Apparently, distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
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, long-distance relationships cause many couples to call it quits — and some won’t even attempt it.
But maybe they should because one study revealed that contrary to popular belief, LDRs aren’t always doomed. In the study by Queens University, researchers found that young, unmarried people in a long-distance relationship do not report lower relationship quality 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. That means that these couples, even though far apart, know how to make a long-distance relationship work.
So what are the benefits that long-distance couples report?
1. They have better communication.
Say what? A Cornell University study published in the Journal of Communication said that 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. They have 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 allow for face-to-face communication.
3. Distance fuels sexual desire.
The 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 spark to the relationship, preventing your daily routine from becoming monotonous.
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. They appreciate their partner 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. They are more committed to one another.
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.
Anna Quintana is the social media editor for Life & Style Magazine.