In any relationship, communication is really important. For those of us in a LDR, lack of communication or bad communication can cause real problems. It’s important to understand not only why communication is important but to also understand the different methods in which to communicate. Communication can only help your relationship if you know the correct way to use it.
I. Video Chatting
The Method: This is perhaps the best method for LDR communication. You can see each other and interact in real time (depending on your internet speeds). This is one of my favorite ways to talk to Jay because it gives us the illusion that we are actually geographically together.
The Problem: Skype is a great method to use when you need to catch up, but it shouldn’t be your main form of communication. When you chat on video all the time you will have periods of silence and you might have days where there’s nothing to discuss. This can cause tension and even lead to fighting about why your partner has nothing to say to you.
Proper Usage: My suggestion is to limit your video calls to a few times a week. If you Skype more frequently than this, make the calls short or plan them around a specific activity. You can cook together over Skype or play games together (my personal favorite is Guess Who). If you can only squeeze in a video call once a week or less then feel free to spend more time on video. Sometimes Jay and I will Skype for half the day on a weekend.
If you’re on a long video call don’t feel obligated to sit there the whole time. Get up, move around, and go about your business. You can still spend some time together even if you’re not actively engaging in a conversation the whole time. Just make sure this is something you both agree on from the beginning so you don’t have an surprise fights because of it later on in your LDR.
II. Phone Calls
The Method: Phone calls are a great way to hear each other’s voice. If you’re lucky enough to have a phone plan this is a quick and easy way to connect with each other.
The Problem: While phone calls do give you that verbal connection, you can’t see your partner while you talk to them. It’s hard to read body language when there’s no body to watch. I find that I get a lot more distracted while on the phone than in any other type of conversation. It can be easy to let your mind drift off into space which will definitely lead to an upset person on the other end of the call.
Proper Usage: If you are going to call each other you should plan to make it a quick interaction. The quality of your interaction will be diminished by short attention spans, expensive phone plans, and crappy cell reception. Phone calls are good for a quick exchange, but shouldn’t be used as a main form of communication.
The Method: There are so many ways of messaging your SO, which is great news for LDR couples. Whether you’re using your phones texting feature or some sort of messaging app, these are great ways to communicate with your SO. You can send messages, pictures, videos, and links all using the same platform.
The Problem: There are so many different messaging methods to choose from and it can get confusing if you don’t decide on one. For a while Jay and I switched between Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, and Whats App. It was difficult to transition from one to the other or to know exactly what was the best choice to reach each other. This got to be frustrating for us.
Proper Usage: Since there are so many messaging services to choose from it is important to clarify when you will use each one or to decide on just one. Jay and I used to use Hangouts while I was working and then Facebook Messenger when I was home. This got to be a little confusing since my schedule varies each day. Now we settled on using Whats App (which is awesome by the way) for our regular day-to-day communication. If we want to send each other links to websites (usually cute or funny pictures and gifs of animals) we’ll send them via Facebook Messenger. Now that we have a system it’s a lot easier to fine each other and it’s a lot less confusing than before.
So what’s the best method to use?
There isn’t just one method of communication that trumps all others. Each person is different and it might take some negotiating to decide what works best for you as a couple. Just make sure that you are very clear with your preferences from the beginning because once you develop a system your communication will be a lot more effective and meaningful.
Pro Tip: I find that over-communicating with Jay leaves me even more frustrated than not talking to him at all. Don’t be afraid to turn down a conversation or cut a Skype call short if you feel like this is happening to you. Explain to your SO that you’d rather have a more substantial and longer conversation the following day than try to force a conversation today.
What’s your favorite way to communicate with one another? Do you use a mixture of these communication methods? Are there other communication methods that I didn’t mention here that you use with each other? I’d love to hear them! Comment below 🙂
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