Couples in long-distance relationships have stronger relationships in many ways than those who live closer together, new research shows.
The study in the Journal of Communication found that couples who lived further apart reported feeling closer emotionally to their partners – and sharing more – than those nearer each other geographically.
“You always hear people say ‘long-distance relationships suck’ or ‘long-distance relationships never work out,”‘ Crystal Jiang, an assistant professor of communication at City University of Hong Kong, told Today.
“This research provides compelling support for the opposite side.”
Around three million Americans in solid relationships now live apart from their spouses – a trend that has spawned the term “commuter marriages.”
Though Jiang points out that American culture puts a high value on being in close proximity to our partner, the 63 heterosexual dating couples from the study who had been separated … seemed to suggest otherwise.
For months, they tracked interactions with their partners through phone calls, video chats, IMs, email, texting or face-to-face conversations.
Those in long-distance relationships interacted with each other a bit less often, but – crucially – they reported “experiencing greater intimacy” than couples who were geographically closer.
Last January, Nicole Kendrot, who’s now 26, moved back to her hometown of Rochester, NY and started dating boyfriend Richard Smith. But just two months into their relationship, Kendrot was offered a web designer job in New York City, 333 miles and a six-hour drive away.
The couple has been dating long-distance ever since…
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