Are long-distance relationships better?

Worried that you’re spending too much time away from your partner? Here’s what the latest research says about long-distance romance

Are long-distance relationships better?

Source: Best Health magazine, March/April 2014; Image: Thinkstock

Absence really could make the heart grow fonder. According to research that was published in the June 2013 issue of the Journal of Communication, people who are in long-distance romantic relationships often have stronger bonds than people who live with, or close to, their partner, because they have more constant, meaningful communication. For the study, researchers from the City University of Hong Kong and Cornell University asked long-distance couples and pairs who lived in close proximity to report their daily interactions over a week, including face-to-face contact, phone calls, video chat, texting, instant messaging and emails. The long-distance couples were found to be more intimate for two main reasons: They disclosed more about themselves to their partner, and they idealized their partner’s behaviour.

According to Statistics Canada, in 2011 seven percent of Canadians age 20 or older had a significant other but lived at separate addresses. Almost half of those (48 percent) were young adults age 20 to 29; financial, educational or work-related constraints were some of the reasons given for their decision.

This article originally appeared in the March/April 2014 issue of Best Health. Subscribe today to get the full Best Health experience’and never miss an issue!