Long-distance relationships are acknowledged to be a bad idea, especially if the separation has no finite end-date. And sure, there are exceptions to the rule. But do you really want to bank on being an exception, in the face of a hazy future filled with calls and expensive plane tickets?
But of course people do defy the advice of their more level-headed friends and go for the Long-distance relationship, including for the love of a partner in another country. And a recent study provides them some data to snuggle up to on nights when they’re missing their partners.
Researchers at University of Utah, and the Queen’s University in Ontario, looked at 717 people in long-distance relationships, and 425 people in “geographically close relationships.” The sample size included both students and non-students, people of different sexualities, and a wide range of actual distances. The participants answered questions about their attitudes toward long-distance relationships to assess the quality of their relationships:
- A commitment scale.
- A scale that measures a relationship’s communication levels.
- An assessment that measures emotional, social, sexual, intellectual and recreational intimacy.
- “Dyadic Sexual Communication Scale,” which measures how well couples communicate about their sexual relationship.
- “Dyadic Adjustment Scale,” which measures couples’ disagreement on things like demonstrating affection.
- An assessment of the amount of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression a person has felt in the last month.
- A measurement of female and male sexual satisfaction.
Those couples who are in long-distance relationships not less satisfied than those who live nearby from each other. Indeed, comparing participants based on sexual orientation, relationship composition, and student status revealed very similar relationship patterns. These results indicate that being in an long-distance relationships does not guarantee negative relationship outcomes.
The factors that predicted positive relationship outcomes were not measured in miles, kilometers, or hours of flight. For example, those who felt more certainty in their relationships’ future and trust your partner had higher quality relationships. What’s more, greater distance apart actually predicted more intimacy, communication, and satisfaction in the relationship.
Also, being a long-distance allows you to have the best of both worlds – the security and respects freedom of being single. You have the freedom to go out with friends or follow your career.