Why Long-Distance Couples Have Happier Relationships, According To Research

Despite the distance, these couples have healthier and happier relationships.

Woman chatting with her long distance boyfriend via facetime Georgijevic | Canva 

There are two types of people out there in the dating universe: People who believe that long-distance relationships will work and people who do not.

As a person who is currently in a long-distance relationship, I'd like to politely point everyone to a study that came out that thankfully confirms that long-distance relationships really do work — and how to make them work.

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A 2015 study that involved 63 college students found that long-distance relationships can be equally, if not more satisfying than a relationship between people who live close.

Couples who are farther apart also are more likely to communicate their thoughts and feelings, which leads to better emotional intimacy. So take THAT, couples that get to hang out whenever they want!

What is the secret to such a great relationship despite not being able to physically be near each other? Emma Dargie, a PhD student in clinical psychology at Queen's University and conductor of the study says to Business Insider, that the answer is communication.


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"Establish the needs of each partner early on, practice working towards meeting those needs, and give feedback about which needs are still being unmet," Dargie says. "Those who are certain of when they will be in the same city as their partner seem to cope better with the distance."

Dargie's study had 474 women and 243 men in long-distance relationships answer questions about intimacy, commitment, communication, and physical satisfaction. She then had 314 women and 111 men answer the same questions about their relationships with people who lived close to them.

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In the end, there was no difference in the quality of their relationships, except the couples who live farther apart are also the ones with higher levels of satisfaction, intimacy, and communication.

This shows that it isn't the distance that causes any rift in the relationship.

"According to our research, it's not necessarily how far apart you are or how little you see your partners," she explained. "It's more about the discrepancy between your expectations for relationships and the reality of your current situation."

How can couples in long-distant relationships keep the love alive? A study of 63 couples, published in the Journal of Communication in 2013, found that media, like video chatting and texting, may help couples have a healthy long-distance relationship — at least among the younger daters.


Although the people in long-distance relationships in the study did not interact with each other as much throughout the day as couples with shorter distances between themselves, their interactions were more intimate and lasted longer.

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Nicole Weaver is a senior writer for Showbiz Cheat Sheet whose work has been featured in New York Magazine, Teen Vogue, and more.