Unlike the old days when our parents got married, relationships nowadays are more than just the simple boyfriend and girlfriend type of commitment. They vary from degrees of commitment and intimacy, depending on what you and the other person want, and what is the most convenient relationship for both of you.
With all the new ways of meeting people, relationships are no longer just contained within our local community; they extend beyond our existing social circles, geographic locations and sometimes, it is frustrating given that relationships don’t work out perfectly in the situational factors that life has presented you with. When the traditional committed relationship is not an option – given time, distance and commitment issues – the concept of “keeping in touch” becomes difficult to grasp.
How do you just keep in touch? The person who usually proposes this idea would probably shrug his or her shoulders and just tell you to go with the flow. But, how? You feel anxious about the unknown. You are scared about the things that are to come with this unstable relationship. How can you still keep in touch with someone whom you cared so much about, but now just casually keep in touch with less emotions invested in it?
“Keeping in touch” is a delicate art to learn, and the best way to master this art is to do self preparation work, rather than working on the relationship and negotiating agreements or rules with the other person (Most often than not, it will annoy him/her.).
Make sure that once a relationship cools down and you assume your normal life, that you put this relationship to the side of your other engagements, which are essentially an external part of yourself. When you were with the person, the relationship was vested within a part of self-concept, but make sure that now this focus has at least partially gone, that you use this time to learn how to assume your normal life. More specifically, how will you lead an even better life now that you have gained more relationship and life experience?
You walked out of this relationship, perhaps a little hurt and a little bit wiser. But at the end of the day, you should feel good about having acquired life experiences that make you more mature and poised for any future relationship situations. Now you feel more confident as you interact with new people and see potential relationship opportunity arise.
In any bad scenario, be ready to simply detach yourself from this external relationship. Be in the mindset to prioritize your needs and self-care so that if you need to get rid of this relationship, you will be able to do so with minimal repercussion and effect on your life.
Keep in contact? The best way is to detach yourself immediately and focus on yourself so much that occasional contact and conversation would not have the ability to move your emotional dial up and down too dramatically. Yes, on the upside, a good day will dramatically increase your happiness level. But imagine on a bad day, the same type of emotional attachment would also possess the power to push the dial on the opposite end and completely destroy your mood, despite of the geographic separation.
Therefore, the perfect way to handle “let’s keep in touch” is to detach yourself and move the relationship out of the main components that makeup you. Make it a dispensable component in your life. Resume your life with more confidence and live more happily. When the point of contact does happen and you two exchange a few words, be happy but do not let any actions from the person have any dramatic emotional effect on you.
What if this type of detachment kills the budding true relationship, you might ask. If the other person was scared about jeopardizing the relationship, he or she would not have simply just proposed “keeping in touch.” The person might have reinforced some other rule to make the relationship keep going. On the other side, you will preserve and save the relationship from too much drama and the tarnish and erosion of negative feelings, such as jealousy and disappointment.
Keeping in touch as an option to sustain a relationship, if done right, is a good way to preserve the relationship the way it was ended in order to avoid it from being ruined by external factors such as situation, geographic location, age and other differences. Don’t be afraid to try it out although it might seem muddy at first. With careful balancing it can reap good results in the future, if the relationship is worth sustaining.
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How to "Keep in Touch"?
By Victoria Gu
Article posted on 9/14/2011
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