Technology has made long distance relationships much easier to withstand. What with texting, video chat, and social media – even couples apps – there are several avenues a pair can pick from with which to communicate. It’s sometimes comical to think about all the different ways couples can contact each other.
Every couple has their communication preferences. And with the constant advances in technology, it’s natural to jump on the latest app and add it to your collection. I’d like to talk for a bit about a somewhat old-fashioned form of communication – the phone call.
Why? What’s so great about talking on the phone?
I feel there are certain factors about a phone call that may be of more benefit to one’s LDR than, say, video chat. So before you primp yourself for another Skype session, consider these points.
It doesn’t matter what you look like.
You can be resting in sweaty workout clothes or wearing your grungy t-shirt and jeans because it’s laundry day – it doesn’t matter on the phone.
Also, in a video chat, you might spend a lot of time thinking about how you look to your partner – fixing your hair, over exaggerating facial expressions – instead of focusing on what they are saying. With a phone call? Not an issue.
You learn to be comfortable with silence.
In Skype or FaceTime, there’s audio silence, but never visual silence. Both people are always ‘on,’ which can foster unrealistic expectations about always looking interesting – or interested.
With a phone call, there may be 30-60 seconds of silence after the conclusion of a topic. Don’t panic when that happens – and it will happen. But it’s totally natural and always works itself out.
The sooner you allow yourself to get used to silence the more comfortable you become. And you learn to adopt that silence into the rhythm of your talking.
You develop good conversation.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but sometimes it’s the words that are more important. This may seem embarrassingly obvious, but to get to know each other, you need to use words. In a phone conversation, that’s all you have.
It’s not easy at first, especially in our age of tweets and sound bytes, but eventually you learn to really convey your thoughts and ideas. And, perhaps more importantly, you learn to listen again.
This may be a huge learning curve for you and your partner. But if you allow yourselves to suffer through the initial awkwardness, you will both learn how to talk to each other and how to listen better. And that will probably translate to other relationships in your lives as well.
Don’t get me wrong – there are times when video chat is necessary because you simply need to see your partner’s face. But instead of clicking ‘connect’ on your laptop tonight, why don’t you ask your partner to call you, and see what happens?