“These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterward.” -Albert Einstein
We are having some technical difficulties. David is in Mauritius and has very limited Internet connection, and Lindsey’s computer has decided to stop working. When David gets back, Lindsey will be away. This has made it extremely difficult to sit down and write the blogs as a unit. At first, we thought it might be wise to halt the blogs until we found a solution to our situation. But then we thought of documenting our experience with this instead.
How to have a short-term long-distance enlightening relationship?
The short answer is that we combined our knowledge and tips from these two articles: Has Your Relationship become a Bad Habit? and Knock Knock, Who’s There?… YOU I hope!. If you recall, in the former article we said that for us, an enlightening relationship is one where we, by virtue of who we are, help each other get to where we want to be in life on an intellectual, physical, emotional, and spiritual level. How do we do that while being physically separated for a just over a month?
Here’s a short description of how we’re doing it:
The process was quite unplanned and organic, but it worked out because we’re applying the tips from the second article that we mentioned. With a 9-hour difference between Mauritius and Canada, we don’t Skype, chat, or call. In fact, we didn’t even set any rules for communicating before separating. It was more like, “Let’s go with the flow since it will only be for 5 weeks”.
It turns out that email has been the preferred vehicle for our version of an enlightening short-term long-distance relationship. However, it’s not the vehicle that counts, but what the vehicle is transporting. In our case, our emails carried a reflective journal back and forth.
Looking back at some of our exchanges, it seems what makes them so rich is that, rather than simply documenting our days to each other, we verbalize our deepest thoughts on our experiences throughout the day (as the quote up top says). The best way to describe it is that instead of merely keeping each other up to date with our lives, we are using emails asreflective journals.
This transforms the conversation from one that is simply transactional to one that is transformational: the content of the emails seems to stimulate the intellect, emotions, and spirit of the writer and reader. When your partner reads your email it’s kind of like reading a great autobiography with many layers to it! That’s how we feel, at least…
In other words, the connection and individual energy levels that we had before we were physically separated do not die out and are not even paused. They grow despite the distance. With the reflective journal mentality, we are adding value to each other’s lives by asking powerful questions and by sharing meaningful experiences. The email exchanges have been so great that we feel we are starting our relationship over after reading and writing because we explore new territory together through them (in other words, putting our own theory into practice). How cool is that?
So far, some examples of our email exchanges surround our relationship’s present state of growth, the condition of senior citizens, staying healthy on vacation, the source of happiness, being in the now, our Zen strategies, our experiences in our physical environments, and our days’ highlights and how they have affected or changed us, the past, and the future. These conversations feel full, natural, and insightful!
In one sentence, we are doing our best to apply the Zen tips of being in the now with each other through email.
Tips for a short-term long-distance enlightening relationship?
- Reflect throughout your day on what is happening to you and your environment
- When you get a chance afterwards, talk to your partner as you would talk to your journal; try to be receptive to responses and questions
- Read and re-read the tips presented at the bottom of Knock Knock, Who’s There?… YOU I hope! and apply them to your email, Skype chat, or telephone exchanges. Trust, they help!
- Tell your partner how you feel about them in the moment, in the most genuine words you can find
We hope that you enjoyed hearing about our experience with maintaining a short-term long-distance enlightening relationship. Please feel free to share your thoughts or even your experience with long-distance relationships (short- and long-term types) on our Facebook group.