The first of my 5 C’s for building and maintaining a healthy relationship is Communication.
Communication over distance has been particularly challenging for Pedro and I not to mention his first language is spanish and mine is english. But, as they say, love conquers all and we have worked to ensure good communications. And that means active listening. Both Pedro and I spend as much time listening as talking. We are both dedicated explores to understand our lives. And when asked, we answer, openly and honestly. It takes self-awareness to be a good communicator.
At the beginning of our relationship in 2006 when I would return to Canada I was not happy about the amount of money it cost to maintain our communications. I happened to complain (not one of my better “C” choices…smile) to Pedro about it and he said something which told me I had found the right man to be my husband. He said “honey, it is not expensive it is an investment in our relationship”. How true this was and how well this investment has paid off.
We have spent an inordinate amount of money to talk to each other every day. We do it each day. We are more sensitive to our communication I think because it costs money. We must coordinate our lives around our communication, time zones, working and other daily living. Also we spend a lot of time time typing and communicating using an online chat program. We normally chat in spanish and speak in english. This way both of us feel like we can fully express.
There are some advantages to chatting online that you do not have in person and vice versa. One of the benefits of online chatting is that we can explore a subject deeper because we have translators and online tools that help us delver deeper, each using our native tongue, which are not available outside the virtual world. One of the things missing is tone of voice and also body language now that Pedro does not have a webcam in Copenhagen. So that is a big drawback. There is no substitute for in person and I don’t believe there ever will be.
I would say the most important part of our communication success is that we are both dedicated to it and make sure to create time for it each and every day. I know many people who even live together that do not enjoy the intimacy of communication that Pedro and I enjoy each day. We make an effort, it requires commitment. Conscious communication is a key to a successful intimate relationship and I am thankful to have it and use it every day.