talking on phone long distance relationship

Are You Talking Too Much In Your Long Distance Relationship? 4 Practical Strategies For Healthy Communication In A LDR

Lisa McKay Communication, General advice about LDRs

Wait just a minute, you might already be wondering. Doesn’t everyone rave about how the biggest benefit of a long distance relationship is that it forces you to communicate? Is it even possible to talk too much when you’re in a LDR?

Yeah, it really is.

Talking or writing to someone you’re dating long distance is obviously essential. Developing good communication patterns and habits will serve you incredibly well, both in managing the stresses and strains of a long distance relationship and the new patterns and pressures that will emerge after you close the gap.

But the key here lies in the word “good.”

What are communication patterns and habits that are good for the relationship, and good for you? And “good” not just in the sense of “it feels good” or “it’s working great for a week or two,” but good for the long haul?

This is a good issue to think through at any stage of a relationship, but it’s particularly important to explore early on in a new long distance relationship, or if you’re finding that being in a long distance relationship is narrowing your focus and crowding out other important interests and people in your life.

Let’s look at this issue of communication in new long distance relationships first.

Why Talking Too Much Is A Bad Idea In A New Long Distance Relationship

Jumping into the deep end in a new relationship is so easy to do, isn’t it?

When you’re first getting to know someone, the exhilarating intensity of these early connections can feel so exciting, so good. Any call, email, or text can trigger that sweet burst of happy-heart-fireworks.

When you’re in the early stages of a long distance relationship, they’re on your mind all the time. Connecting with them is pretty much all you want to do, and it is so tempting to talk for hours on end whenever you can, write long letters every day, or text every hour.

However, starting out a long distance relationship this way does a couple of things that aren’t good for you down the track.

First, it breeds an intensity that can move you along too fast. You can throw a budding relationship off kilter by jumping into bed with someone too quickly. You can also throw it off kilter by spending too much time, too quickly, connecting deeply into someone’s life.

Second, it establishes intense communication patterns that can be difficult to change later.

Maybe you’ll be able to maintain a pattern of talking to your long distance partner for several hours every day indefinitely. Maybe you’ll want to. Or … maybe you’ll come up for air after a month or two and realize that you have a life outside of this new relationship that needs some more time and attention. And when that happens, it can be difficult to take a couple of steps back and move from talking every couple of hours to every couple of days.

This is the point where many new long distance relationship falter and fall apart.

When Talking Too Much Is A Bad Idea In An Established Relationship

What about if you’ve been together for ages, and you’re as committed as committed can be? It’s fine to spend hours every day talking then, right?

Well, maybe. If you both really want that. And if you don’t have school or a full time job. Or other family and friends you should be paying some attention too. Or any outside hobbies or interests.

So, in other words: No, it’s not fine to spend so much time talking to your long distance love that other important areas of your life wither and die.

Here are some signs that you might have the balance between your love and the rest of your life a bit skewed:

  • You spend all your spare time on your phone or computer.
  • You feel as if the rest of your life is on hold until you can be together.
  • It always seems like too much effort to go out with friends or do something by yourself.
  • You haven’t had a decent conversation with anyone but your long distance love all week.

4 Tips For Healthy Communication In Long Distance Relationships

When you’re in a long distance relationship, it’s alarmingly easy to allow important things in life—family, friendships, hobbies, exercise—to stall. But this will only make you more depressed in the short term, and hurt you in the long run.

So do not spend every spare minute talking to your partner (or daydreaming about said partner). Right from the beginning of your long distance relationship, remember to keep building a life where you are—a life full of friends and fun.

Do things that make you fitter, smarter, and happier. Stay in contact with other people you love, too. Do things that interest you. Do these things alone, if need be. Remember, investing in yourself is another way of investing in your most important relationship. Start now!

Here are some tips on building measured communication patterns into your LDR:

1. Talk, text, or email at a rate that feels sustainable

If you’re blowing off huge chunks of work time emailing them (or, even worse, checking out their Facebook photo albums and reading their wall) that’s not sustainable unless you have a very forgiving or extraordinarily absent-minded employer. If you’re staying up until 2 am talking to your partner every night, likewise.

2. If you’re starting to resent the amount of time you’re spending communicating with your new long distance partner, tell them!

Don’t deal with the problem by ignoring their calls or emails. Say something like, “I really like you, and I think we have something special, but I’m feeling really stretched right now and I need to pay some attention to other parts of my life. Can we try talking only every two or three days for a while?”

3. If you sense that your long distance partner needs a bit of space, give it to them.

It can be hard to hold off calling or texting for a day or two, but sometimes giving someone space is the best thing we can do to help them. And if you find that you’re feeling really anxious and needy with less contact, try these seven tips for coping with feeling scared and insecure in your relationship.

4. Spend some of your time and energy on your friends.

Don’t spend all day talking or emailing your new love! It’s really important–for all sorts of reasons–to keep spending time with other friends, too.

4 Questions To Answer

Finally, answer these questions.

Even better, answer them yourself, and then talk them through with your partner.

  1. What sort of communication patterns have you established? How often are you talking, and for how long? How frequently are you emailing or texting? What is “normal” for you?
  2. How do you feel about those patterns? What are you getting out of this? What are you giving up?
  3. Do you think these patterns are sustainable?
  4. Ideally, how frequently would you like to be talking, emailing, or texting?

How do you think your partner would answer all these question? Don’t forget, If you haven’t discussed this openly with them, do. Even if you’re both on exactly the same page now, discussing this issue now will make it easier to raise again if you want to cut down—or increase—your communication at some point in the future.

Plus, you might be surprised at what you learn about each other along the way. And, after all, the best part of being in a long distance relationship is that it forces you to communicate. Right?

What do you think?

Is it possible to talk too much when you’re in a long distance relationship?
How have you established healthy communication patterns in your relationship?

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