Interpersonal communication in long-distance romantic relationships (LDRRs) in the English-speaking Caribbean is relatively understudied. This type of romantic relationship is growing globally; however, the rate of acknowledgement, recognition and respect is lagging regionally. This bars LDRRs from ready inclusion in a more diverse social landscape. Studies on LDRR communication have gained some traction (Steele and McConney 2020a, 2020b), but overall, the Anglophone Caribbean is underrepresented in this body of LDRR research.
Because of the lack of understanding surrounding how people in contemporary Caribbean society communicate in LDRRs, to learn more, we need to look at how they communicate. Discussing and understanding the communication dimension in LDRRs can lead to recommendations on how to navigate these relationships. As such, a framework of interpersonal romantic relationships was used to examine how the variables of computer-mediated communication, attachment styles, social media and emotional intelligence may contribute to LDRR communication.
The objective of this study explores the behaviour of the aforementioned variables in an LDRR context, utilizing a mixed-methods approach: a deep dive into the relationships of five resilient couples via qualitative data collection of semistructured individual interviews and journaling exercises. This smaller purposive population sampling was followed by the conceptual phase two – survey development. Quantitative data obtained from the developed questionnaire were sourced from a wider LDRR audience to analyse their attachment styles and emotional intelligence. Phase four interprets the qualitative and quantitative data sets. Attachment Style Theory, Relational Dialectics Theory and Grounded Theory undergird the theoretical framework along with dialectical pluralism (Johnson
The study sought to answer RQ1: How do social media and computer-mediated communication affect communication patterns in long-distance romantic relationships? RQ2: How does attachment style account for computer-mediated communication choices in these relationships? RQ3: What are the significant effects of emotional intelligence on interpersonal communication patterns in long-distance romantic relationships?