Tag Archives: relationship advise

FOR COUPLES: Can You Survive a Long Distance Relationship?

DepartureYou may have heard of this little saying, “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” but anyone who has been in a long distance relationship that went sour knows this isn’t always the case. More popular than ever before, the long distance relationship seems here to stay. Fueled by both the need for a mobile workforce and increased romantic opportunity through technology such as Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Twitter, research shows that some couples survive long distance relationships, while others don’t.

Purdue University researchers Ji-yeon Lee and Carole Pistole looked at attachment style, idealization (how one positively views their relationship,) and relationship satisfaction in two groups of college students totaling 536. One group had partners living in close proximity and the other were in long distance relationships. They hoped to identify which factors are related to relationship satisfaction. The group was asked to complete a series of online survives that focused on anxiety and anxious attachment. In the end the researchers found that both long distance and local relationships with partners who have troubled attachment styles were less satisfied overall about their relationships. Interesting to note, people in long distance relationships who tend to have a lot of anxiety or avoidance around emotional closeness, tended to show more idealization, or fantasies that the relationship was great. They also tended to disclose less and reported greater relationship satisfaction. It may be that people who have difficulty getting close to someone actually prefer a long distance relationship where they can imagine things are going well, without having to do the day-to-day work of growing emotional intimacy.

But for any couple, not seeing a significant other every day can cause some emotional barriers. Here are some tips to help make a long distance relationship work:

1. Make an end game. If your long distance relationship doesn’t have a time line and a goal, then it runs the risk of falling apart as soon as the sexual passion dies down. If the relationship is new, discuss how long each of you plan to engage in long distance courtship before discussing moving to the next step.

2. Keep it real and honest. Because people with insecure attachment styles tend to disclose less, it’s important that you don’t let your fantasies run away with you. Ask direct questions and give direct answers, especially when it come to feelings. Don’t assume anything.

3. Stick to a schedule. If your long distance relationship doesn’t have a predictable schedule of communication times, you run the risk of slipping into a zone of “only when it’s convenient.” And that’s not a real relationship. All relationships involve some kind of compromise and making time, by phone or Skype every day is important to growing a secure attachment.

FOR SINGLES: You Don’t Find Love, You Make it.

Couple On Date with WineHere’s a strange misconception going on in our culture and I’d like to clear it up right now so we can all get on with our lives. There seems to be this idea that finding a partner with whom we can exchange mutual care, is about finding a perfect match — a soul mate. This idea has fueled the entire dating industry that includes websites, TV shows, and every romantic comedy that’s ever been written. And this idea of romantic love has also caused many divorces when partners become disappointed that their marriage isn’t filled with “love.”

But let me say it loud and clear: Love isn’t something you search for. Love is something you actively create. You are in the driver’s seat. And you can direct your love on anyone you choose. Need proof? Look at this statistic. There are far more arranged marriages in the world than marriages based on romantic love. That marriages based on love is over 50% and for second marriages based on love the divorce rate is much higher. However, worldwide, the divorce rate in arranged marriages is 4%. Part of this success is due to the cultural factors that help glue the relationship and another part of it is the intellectual commitment made by each partner. But knowing this. Let me ask you, why not arrange your own marriage?

Granted, we are not attracted to everyone we meet. Sexual attraction, which is quite different from love, is a hypnotic cocktail of brain stimuli responding to vision, sound, and pheromones. Each of us has a unique mix of memories from our sexual development that merge together to create our version of a sexually attractive person. But, let’s now ask anyone reading this: Are you sexually attractive in a very narrow group of people. Of course not! We would never have survived as a species if our wiring was so narrowly directed. There are many, many potential partners out there for all of us, both men and women.

Being an active lover means having compassion and empathy for another person and adjusting your behavior to accommodate them. That doesn’t mean having no boundaries and being a doormat. But it also doesn’t mean bailing when the first hint of conflict arises. Love is a decision, not a quest.

I’ll bet if you adjusted your mindset, you could find love today.
Hint: It’s all in your head.

Watch my YOUTUBE video: Is Rational Love Replacing Romantic Love?