Receive LOVE in your mailbox

Try our weekly newsletter with amazing tips to bring and retain love in your life

#ScienceSpeaks Long Distance Relationships Form Deeper Bonds Than Face-to-face Ones

It is said that absence makes the heart grow fonder, and according to research, this is true as long as there’s video-chat, telephones, IMing, or texting. This research also debunks the prevailing theory that the distance puts a strain on romantic relationships, and that being geographically close to your partner is the surest way to happiness.

The study, published in the Journal of Communication, found that separation didn’t have as negative an effect on relationships as it’s believed to be, and that such couples in fact have more meaningful interactions than those who see each other every day.

long distance relationship_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

The researchers, L Crystal Jiang of City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey T Hancock of Cornell University, asked 63 heterosexual couples, half of whom lived together in the same city, and half of whom were in long distance relationships, to keep a diary of one week’s worth of interactions with their partner. The participating couples were young, mostly college students, with their average age around 21, and in love. Those who lived apart had been geographically separated for an average of 17 months.

These were the insightful findings of the study:

  • The couples who lived in separate locations interacted fewer times per day. However, these fewer interactions were more meaningful.
  • These couples tended to reveal more about themselves in each conversation and to idealize their partner’s responses with each piece of information revealed.
  • They also spent more time on each interaction.
  • In contrast, couples who lived in the same geographical area, although had more interactions per day, didn’t make such an effort to get to know their partner.
  • They also tended to be more realistic to their partner’s responses.

Suggested read: 15 simple long distance relationship advice that will bring you closer

The studies suggest that such disclosures and idealizations that long distance couples tend to bring them closer together and nurture intimacy, one of the building blocks to a healthy relationship. So it’s only natural that these couples’ diaries reflected more satisfaction than geographically near couples.

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

She also said,

“If being geographically apart is inevitable, people should not despair. They are capable of communicating intimacy.”

long distance relationship_New_Love_Times

Image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

But the question remains – what compels people to have deeper, meaningful interactions when they’re geographically distant? Although the study doesn’t answer the question, it could be that people don’t over-analyze anything and everything they say, which is true in the beginning of a relationship. Or it could be that since they have only limited access to their partners, they might be compelled to utilize that time in a meaningful way and actually connect with them. Or it could just be that they’re fully focused on communicating and establishing an intimacy with their partner rather than having a divided attention watching the idiot box or checking their social media feed or multitasking.

In conclusion, Jiang said,

“Long distance relationships are not doomed to fail, [and they are] at least not easier than geographically close ones. I think such findings give people confidence, given long distance romance is much more common nowadays.”

If you’re in a long distance relationship and worry about whether or not it will make it to the other end, do not despair. This study on long distance relationships is proof enough that you and your partner will make it work, provided you put in the required effort, which is true for any relationship – whether it’s geographically far or close.

Featured image source: Google, copyright-free image under Creative Commons License

Article Name
Long Distance Relationships Form Deeper Bonds Than Face-to-face Ones, Says Study
Long distance relationships are capable of standing the test of time, or so says this study. Check out what else it says.
Chaitra Ramalingegowda

Chaitra Ramalingegowda

I fell in love with storytelling long before I knew what it was. Love well written stories, writing with passion, baking lip-smacking-finger-licking chocolate cakes, engaging movies, and home-cooked food. A true work-in-progress and a believer in the idiom 'all those who wander are not lost'. Twitter: @ChaitraRlg