the feeling of being loved or accepted.
- It can help solve conflict.
- It can bring progress.
- It can strengthen your relationship.
- It can increase intimacy.
- It can bring you closer to realizing whether you and your partner are meant for each other or not. (This is very important.)
- It can bring you closer to realize what you need in future relationships.
Effects of Bad Communication
- It can cause confusion.
- It can cause distrust.
- It can cause fear.
- It can cause stress.
- It can cause contempt.
- It can cause conflict.
- It can cause a decrease in intimacy.
- It can tear you apart.
- It can cause anger.
I have found love to be the foundation for every key element in any relationship. This doesn't mean that you have to jump into the relationship exchanging "I-love-you". There are different levels of love. You will feel love more and more as the relationship progresses (if it's a healthy one), but all-in-all I see love as more of an action than a feeling. I'm not going to get to complicated, but I'll try to cover what I believe the basics of love are. What is love? I believe…
Love is doing what's best:
You don't always know what's best, and the only thing that you can do is try your best. It takes practice. You need to learn how to love your partner by finding their needs. This is one reason why communication is so important (I'll talk about communication later). At times love is even doing what's best for you. This means that you have to know who you are too.
Love is a choice:
You make the choice to love. You make the choice to do what's best. Although love can be associated with a feeling, it isn't always going to be. Here's an incredible saying, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." Now that's a difficult choice.
Love is a sacrifice:
In many cases you have to do things that you don't want to do because you love someone. This is a sacrifice. Similar to when someone hurts your feelings and you forgive them even though you feel like they should suffer for what they did. You don't want to forgive them, but you do it anyways. You're sacrificing your own want for their need of your forgiveness. This is a good example because I'm sure many of you can relate to it.
Love is difficult:
Here's another great saying taken from the movie The Weather Man, "Do you know that the harder thing to do and the right thing to do are usually the same thing? Nothing that has meaning is easy. 'Easy' doesn't enter into grown-up life." If love was easy, then what would be the point? It's easy to love during the good times, what about the hard times when the choices we make are difficult? It wouldn't mean anything if it was always easy.
Love is relative:
Different people need to be loved differently. John Welwood, author of Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships, writes, "We inhabit separate bodies, with different histories, backgrounds, families, character traits, values, preferences, perspectives, and, in the end, different destinies. We each see and respond to things differently, and approach life in our own unique way." Everyone is different, and the only way to find out how you need to love your partner is to spend time with them and practice loving them. This is particularly difficult to do in a long-distance relationship.
Having a good understanding of love is very important. After all, if you don't know what love is how would you know if you actually love someone?
I'm sure most of you are asking, "What the heck is codependency?" I log onto the relationships section a lot, and find that many of the people in the section asking advice tend to show signs of it. So what is it?
Codependency: A disorder often characterized by ones excessive need to take care of everyone and everything around them while in return neglecting themselves. Co-dependency is common in individuals who come from dysfunctional families or have traumatic childhood experiences.
Understanding codependency is important. People who become addicted to a relationship are codependent. I see this all the time on CB. People are being abused by their partners without even realizing it. Have you ever seen someone who dates a total jerk, but still treats that jerk like gold? It seems like he/she is always trying to please that "special" person in their life, but no matter what they do it seems like they aren't receiving anything in return. This is the average codependent on CB.
Codependency is more common in females (especially with the ever-so-stereotypical "jerk guy taking advantage of sweet girl who lets it happen" situation), but is becoming increasingly more common in men. Here are a few behaviors often found in an individual who is codependent:
- Low self-esteem
- Fear of anger
- No clear boundaries
- Constantly over-analyzing
- Guilt for never being able to do enough
- Need for drama
- Constant Over-reaction
- Need for approval
- Feeling like they can't have fun
- Feeling compelled to solve others problems
- Accept abuse so as not to be alone
- Unable to break the pattern of bad relationships
- Feeling responsible for others
- Always having to take care of others at the expense of your self
- Low self-esteem unless you are giving or doing for others
How does codependency form?
The most severe cases of codependency are commonly found in children who come from dysfunctional families or have traumatic childhood experiences. As a child you learn how to love and how to be loved. Many children who are abused (physically, emotionally) in a dysfunctional family quickly learn that they are worthless. These children learn to cope with abuse or inadequate love through disassociation (the numbing or shutting down of ones feelings). In one sense they yearn to be loved, but in another sense they're afraid of it and train themselves to shutdown. As a child you learn how to love and how to be loved. A dysfunctional family or abusive childhood and sever this process, teaching a child that he or she is unlovable.
In this world we are taught to compare ourselves to the people around us. Even as children we are taught that being better than those around us will give us our worth. Comparing yourself to others can depreciate your self-image, and eventually leave you feeling worthless or unlovable. As a codependent you will always need someone to look down on to feel good about yourself. The trouble with this is there will always be someone who to compare yourself to. This is why that lovely girl in high school is always trying to please her jerk for a boyfriend. She subconsciously thinks that he's going to leave her for another girl who is better than she is.
Ultimately, codependency comes from what many call "a mood of un-love", a firmly implanted belief within telling you you're unlovable.
How do you overcome codependency?
Unlike most problems that can arise in a relationship, recovering from codependency can be fun. Recovering from codependency is as simple as being yourself. Codependents are afraid to be themselves because they don't like themselves.
To overcome codependency you need to be good to yourself and learn to be thankful for who you are. Ask yourself questions such as, "Are the people I'm hanging out with as concerned with me as I am with them?" Find out who may be taking advantage of you. You may be allowing them to take advantage of you and need to detach yourself from those who abuse your kindness. Learn to say "no," and set up healthy boundaries that keep you from being used.
If your current relationship is too constricting, you may even need to break away from your current relationship to find yourself. Never try and change yourself or your partner to fit the "needs" of the relationship. Never go into a relationship with any intent to change yourself or your partner. This doesn't work. Instead, either work at accepting each other for who you are, or if you can't accept each other for who you are break off the relationship. The single life is only as depressing as you make it.
*Currently being edited.
Ten signs to show you that you may not be cut out for a long-distance relationship.
- You can't stand talking on the phone.
- You've always meant to get on the internet, but you can't find your computer's "on" switch.
- The idea of traveling more than once or twice a year gives you motion sickness.
- You feel incomplete without a boyfriend or girlfriend around at all times.
- Physical intimacy is so important to you that if you can't have it
on a regular basis, you'll be tempted to look outside the relationship.
- You're drawn to the idea of long-distance dating because it will
finally let you live that double life you've been dreaming of.
- You rely on body language to get your point across in discussions
or arguments and would be lost without it.
- You think relationships should be all fun and no work.
(Long-distance relationships can be fun, but they also take a huge effort.)
- You're only mildly interested in the person you're considering dating long-distance.
- You believe chivalry is dead and that true romance exists only in fairy tales.
Signs to show your partner might be unfaithful:
- Defensiveness - When you ask your partner where he/she has been or what he/she is doing, a defensive response could indicate that they have something to hide.
- Secretiveness - If your partner has a lot of secrets, one of those secrets could be something you don't want to hear.
- Limited availability - If your partner is always busy with something else or busy with other commitments to make time for you, he/she just may be making time for someone else. Also, this could indicate that your partner isn't interested enough in your relationship to give it the time and attention it deserves.
- Friends or family you never meet - A faithful partner will have no trouble introducing you to family and friends; your relationship isn't something to hide. Hesitation to introduce you to the other people in his or her life usually indicates that either there is uncertainty as to whether or not you are "the one" or else someone else may already be in the picture.
- New friends - Just because your partner has new friends doesn't mean that infidelity is in the cards, but don't rule it out. Many people start hanging out with newer people when they are frowned upon the people they are usually with.
- Mysterious phone calls - A quickly dismissed call while you're around might be an attempt to hide another relationship.
- Strange behavior on the phone - If your partner seems a little hesitant to call you by name or is too busy to talk on the phone, it might indicate that someone else is in the room.
- Sudden interest in seeing other people - If your partner suddenly starts talking about how it might be time not to consider dating exclusively, there's a good chance he/she may already not be.
- A gut feeling that something isn't right - This is by far the most important when it comes to detecting infidelity you need to trust your instincts.
- Avoid overreacting or looking for problems that aren't there, although if you don't feel right in the relationship, your best bet is to talk to your partner about your feelings and find out if they're well founded or not.
Is your relationship "real"?
- You've seen your partner on at least one "bad hair day."
- You and your partner occasionally disagree.
- You can name at least one of your partner's pet peeves.
- You've spent lazy time together on visits, watching TV or playing cards/games.
- You can name at least 3 things about your partner that annoy you.
- You would be comfortable if your partner saw you while you were sick.
- You know details about your partner's daily life.
- You know your partner's feelings toward his/her family.
- You've met your partner's family and closest friends.
- You've spent at least one major holiday with your partner.
I understand completely that in a long-distance relationship, you both don't exactly feel a physical closeness that you would if you both were in a relationship around each other constantly.
- Meaning Sexual connection should have meaning in a relationship. Without a deep, shared commitment to the relationship and to one another, sexual expression is a little more than a bodily function.
You owe it to yourself to give your relationship time to develop.
- Relating Some couples think that sex will help bring them emotionally closer to their long-distance partner, but the truth is, using sex as a tool to create instant intimacy never works. It's far more likely that tactic will backfire, and the sparks will fizzle out long before a real connection is made.
- Mystery A little mystery is good for intercity romances. Holding onto that special aspect of yourself to give when the time is right only makes your partner interested in learning more about you as the relationship unfolds.
- Enjoyment Intimacy is just better when it is explored slowly, gradually. Take it easy and enjoy every step along your journey to real intimacy.
- Trust Never jump into a sexual relationship with someone you don't know well enough to say with complete certainty you can trust. It's not unromantic to have a little healthy skepticism at the beginning of a long distance relationship--it's just good sense.
Instant messaging Do's and Don'ts
- Do use instant messaging to chat during the workday, keeping each other posted on little daily events. This can help free up your evening phone time for more important topics.
- Do go about your own activities on the computer or even around the room while messaging.
- Do use emoticons to let your partner know your intentions.
- Do use instant messaging to talk about wide range of topics.
- Do give your partner a chance to respond to questions and ideas.
- Don't use it so much that your boss raises an eyebrow.
- Don't leave your partner waiting for a response while you feed the cat or water the plants. If you need to leave a conversation temporarily, be sure to let your partner know.
- Don't use it for heated or emotional discussions. When the conversation turns to something serious, splurge for a phone call.
- Don't expect your partner to read between the lines. Instant
messaging requires direct communication.
- Don't type so quickly that your partner can't keep up.