A new study shows that couples who are in a long distance relationship are more intimate than those who are always together. This may be indeed a proof that absence can make the heart grow fonder.
Psychologists Crystal Jiang from the City University of Hong Kong and Jeffrey T. Hancock of Cornell University worked together in a study which concluded that LDR couples have more significant interactions which lead to a greater level of intimacy.
About 63 heterosexual couples in early twenties participated in the study. One of the partners is studying in Cornell University. Most of them have been away from each other for 17 months. The couples were asked to answer an online survey everyday for a week. The questions were about the quality and quantity of communication they had with their partners.
The researchers wrote that the limited face-to-face interaction between LDR couples pushed them to make an effort to keep their communication and romance alive by discussing more important topics such as love, trust and the future. The most common medium used were video chats and phone calls but there were still some who use text messaging.
Jiang reported that 25 to 50 percent of college students in the U.S are currently in a long distance relationship. These students rely on Skype, FaceTime, and other digital communication to keep in touch with their loved ones.
While most of the people had often believe that long distance relationships are unlikely to work, the researchers believe that it does because it is part of human’s adaptive nature in communication. With the new technology we have, this kind of relationship had become convenient.
Susan Whitbourne, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who studies long distance relationships, says that these findings have a scientific basis in terms of human behavior.
"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," Whitbourne says in USA Today." You can create an ideal image of your significant other which builds intimacy."