100%(2)2 out of 2 people found this document helpful
This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 9 pages.
Relational Dialectics in Long Distance RelationshipsRelationships are complicated and fragile matters that require time and effort. Leslie Baxter and Barbara Montgomery developed the theory of relational dialectics to help explain andaid the understanding of relationships. Their theory states that within every relationship there is aset of contradictions that create tensions and struggles that are constantly changing and shifting. These struggles exist in every relationship, not only romantic ones but also relationships with friends and family members. The three main contradictions that exist are integration and separation, stability and change, and expression and nonexpression (Pilling, 2009). I think this theory is extremely important because relationships, not just romantic ones play a huge role in our everyday life. Whether or not it is negotiating conflicts with parents or roommates or getting along with your colleagues, relational dialectics are important. Conflicts with people in your life are inevitable and having an understanding of relational dialectic will help negotiate and minimize their impact. I think this theory is important to the field of communication for many of the same or similar reasons. Relationships are something we cannot ignore as we encounter themeveryday. By studying relationships we can learn more about how people communicate and interactand how these interactions change depending on internal or external factors. One example of thischange is when a couple is geographically separated for a period of time and the relationship becomes a long distance relationship. Many scholars have chosen to research long distance relationships and the effects they have on the people involved in them as well as the compare the differences with more typical relationships where the couples live in close proximity to one another. The scholars specifically analyzed tension of certainty, connection, satisfaction and
communication to determine whether or not distance impacts the role of relational dialectics in relationships. One tension that exists in every relationship is certainty versus uncertainty. Long distancerelationships are no exception and scholars have hypothesized about its effects. Sahlstein states that couples in long distance relationships want more certainty due to the gaps of time between face-to-face meetings. But on the other hand there is no opportunity for spontaneity as they are not able to show unannounced or make last minute plans (Shalstein, 2006). Another study conducted discuss the same issue in regards to families whose father is in the military. The periodbefore deployment is a period of struggle for many relationships because there is not only logistical uncertainties regarding when their spouse will be deployed, managing the household when they are gone, and managing finance issues, but there are also relational uncertainties.