Making Long Distance Relationships Work

Long distance relationships are tough to maintain.  Why? Peoples’ personalities are different and so are their needs.

Statue in front of Provincetown library

Statue in front of Provincetown library

Many (millions) people make it work; others can’t sustain the closeness needed to overcome the distance. However, this study suggests that long distance romantic relationships can contain equal or even more trust and satisfaction than their geographically close counterparts.  

How to make a long distance relationship work?
A study published in 2013 found two factors that help keep long distance relationships going:

1. Tell each other more intimate information/ self disclosures.
2. Maintain a more idealised view of your partner.

The study examined 67 couples: some who were in long distance relationships, and others who were in close physical proximity to each other.  They found that the long distance couples were highly trusting and even felt more intimate with their partners, despite their physical distance when the relationship contained the above 2 factors.
 The lead author, Crystal Jiang said:

“ The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

No one is going to tell you that it is ideal to be separated from your partner for long periods.  However, this study does suggest ways of coping while you are apart.  Talk about topics that have meaning learn about each other and share about yourself – this fosters intimacy and appears to balance out the lack of physical contact.  Maintaining an idealized view refers to holding on to the rose colored glasses and seeing your partner as very terrific – just like when you first fell in love.
Source: Journal of Communication. Jiang and Hancock, 2013. Vol 63, issue 3.
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One Response to “Making Long Distance Relationships Work”

  1. March 6th, 2014 3:04 pm

    Interesting. So, there may be some truth to “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

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