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7 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Couples Can Experience

7 Sweet Moments Only Long Distance Couples Can Experience

The downsides to being a long-distance couple are obvious: lack of physical intimacy, that awkward table for one and missing out on company at the end of the day. But there are some serious sweet side effects to going the distance, too. Whether you’ve met someone online or a job relocates your partner, you can relish those sweet moments only long-distance couples will ever understand and love.

1. Getting a care package for the first time since college

This era of digital saturation makes snail mail all the more special. It’s rare to get anything in the mail these days other than bills and credit card solicitations. The first time you see a stamped envelope from your lover and open it to discover his actual handwriting scrawled across the page, expressing his deepest feelings for you, sends you to the moon. Or how about when your sweetheart express mails you a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies just because? It takes a little extra effort to head on down to the post office but it sure ups the ante on those lovin’ feelings.

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2. Enjoying a virtual date

Hello Hulu. Your Friday night date nights can continue thanks to technology streaming at your fingertips. Don’t have Hulu? How about Netflix or Youtube? You can even arrange to see a movie at an actual theatre “together” by exchanging movie times and calling each other after the fact to swap thoughts on the dialogue that moved you, the scenes you found funny and whether you’d give the film a thumbs up or down. And the best part is: you can eat all the popcorn and junk food you want guilt-free.

3. Opening that sexy snapchat

After a long day at work, you might feel blue coming home to an empty house. But then you see a Snapchat pop up on your iPhone and relish those ten sweet seconds of your lover posing in the nude. Being far apart can inspire your naughty side to surface in ways you’d be too embarrassed to indulge face-to-face. Who says snapchat is for tweens? If you haven’t tried it yet, we challenge you to claim it as your own and use it to spice up your long-distance love life. Record a saucy video and send it in two seconds flat. Strike a hot pose and hit send. Your recipient will thank you.

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4. Gazing at the same moon while you chat a thousand miles apart

The stuff you only see in movies is now your reality. Like that night you pine away for your lover and you both step outside to chat and realize you’re looking at the same moon. It makes you feel like the world is smaller and your love is so close, you can feel each other near.

5. Engaging in a book club for two

It’s exclusive. It keeps you connected. And you realize as you read chapter by chapter together that you’re growing at the same pace. Distance doesn’t change the intellectual buzz you share as you pore over material and swap thoughts on engaging your imagination together as you enter into the words on page. It’s an exciting discovery that’s unfolding between the two of you together…even if you’re not in the same room.

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6. Realizing your love is the “icing” but you are the “cake”

Sometimes we get so infatuated with our significant other, we forgo our interests, hobbies and friends to widen the room for our partners. Time apart means getting re-acquainted with those things you loved but lost as you nurtured your budding romance.

7. Tearing past the TSA to welcome each other again

You buy that ticket, create a countdown to mark the days and when the day comes, you travel through the clouds in high anticipation of seeing your partner face-to-face. Your heart races on the plane and you rack your brain with all the right things to say but you’re just so damn excited to race from the terminal and welcome your sweetie with open arms. And the moment that happens is perhaps the sweetest moment of all.

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Featured photo credit: Online Romance, Don Hankins, Taken May 11, 2010 via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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