Few dating tropes are more feared than the dreaded Long Distance Relationship, and with good reason. Endless Skype sessions, expensive plane tickets, low satisfaction—the list of negatives is seemingly endless. But according to a new study, the LDR doesn’t necessarily spell disaster for your relationship.
Appearing in the Journal of Sex and Martial Therapy, the study—extraneously dubbed “Go Long! Predictors of Positive Relationship Outcomes in Long Distance Dating Relationships”—examined 717 people in long distance relationships and assessed their emotional state and levels of satisfaction. With common sense dating advice in mind, the results have been pretty shocking:
“It appears as though those in [LDRs] are no less satisfied than those in [geographically close relationships],” the study reads. “Indeed, comparing participants based on sexual orientation, relationship composition, and student status revealed very similar relationship patterns. These results indicate that being in an [LDR] does not guarantee negative relationship outcomes.”
Which is to say, what matters is not the geographic distance apart, but the emotional distance when together. So, for example, study participants who were more certain about their relationship’s future had measurably better interactions. And, often, those in long distance relationships reported more intimacy and communication (and therefore satisfaction) with their partner.
But just as more distance doesn’t necessarily mean a worse relationship, it also doesn’t mean a better one. However, if you find yourself waving goodbye to your significant other at some airport one of these days, don’t fret. Chances are it could work out just fine.
No matter what pop culture tells us.