Does Absence Make the Heart Grow Fonder?

A woman texting her boyfriend and proving that absence makes the heart grow fonder.

There are a lot of skeptics out there that say that long-distance relationships are impossible. The truth is that, while being apart from the person you care about is hard, there are a ton of couples out there that make it work. Dating long-distance can even grow your relationship in ways you didn’t expect. And now we have the science to prove it. 

According to a study on long-term relationships published in The Journal of Communication, being physically distant from someone in a romantic relationship can actually bring you emotionally closer. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. Or, well, the things couples do to overcome that absence does. Here’s what the study found…

Long distance couples work harder for each other. 
When couples are far apart from each other, it means they have to work harder at the relationship and put more effort in to keep the relationship thriving. According the the study, because partners in long-distance relationships have less face-to-face time, they communicate with each other in other ways to make up for it.

The most popular form of communication was text messaging (no surprise there) but video chats and phone calls were popular too.

They focus on quality, not quantity. 
Though long-distance couples have fewer interactions than those who see each other all the time, the interactions and conversations they have often go to a deeper level.

“Couples will engage in more frequent communication and discuss deeper issues, such as love, trust and future plans, explains psychologist Crystal Jiang who co-authored the study.

They idealize each other.
Another odd side-effect of long-distance dating is that you begin to idealize your partner. Because you’re not seeing your partner in their every day life, going through the inevitable highs and lows, good moods and bad moods, and they’re not seeing you’re ups and downs either, you begin to have idealized images of each other. You see each other as your best selves, and this can help build further intimacy.  

It takes two people to make a long-distance relationship work. You can defeat the hardships of distance with love, trust, and effort. As long as there’s good communication, you can be far away from someone physically but still be very close in the ways that count. 

Rachel Esco

Freelance Writer

Rachel is a lifestyle blogger, based in Toronto, who specializes in dating and relationships. Her articles have been featured in publications, including “Huffington Post”, “Life Hacker” and “Women’s Post”.

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