Long-Distance Relationships Can Work, Study Suggests

C. Price

Written by: C. Price

C. Price

C. Price is part of DatingAdvice.com's content team. She writes advice articles, how-to guides, and studies — all relating to dating, relationships, love, sex, and more.

Edited by: Lillian Castro

Lillian Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of journalism experience to ensure DatingAdvice articles have been edited for overall clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement. She has worked at The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, The Gwinnett Daily News, and The Gainesville Sun covering lifestyle topics.

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According to the old saying, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Despite this, many people assume being in a long-distance relationship means a less intense affair with dampened passions.

Likewise, long-distance relationships are widely seen as holding less sustaining power compared to traditional pairings.

However, new research is challenging those assumptions and suggesting those couples with miles between them do not typically suffer from lower levels of satisfaction in their relationship.

This study, which was published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, differed from previous research in the field by including data from non-heterosexuals.

Researchers also looked at characteristics seen as important to both couples in long-distance relationships and those in “geographically close relationships.” These included not just sexual satisfaction but levels of intimacy, communication and commitment.

According to the findings, and contrary to popular belief, “Young unmarried people in long-distance dating relationships do not report lower relationship quality than those in geographically close relationships.”

“People in long-distance dating relationships

don’t report lower relationship quality.”

For their data, researchers interviewed 717 women and men involved in long-distance relationships and 425 couples not living a significant distance away.

The study’s results “confirm that there are multiple factors related to relationship quality, and that merely being apart from one’s partner does not indicate poor relationship quality.”

Individual attitudes about the couples’perceived futures and their views on the importance of face-to-face contact were also factored in.

“The beliefs a person holds about the trajectory of their relationship likely plays a significant role in how that person acts and what information they pay attention to,” the study found.

The report also points to the poor reputation that long-distance relationships has overall, particularly due to their portrayal in the media.

From: Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

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