“Distance gives us a reason to love harder.”
I had previously written a post about maintaining long-distance relationships.
Yesterday, while reading an article about it, I found some tips that friends family members use to get over distance.
To keep things in context, here’s the original post with the tips added in:
Does absence make the heart grow fonder?
Personally, I’ve always thought it does for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, we as human beings have a tendency to take people for granted. Some time apart from our loved ones make us realize just how important they are to our lives.
Secondly, if you’re distanced from a loved one for some time, the time together is valued more and hence, that period is utilized more efficiently.
A few years ago, the Journal of Communication did a study of couples in a long-distance relationship.
The overall results suggested that couples seperated for a period of time were much more intimate than the ones living in the status quo relationship. The time apart made them miss the intimacy which made it more affectionate when they got together.
Dr. Crystal Jiang, who co-authored the study, said “Besides communication frequency, they [couples] also adapt their messages, for example, by focusing on more limited but relationally intense topics.”
I suppose that just like intimacy, when overall communication is not as frequent as you’d like it to be, you tend to “get to the point” when you finally get a chance to talk.
The key however, just as in every aspect of human behavior, is not to over do it. Spending some time apart may be beneficial but doing so all the time will no doubt create an emotional distance as well.
Overall, I would say that absence does indeed make the heart grow fonder in specific doses. But being away from your partner in the longrun can undoubtedly lead to some questionable results.
The same study alluded to above recently conducted a follow-up survey to ask people what they did to cope with the distance.
Many suggested keeping something that’s close to the person you’re missing on your chest for a while. Much like hugs, this can create an oxytocin release which makes you feel calm.
Others said that listening to their loved ones’ favorite music also seemed to help them. It should be noted however that ten percent of people who tried this actually felt sadder so proceed with caution.
Many said that scheduling a Skype or Facetime call on a regimented schedule also helped. Essentially, pick a time which both of you can adhere to everyday and stick to that time as much as possible.
Though none of those tips guarantee anything, the majority of the people who tried them stated that they felt better.
Do you think long-distance relationships work? Have you ever been a part of one? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.