Long Distance Relationships: Bolder and Healthier Than Closer Ones?


A little separation, a little quarrel and bittersweet tiffs make a relationship interesting, if not better. And when the ‘separation’ turns out to be a long distance relationship it gets bolder, smoother, lovelier and healthier. The study says long distance relationships (LDRs) are happier than closer ones. In this gizmo crazy world, couples are having sky-friendly relations through various wavelengths; texting, emailing, and video calling are spanning the bridge between two hearts. The tech-savvy couples are availing themselves of every new process to have healthier relationships rather than simply ‘hanging around’ all day long. Lately, the virtual life is making marital life easier.

About 3 million spouses in the U.S. live far from each other, even though they’d prefer to live together, and a new study, published in the Journal of Communication, found that the separation did not have a totally negative effect on their relationships. Most people are together for longer times, having no need for separation. Frequently they somehow lose the spark of intimacy. If they are tested with long distant therapy they will find out the difference. The researchers confessed that video calls  are making relations a bit bolder, a bit naughtier.

The researchers asked 63 heterosexual couples, half of whom lived together, and half whom were in long distance relationships, to keep a diary of one week of interactions with their beloved. The couples were young (mostly college students around age 21) and in love. The ones who lived apart had been separated geographically for an average of 17 months. The researchers, L. Crystal Jiang of City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey T. Hancock of Cornell University, found, not surprisingly, that long-distance couples interacted fewer times per day. But these interactions were more meaningful and trustworthy. Gay couples were found to be more committed in relationships. And the technology is making them happier and healthier. A little sweet talk is always more appeasing than long, whining ones.

The couples who are in different zones or “geographically impossible” situations tend to reveal more about themselves in each conversation and to idealize their partner’s response to each piece of self-disclosure. They also spend more time on each interaction and always search or steal time for their partners. Such disclosures and idealizations, studies suggest, are the building blocks of intimacy. They are even strong and brave enough to get more intimated. They are actually living mirthful, happy and healthy lives. They are a lot bolder about taking relationships to next level.

So it’s not surprising that the diaries reflected more satisfaction among the remotely placed partners. “The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy,” says Jiang, “and their efforts do pay back”. The partners were told to keep a diary and note the conversations. It shows their zest and zeal to carry on the relation boldly. It doesn’t include angst, anguish or agony.  They are more eager than couples living together.

The researchers also found that as the mode of communication between LD couples became less instantaneous, less opportunities to convey their expressions; daily routine and more prone to interruption by distractions, the partners felt the need to compensate by expressing themselves more intensely and intimately — such as when texting. These couples tend to use more ‘Smileys’ to express their love. This mode is less frequent among live-in couples.

The study notes, these levels of intimacy could be a reaction to the perceived absence of some kind of comfort. During face-to-face communication, when interruptions are unlikely, cues delivered instantaneously and almost perfectly, Jiang and Hancock think the partners would feel no need to alter their behavior. Possibly this point defeats comparison between the two kinds of relationships. The use of random social networks destroyed many relationships among close couples. The virtual life makes life a lot less stressful, this unmasks almost everything. Naturally, they can’t lead the normal life of being near their partners.

Notwithstanding, in some cases the partners who can’t afford regular face-to-face conversations, can’t afford the same level of intimacy. They are prone to find new partners and easily and abruptly end current relationships. This was an assumption aided in part by closer relationships being more tractable in studies, while LD relationships were less traceable and open to influence by diverse factors.

Still, the world is dependent upon technology, its newest tools to carry on long distant relationships. Long distance relationships are flying high to kiss the sky.  It reminds the couples that they are under the same sky. So, they immerse themselves in this system, getting bolder, healthier and happier than ‘coochie-cooing ones.’


Written by: Jayeeta Shamsul



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