They say distance makes the heart grow fonder but everyone that's ever been in a long-term relationship knows it's tough. From the loneliness to the financial strain, distance causes many couples to call it quits — and some won't even attempt it.
But maybe they should: A new study reveals that contrary to popular belief, LDRs aren't always doomed.
In the study by Queens University, researchers found that young, unmarried people in long-distance relationships do not report lower relationship quaity than those in geographically close relationships. According to psychologist Emma Dargie, who led the study, couples who live far apart often "report better functioning in a number of areas."
The study featured 474 females and 243 males in long-distance relationships, and 314 females and 111 males who lived near their significant others.
Among people in long-distance relationships, "the further apart the couple was, the better they were doing with respect to satisfaction, intimacy and communication," said Dargie.
So what are the benefits long-distance couples report?
1. Better Communication
Say what? A Cornell University study published earlier this year in the Journal of Communication, couples in long-distance relationships contacted each other about three or four times a day. This constant contact led to stronger bonds between the partners who lived far apart, compared to couples in the same location. Those daily Skype dates can make all the difference.
2. More Meaningful Interactions
That same study also reported that the interactions are more meaningful between partners in long-distance relationships. Communication between partners in a long-distance relationship are more likely to evoke deeper thoughts and feelings than couples who see each other daily, with each person revealing more about himself or herself. Technology also plays a role in this deepen interaction, as Skype and FaceTime now allows for face-to-face communication.
3. Distance Fuels Sexual Desire
The long distance between a couple also tends to fuel sexual desire. Even if you are not in a long-distance relationship, creating a sense of space can definitely add some sparks to the relationship, preventing your daily routine from becoming montonous. According to Kristen P. Marks, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab, "long-distance relationships are a bit easier, at least for desire, perceived satisfaction, and not having to deal with day-to-day life." Sure, you miss your partner when they are gone, but that same ache can fuel passion in the relationship. And come on, who doesn't want that?
4. You Appreciate Your Partner A Little More
When you're in a relationship with someone who lives far away, you tend to make more time for them when they are near. This means that rather than the mundane, day-to-day routine getting in the way, such as paying bills or household chores, you focus on each other and the good times. Plus, with them being miles away, you are reminded how important they are and won't take them for granted.
5. Long-Distance Couples Are More Committed To Each Other
Long-distance couples are more accepting of their partners' behaviors and felt like they were getting closer instead of just sharing information. Even though 30 percent of long-distance couples only got to see each other in person one to three times a month, they felt more committed to each other. When you are dealing with the lonely nights and frequent weekend getaways that come with a long-distance relationship, you're determined to make it work so all the hard times were worth it.
Are you in a long-distance relationship? What are some benefits you notice?
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