Communicating Distant Romance: Essay on Long Distance Relationships

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The world has changed a great deal over the past thirty years. Lives based on a comfortable home in the suburbs, a station wagon, three kids, and thirty years of job security with one employer have become memories. (1) Even the way we view relationships has changed significantly. Today more people are choosing to be in a long distance relationship than ever before. In a study recently performed by the University of North Carolina, it was shown that there are currently over 85 million people in the U.S alone are participating in a long distance relationship (1). Considering these statistics, it is reasonable to conclude that a significant number of people are engaged in some form of long distance relationship and/or correspondence, and that the number will continue to climb. It is for these reasons that I believe that although long distance relationships can present many challenges, effective communication can help maintain a romantic, long distance relationship.

All relationships have challenges and difficulties; however, long distance relationships often present additional ones. Some complications might include: loneliness, jealousy and insecurity. However, with effective communication strategies these problems can be avoided. In this paper, I will examine the types of communication strategies that can be used in a long distance relationship. In addition, I will discuss my own personal experiences and how I applied these communication techniques to my own long distance relationship.

It is not uncommon for individuals who are no longer living near the ones that they love to feel lonely. In a study conducted in 2003 by Dr. Rebecca Adams, 53% of college students in long distance relationships reported that the biggest challenge with a long distance relationship is being apart from their loved one (1). These feelings of loneliness can cause the individual to withdrawal from his or her peers. They might experience a more darkened outlook on life, and can become depressed as a result.

I have experienced what it is like to be in a long distance relationship and to struggle with the challenges that come with it. Last year I entered such a relationship with a woman named Jocelyn. Before leaving for college, Jocelyn and I would spend almost every weekend together. However, since leaving for college we are no longer able to see each other as often. The transition from seeing each other every weekend to seeing each other very rarely has been difficult. And although it has gotten better, there are times when I can't help but feel lonely as a result of living far away from the girl that I love. During these moments when I feel lonely, I will become depressed and pessimistic. My outlook on life will become more negative, and my overall personality will become darker. It is during these moments when I will wonder if going to college is really worth the sadness and loneliness that I endure as a result of living away from my girlfriend.

My roommates are in the same situation as I, and have experienced feelings similar to my own. For example, Ken has been in a relationship with this one woman for two years, and having to be in a long distance relationship has been very difficult for him. He often talks to me about how he will sometimes feel depressed and lonely as a result of being away from her. He also tells me that when he becomes lonely, he loses interest in the things that he normally enjoys. In addition, he will become quiet and less cheerful.

There are many types of communication techniques that can be used in order to help those in such a situation. In my experience I have found that talking to my partner about how I feel over the phone can make a huge difference in how I feel. Whenever I am lonely, I will call Jocelyn and talk to her about those feelings. By talking to Jocelyn on the phone I feel closer to her. Together, Jocelyn and I would encourage each other to not feel sad. We will also offer advice and emotional...