The question was how healthy are long-distance relationships? First up lets talk about research on long-distance relationships versus geographically close relationships.
What I found was a surprisingly mixed bag of study results.
Generally speaking researchers assumed that long-distance relationships were beneficial in the sense that they didn’t necessarily come with the day to day frictions that closer proximity relationships can involve.
It’s the whole absence makes the heart grow fonder theory.
Scientific side note, there was one study I found looking at women in long-distance relationships and it found that their levels of testosterone are elevated in the days leading up to when they’re going to go meet up with their long-distance lover.
That’s a signal of that hormonal anticipation of like oh my god I’m finally going to get to go make-out with you already.
There’s also this idea that if you’re in a long-distance relationship you have a greater investment in the positive outcome of that relationship.
You have to make a choice to be in a long-distance relationship and maintain that long-distance relationships for however long it has to be. That also right there is the downside that researchers often point to.
That long-distance factor can actually make it a little bit tougher to read just once you are finally living in the same space or living in a closer proximity to each other.
For people who have what psychologists term anxious attachment style the clingier people in relationships. Long distance relationships can be really tough.
You’re not getting that more regular face to face feedback.
One another note though, a few years ago I did research on long-distance relationships and we heard from so many people who were in long-distance relationships that were successful. They all shared a common theme of making that decision to go long-distance but only for a specified amount of time. If they were able to make it work, they more committed to each other than ever before because they had to get through that period.
I do think that here are certain ground rules that go into long-distance relationships that might be a little bit different from face to face relationships.
You need to be able to be radically honest about what you want and expect in terms of monogamy.
How do you move the relationship forward while you are not living close to each other? It’s absolutely possible but there’s got to be a lot of trust there and a light at the end of the tunnel.
Either scenario whether long-distance or close proximity comes with its own pros and cons.
It just depends on what you and your partner want out of the relationship for the long term.
Whether you are sharing an apartment with someone like I am or in another country, it’s usually all about communication.
I want to know if anyone watching is in or has been in a long-distance relationship.
How did you make it work or if it didn’t work out what were the pitfalls? Lend your long-distance relationship advice below and if you have any questions for next time, let me know in the comments as well.