The Math Behind Long-Distance Relationships May Surprise You
There are many different opinions out there about long-distance relationships. Some think they are worth fighting for with unique benefits you won’t get anywhere else. Others believe they are a total frustrating waste of time. This conflict can be daunting especially if you just got into a long-distance relationship of your own.
The truth is that everyone is entitled to their opinion and most of these are based on personal or second-hand experiences. So, even those strongly against this setup have a point or two.
Stats that prove it is worth the risk
There is, however, some good news. Scientists and relationship experts from all over the world have conducted studies that prove long-distance relationships are actually amazing. And you can’t argue with facts and hard evidence, can you?
The numbers show that your long-distance relationship is not only worth fighting for but might even be more fulfilling than ordinary relationships. Let’s take a look at some of the surprising statistics about LDR.
1. Effect on health
People in long-distance relationships tend to be healthier than those in close proximity relationships. This is according to a study that was conducted by Northwestern University on 150 married couples. Those in LDRs demonstrated more signs of mental and physical health. The signs included higher energy levels and less stress.
The researchers attribute this to the independence afforded to individuals in these types of relationship. Having time to yourself every day ensures that you get to take care of yourself properly. This means healthy lifestyle choices including a better diet, regular physical activity, and improved sleeping patterns.
2. Levels of fulfillment and contentment
This one might come as a shocker to most long-distance relationship skeptics, but LDRs are more fulfilling than ordinary relationships. This is according to many specialists and relationship experts including Queen’s University Ph.D. student Emma Dargie. So, how can this be when there is so much frustration from being apart nearly all the time?
The answer is simple: absence truly does make the heart grow fonder. Experts have demonstrated how being physically apart makes couples value time together more than those who are in ordinary relationships. This translates to happier and more content couples with higher chances of succeeding in the long run than their close proximity counterparts.
3. Distance isn’t the worst thing
If you are in a long-distance relationship or about to enter one, you probably firmly believe that distance is the greatest challenge you will face. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, this geographic limitation might end up being the least of your worries.
Many people in long distance relationships have reported that being let down by their partners is worse than being far away from them. It could be that your significant other isn’t making as much of an effort to communicate as you wish. Or maybe the two of you are not being honest about your expectations regarding substitutes for physical intimacy are concerned. Not having these seemingly small needs met might end up being your undoing as a couple.
The good news is that this challenge is very easy to fix. All you need to do is, to be honest about exactly what it is you expect from your partner. This makes the conversion into reality a whole lot easier and reduces instances of disappointment and frustration.
4. The depth of connections and intimacy
A 2013 study by Cornell University and the University of Hong Kong on 63 couples produced results that shocked the world. Of these subjects, about half were in long distance relationships. The investigations sought to determine, among other things, how connected and emotionally intimate each couple felt. The LDR couples performed exceptionally well with their depth of connection being significantly higher than that of normal relationships.
But how can two people who hardly ever meet in person be closer than people who (practically) live together? Sounds unusual, huh? The results don’t mean that people in ordinary relationships aren’t connected or intimate. It just means that couples in long distance relationships do it better. It has a lot to do with the desperation to be as open and vulnerable as possible in the little time spent together.
5. The power of certainty
One of the best things about long distance relationships is the relative degree of certainty provided. It has been shown to be significantly higher than what you would get with couples who are geographically closer. So, what exactly does certainty mean?
You know when you will get to see the person next. You know what you are working towards. You know that the distance is temporary. Knowing all this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is guaranteed to go as planned. However, the assuredness creates a sense of emotional security that you can look forward to with this type of relationships.
6. Quality vs. quantity of time spent together
Couples in close geographical proximity more often than not spend more time together. This is especially the case for those who live together. Unfortunately, this proximity does not always translate to great interactions. There is something about knowing that you get to see this person whenever you want that makes people take time together for granted.
If you are in a long-distance relationship, however, you probably make better use of your time. With your busy schedule, you know that getting the time to reply to that text or return the call isn’t easy. This makes LDR couples more appreciative of time together leading to higher quality interactions. It goes without saying here that quality beats quantity when it comes to building stronger relationships between long-distance couples.
Are long distance relationships worth a shot? The math says yes. If you are considering, about to get into or neck deep in one of these, you now have facts to back up your hopes. So the next time an LDR doubter tries to get you down just hit them with one of these stats. It will be game over there and then.