Distance Makes the Heart Grow Anxious by Marcia D. Dixson

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Lindsay is a freshman at a college where her older brother, Lance, who is a sophomore, is studying. As she finishes unpacking her things, her brothers come where they're talking about her survival in college, and how she's going to get through her long-distance relationship with Ron, who's in another school, Purdue. The two are planning to join Phi Kappa later, and when they do, Lance introduces her to his sister, Jerrie, who suggestively attempts to lure her to mingle with other guys because her long-distance friendship is dull. The following day, the siblings meet up, and when she tells her brother how guys kept hitting on her at the party, he suggests that she dates just for the sake of it to save herself the problem. However, still standing family on her decision to date Rob, Lindsay acknowledges that the long distance has changed their relations, but again, they had a plan of keeping it lively by making calls every Friday and soon would be using emails to communicate always. But still, she has her fears about how Ron is doing, and make it worse, he kept talking of his classmate Pat, and after she left the party, she called him but did not pick up, thus increasing her suspicions.
Lindsay brother’s relationship with Jerrie, regardless of their physical, was on the rocks. The girlfriend felt like she owns him and causing trouble. After around three weeks, Jerrie was a history, and a new girl, Toni, was in Lance’s life. After a couple of months, the great visit had finally arrived; Ron went to pick Lindsay at the bus station, but like it was their norm, there was no dinner reservations or flowers for her. Nonetheless, during her visit, the couple rekindled their love, she met Pat who was heterosexual and his roommates, and this revived her assurance of the worthiness of the relationship. After her return, Lindsay got a change to phone her happily dating brother, updating him on how the visit to Ron was, and also how the email she was given working positively to improve their communication. In the process of the conversation, she excitedly narrated to him about the Y program of LDR students where they discuss the issues they face daily, and how to overcome them.
Like what Lance had suggested earlier on, navigating an LDR means being proactive and anticipating for problems to arise and try to solve them. Additionally, when the couple meets up, it is healthy to enjoy the moment rather than discussing the relationship. Generously, Linsey shared LDR information from the program with her boyfriend and brother, and it highlighted a couple of issues. First were the LDR disadvantages including cheating concerns, infrequent interactions, feeling left out due to new hobbies, missing daily talks and failure to acknowledge LDR by in-town relationships. On the coping strategies list was creating in communication like the use of gifts and videos, discussing relationship rules, utilizing face to face time well and finally looking for and discussing positive aspects of the relationship. Last was the list of advantages of LDR which included allowing partner time to focus on school, quality communication, low chances of a breakup, opportunity to explore new hobbies and relationship satisfaction.
In Lindsay and Bon’s relationship, there are fears of him cheating, less interaction, missing daily talks, high expectations of time spent together and others letting her be in her long-distance relationship. Advantageously the two look forward to positive times. To minimize the disadvantages, the two can creatively communicate through gifts and video.
Question 2
Lindsay and Ron agreed not to be arguing over small things, and always spare their Fridays nights for communication, and ensure that they create time for visits which should be taken seriously. The rules are essential to LDR as they help keep the relationship active. Other relationships have similar rules but are not usually explicitly discussed. Instead, most people discuss honesty and loyalty in a relationship than other things.
In Lindsay and Ron’s relationship, their turning points involve the fact that they had to endure LDR due to school.
Her communication teacher introduced Lindsay in a program exclusively giving support to students in LDR, and through it, she felt comforted as she was not alone in this. Additionally, she was also given an email in the college that effectively helped her improve communication with her boyfriend.
Self-disclosure between Lindsay and Lance helps cement their sibling love, and also cement their family ties. Self-disclosure between Lindsay and Ron, moreover, helps them share their fears in the relationship as well as encourage each other to hold on to their relationship. Ron showing his girlfriend his friends as a form of disclosure makes her trust him more hence save their relationship.
The relationship between Lindsay and Ron, despite the distance challenge, is healthy and built on trust with each other devoting themselves to their one true partner. Lance’s relationship with Jerrie is the obsessive type, and that with Toni is all about convenient since she is beautiful and a cheerleader.

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Dixson, M. D. (1999). Distance Makes Heart Grow Fonder: Managing Long-Distance and Commuter Relationships.

July 24, 2021

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