Anticipating Communication Barriers
This section illustrates a time when I anticipated barriers in my boyfriend’s and my relationship due to busy academic and social schedules. We were able to adapt our communication with each other to still maintain our relationship during a busy time.
Managing Busy Schedules and Communication with my Boyfriend
When my husband and I started dating, we were sophomores at UALR. A few months into our relationship, we encountered a time when we both had multiple projects and assignments due the same week. We were also heavily involved in a campus organization that had several upcoming events. Jordan and I often spent a lot of time just talking. We liked to process and share our experiences and emotions, and we could do it without realizing how much time had passed. However, we knew we wouldn’t be able to do this as much with the added academic pressure and busyness of our schedules.
We had to strategize about how to maintain our connection with each other during a time that might prevent us from doing so.
We found that we spent the week before the “busy week” increasing our time spent together, so as to prepare for a period of reduced communication. During “busy week”, there were many instances in which we had to wait until a different time to talk about something. To communicate the need to return to a topic at a later time we created a signal of crossing our fingers. We also used small windows of time to “catch up,” such as in between classes or meal times. Even though these times couldn’t be as lengthy or in depth as normal, we were able to stay connected during an academically and socially busy week.
As a result of this experience, I wrote a paper to reflect on this time and analyze it from a communication perspective (see attachment). Spending more time together before our week of limited communication has helped our relationship now. If we know one of us will be gone for a weekend, we make sure to spend extra time together beforehand. This experience helped us learn how to look ahead and see what could prevent us from engaging in our normal patterns of talking. We also learned to adjust those communication habits and how we spend our time. Now, when we’re away from each other, we use texting to send brief updates and call when possible, even if only for a short time.