Consider a hypothetical couple, Joe and April, who have been together for two years, a year and a half of which has been long-distance. Six months into their relationship, Joe moved across the country when he was offered a promotion at work. Most of April’s friends told her to break up with Joe, as they believed that it would be too challenging and too time-consuming to maintain a long-distance relationship. Not deterred by her friends, April decided to make it work and has been pleasantly surprised by how wonderful being in a long-distance relationship has been.

Despite a commonly held belief that long-distance relationships are too challenging, there are many benefits. Researchers Kelmer, Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman (2013) found that people in long-distance relationships report higher levels of relationship quality and dedication to their relationships than those in close-proximity relationships. Additionally, those in long-distance relationships felt less constrained.

Below are some benefits of long-distance relationships.

April has always had a large circle of friends and a busy work schedule. She has found that she has been more present in her friendships and able to take on new, demanding tasks at work. This is because she is able to maintain her own schedule as a result of her long-distance relationship.

Being in a long-distance relationship affords partners the opportunity to retain a separate identity and an increased level of independence. People can get involved with the community, seek out volunteer opportunities, or spend more time with friends and family members, without worrying that they aren’t saving enough time for their partner at home.

Not only have April and Joe become excellent communicators, as they are more intentional about keeping up with one another, but they have gotten more creative about the ways in which they connect. They text throughout the day to discuss what’s on their minds, which leaves their evening chats to focus on deeper conversations about their feelings and thoughts. They also get creative when it comes to their sex lives, using some of their video chats to deepen their intimacy.

April and Joe treasure the time they spend together and look forward to sharing the cool spots they found during their time apart with one another during their visits. They find the role of tour guide fun and exciting even though they are now familiar with and settling in at both locations.

For couples in long-distance relationships who spend time traveling to see one another, partners may benefit from being able to explore two different communities and forming roots in both. An added benefit is that the person hosting gets to share their home base and introduce their partner to their favorite eateries, shops, etc., which can be a fun bonding experience. Having a partner in a different location may expand both of your horizons in unique ways, affording you the opportunity to be in an area you otherwise may not have even visited.

To have a successful long-distance relationship, clear communication and advanced planning are very important. While navigating a long-distance relationship can present unique challenges, there are many benefits. These include personal growth as a result of autonomy over one’s schedule and needs, the deep emotional connection gained as a result of creative communication, and the ability to connect with two communities and enhance your social networks. As a result, long-distance relationships foster a loving bond that can enhance the lives of the individuals involved.

References

Kelmer, G., Rhoades, G. K., Stanley, S., & Markman, H. J. (2013). Relationship quality, commitment, and stability in long‐distance relationships. Family Process, 52(2), 257-270.

QOSHE - Long-Distance Benefits - Marisa T. Cohen Phd
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Long-Distance Benefits

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24.06.2024

Consider a hypothetical couple, Joe and April, who have been together for two years, a year and a half of which has been long-distance. Six months into their relationship, Joe moved across the country when he was offered a promotion at work. Most of April’s friends told her to break up with Joe, as they believed that it would be too challenging and too time-consuming to maintain a long-distance relationship. Not deterred by her friends, April decided to make it work and has been pleasantly surprised by how wonderful being in a long-distance relationship has been.

Despite a commonly held belief that long-distance relationships are too challenging, there are many benefits. Researchers Kelmer, Rhoades, Stanley, and Markman (2013) found that people in long-distance relationships report higher levels of relationship quality and dedication to their relationships than those in close-proximity relationships. Additionally, those in long-distance relationships........

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