Surprising Research about Long Distance Relationship

Long distance relationship involves two people living far apart in such a way that they become unable to meet except once every few weeks or even months as defined by M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

In long distance relationship, hugs and most of the physical attentions get lost with the distance.

Despite the advent of the internet, long-distance relationships have been impossible to sustain by many due to some vital reasons. Thanks to the new study published in the Journal of Communication, which show couples in long distance relationships have more meaningful interactions than those who see each other on a daily basis.

Should you ever think of ending a relationship because of distance, go through the findings.

In Chris Bell’s book: The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide‘, he stated that the rewards in Long Distance Relationship often outweigh the stresses.

But according to Eric Ravenscraft‘s article on Long-Distance Relationship: ‘The Physical Aspect Matters More than We Think’. The new study present an entirely different view.

The study co-authored by psychologists Crystal Jiang of the City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey T. Hancock of Cornell University, suggests that individuals in long distance relationships are more likely to idealize their partners.

According to Jiang, the major difference between long distance and geographically proximate relationships is that long distance lovers have limited face-to-face interactions. But, they always adapt their messages by focusing on more limited but relationally intense topics with the help of internet and other communication mediums.

Read also: Psychological Effects of Human Touch

The intimacy developed here is a psychological closeness – it doesn’t include physical or sexual intimacy. says Jiang.

The researchers had participants of 63 heterosexual couples that were in their early twenties separated for 17 months, while using text, video chats and phone calls to communicate. And were asked to fill out one week’s worth of daily online surveys regarding the quality and quantity of communication they had with their significant others.

As a researcher, I’m not surprised with the results because it can be explained by the adaptive nature of human communication,” Jiang wrote.


With the advent of new modes of communication in the past ten years, long distance relationships, long considered less than ideal scenarios, have come to be viewed as more manageable, says Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist with the New York Presbyterian Hospital who is familiar with the study.

Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who commented on the findings:

When you’re not there with the person every day, you’re not seeing their highs and lows, and you’re not exposing them to your feelings. You can create an ideal image of your significant other which builds intimacy.”


Wiley Online Library - Journal of Communication, ISSN: 1460-2466. 
The Long-Distance Relationship Survival Guide – February 1, 2006: Chris Bell (Author), Kate Brauer-Bell (Author)

2 thoughts on “Surprising Research about Long Distance Relationship”

  1. Dude, another great article (loved the one about Valentine’s breakups, too!). We have a lot in common, you and I.

    We call it Emotional Intelligence (EQ), but I really like how you include the science behind the behaviours, so show the EQRocks!

    thanks… write on >>>
    – Matt

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