Illustrated By Ammiel Mendoza.
It takes a very brave and mature (possibly delusional?) person to attempt a long-distance relationship, even in the age of FaceTime and Snapchat. Call us cynical, but we think the idea of any sort of relationship functioning purely over the Internet is enough to turn even the most hopeless of hopeless romantics into a jaded pessimist. After all, communication and commitment — and finding the time to cuddle — are hard enough when we live in the same geographic proximity of our significant other. How could anyone expect anything but disaster when face-to-face is not an option?
So, imagine our surprise at the results of a recent study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, which found that those in LDRs are no less satisfied with their relationships than their friends with boyfriends within walking distance. The study drew data from a large sample, including 717 subjects in LDRs and 425 in regular, "geographically close relationships;" researchers made sure to choose plenty of students and non-students with a range of sexual orientations and, for the LDR group, a wide range of physical distances.
Subjects were asked what they thought about the idea of long-distance relationships. Next, they were given a detailed questionnaire to assess a number of aspects of their relationships — everything from intimacy, commitment, communication, and sexual satisfaction to stress, anxiety, and depression. The data showed that not only was distance not a factor in determining one's level of satisfaction with their relationship, but also that across the board, those in long-distance relationships tended to have better communication and intimacy with their partners than their conventional counterparts. Chalk one up to the romantics out there.