Remote bonding

Submitted by vitalhealth on
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Hi!

I'm looking for some help & ideas in how to bond with my girlfriend when we're not together. We don't live together yet, so we only see each other once or twice a week, and so we have to resort to speaking a lot on the phone. Unfortunately, for some reason this often leads to us bickering or winding each other up about really little things. I think it's because we always talk about and vent our stresses about the day onto each other.

When we're together, we don't have any problems because we can see into each other's eyes, touch and hold one another, but the phone is really becoming a bad pattern, to the point where I want to avoid it. In the evenings, I really need to just unwind and switch off, but I don't know how to do this in a way that makes my girlfriend feel heard and supported.

I'd be grateful for any ideas for how we can turn our telephone time together into something more fun and positive.

Thanks x

Use the phone time

as an opportunity to practice Nonviolent Communication.

Just a thought... maybe just when you find yourselves bickering or winding up. If you try it, please let us know how it goes. Smile

BTW, I've enjoyed your stories. It's always nice to hear when people are benefiting from the practices recommended by this site. Thanks, and welcome to the site!

Hmmm...

I remember that I didn't like the phone either while courting. Too easy to derail...and too hard to fix misunderstandings. CF is right that NVC may help. One of the bonding behaviors our brains respond to is having someone indicate that they have heard us by rephrasing what they've heard. That's a big part of NVC.

But I think it's also fine to say that you love her, but that you may not be a "phone person" and ask if she has any other suggestions for how you can show you care. There are always creative solutions.

If you don't want to chatter, maybe one of you could put on a meditation - or some music - so both of you can hear it and you could listen together with the phones in your ears so you could also hear each other breathing. (Synchronized breathing is a bonding behavior. ;-)) Or try listening to each other's heartbeats over the phone. Smile

Know that the caring quality of the connection is actually more important than the length of time you connect. So a minute-long conversation is as good as a long one if it's genuine...with a longer one, of course, if someone really needs a sympathetic ear.

Good luck.

In Bed

Try taking the phone to bed with you. That way you can relax and whisper sweet nothings in her ear. Don't get too much on words, sounds and suggestions are better. If you can sing at all a love song could be good. Otherwise just listen to a lovely piece of music together before you drift off to sleep.

If you are using a mobile or a cordless maybe find something warm and furry to dress the phone up with!

Remote bonding

I'm in the same boat except worse. Weeks or longer can go by before Yvette and I can see each other again. Is daily bonding behaviors still important in a long-distance relationship? And if so, what are some good ways? Seems kinda hard to me. I mean, love notes might qualify, but... do they really do the same thing? For love to really grow and deepen, it just seems that you have to be in each other's presence, and my thinking is that you should do what you need to do to keep the love alive but that the real bonding happens when you see each other again.

YES YES YES - Do the personal note

I agree that the phone should only be ONE of your communications strategies.

Send her a postcard, greeting card or letter in your handwriting. The message can be short, but make sure that it's personalized and that it shows how well you know her. I would NEVER suggest a commercial service for romantic gestures, but you can find some ideas in the FAQ at wooher[dot]com.

My problem was that I was always forgetting. I would get busy etc. etc. It's also really difficult to be romantic when you're stressed. What I did one year was buy a dozen greeting cards. I then spent a couple of hours on a weekend coming up with a message for each month of the year. I sent them all off to a florist with instructions of what date to deliver the flowers. They were a very welcome gift.

www.secondlife.com has been maligned as a sex web site, and to many lonely guys it is. It has a large "red light" district, but it also has a lot of romantic places with music for couples. A lot of people there log on to meet their spouse or boy/girlfriend. I had a friend whose avatar was called Astrin. He would sing and play guitar in a jazz place set up to look like a night club on an ocean beach. Many people would come to dance together and hear him play. At the same time they would be talking to each other privately (text or voice). It doesn't come anywhere close to real dancing, but it is sooooooo much better than long distance telephone calls.

Good luck from a one time fellow sufferer!

P.

remote bonding...

...is a paradox in itself. I learned a lot when I read the chapter about the romance junkies in Peace Between The Sheets. (which one was it? I tried to find it but I couldn't, could you help out Marnia?)
The real Karezza benefits come when spending every night together, with no end in sight (so that the psyche can really start to trust and open up). So me old romance junky with nothing but long distance loves, is now looking for a next door mate....
And guess what?!! I just found out that the guy I like LIVES IN MY STREET !!! Five houses away (which is not like five houses away in the states btw!! five houses away in the states CAN often enough make for a long distance relationship) in Europe it's about 30 meters away. This is not cause a house is so small in Europe, but because there is zero space between houses, they stick together.
I'm DEFINITLY changing!!

WOW!!!!

This is big news. I'm really happy for you. Hope he has an open mind. Wink

The romance junkie bits in Peace are on pp. 56 and 60-61.