Dec 5, 2006

Some Relationships Are Better at a Distance

A new study published this month by Laura Stafford shows that not all long-distance relationships can survive when couples move closer to each other. Over one third of the long-distance couples who were reunited did not survive being together past the three month mark.

To be fair though, long-distance couples who remain geographically separated were just as likely to break-up during the same period of time.

But, what were some of the problems these couples faced as they transitioned from a long-distance to a short-distance relationship?

  • The realization that their boyfriend or girlfriend is annoying in someway – lazy, sloppy, immature. And ironically, some people discovered that their formerly geographically-distance boyfriend/girlfriend had now become emotionally-distant.
  • The loss of freedom and privacy. Many people felt that they were no longer free to do as they pleased. They had to constantly check-in with their partners and they had less time for themselves, their friends, and their family.
  • Fighting and conflict became more common. Conflicts were harder to avoid and they became more difficult to resolve.
  • Increased jealousy and suspicion. For some people, seeing how their boyfriend or girlfriend behaved around others raised the idea that their partner might be the type of person who was likely to cheat.
Of course, there were also some positive outcomes as well. Many people were happy to have more time to spend together and they felt that living closer to each other gave them the opportunity to become more serious as a couple.

But, couples who broke-up, as compared to those who stayed together, were more likely to miss the benefits that a long-distance relationship can provide: a focus on quality time, a sense of freedom, and the excitement and novelty that comes by only being together once-in-a-while.

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