Long distance relationship: I happen to come across a book on the topic of long distance relationship. I like this book because it explores the idea of trust among couples; it helps people involved in this type of relationship to gain insight into the two parts of trust and teaches how to build it. The name of the book is loving your long distance relationship. Provided for you is an excerpt from this book:
I have found that trust has two parts. One is mental and the other is emotional. Mentally, I can tell myself I trust Amanda and that is that. I will not even think about anything else because that would be counterproductive. Emotionally however, I need to feel Amanda is acting in a way that supports my trust. Whereas the mental process is immediate, the emotional one is ongoing in which both of us must behave in a way that reaffirms our love and trust in each other.
This may be by spending time together or simply by explaining how committed we are to each other on the phone. I cannot think of an easy way to build emotional trust. It is a long and never ending process in which one’s trust strengthens, weakens , then strengthens again. However, I have found that I can do something to help the process . At the very least I can take steps to avoid losing trust in my relationship over a misunderstanding or because I let my imagination get the better of me.
In my first year of university, I became acquainted with a girl who had very liberal ideas about relationships and sexuality. She believed that she could be committed to a relationship while maintaining casual sexual contact with other partners. By the second year of college the girl was involved with a guy she met on campus. The relationship continued until one summer when she went to Germany to work. It still might have endured if he had not found out that she was sleeping with other people in Germany.
The interesting thing however after talking to friends that knew both of them was that she could not understand why he broke up with her when she returned to university after the summer. After all, in her mind she was only doing what she believed to be acceptable . He on the other hand, had expected that she would only be doing what she believed to be acceptable. He , on the other hand had expected that she would remain monogamous while in Germany. Before her leaving both were committed to the relationship.
Both were also unclear of the others expectations, and by the time they discovered that their expectations were different their relationship was over. For me, the message in the above story is clear . Before committing to being in a long distance relationship with someone discusses your expectations with each other. This may be a healthy thing to do in any relationship but, it is essential in a long distance one.
Why? Because your partner must constantly interpret your expectations without you being physically present to represent yourself. Unlike being together all of the time which allows you to observe your partners behavior and re clarify your expectations every day , a long distance relationship offers no such luxury.
Amanda must constantly guess and act on my expectations without me being there to give her my feelings about whether her guess was correct or not. Consequently I find it crucial to stress what I expect from her in person to avoid either of us doing something in each other’s absence that may jeopardize our love . It’s impossible to clarify all of our expectations in one visit. It is an ongoing process that we need to repeat as our needs change and our relationship grows. What ‘s important is that we gave agreed on our major expectations such as a total commitment to each other and the security to discuss problems openly as they arise. In my mind these are necessities or understandings that we must both share if we want to stay together .
I have found no easy prescription for building trust in the early stages of a relationship. It is an incremental, emotional process in which someone consistently meets your expectations and vice versa. I find a good way to build trust is to remember the golden rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If I love Amanda so much that the very that the very thought of cheating on her is absurd , then wouldn’t she be feeling the same way? Whenever I think Amanda is cheating on me; I just think about the consequences of cheating on her. The resulting feelings are so disturbing , that my mind cannot fathom how she could decide to do the same.