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Are long distance relationships more stable?


People in long distance relationships “evidence greater relational stability than partners in geographically close dating relationships…

Two studies explore the seeming paradox reported in prior research on long-distance dating relationships (LDDRs): Despite limited interaction, LDDR partners evidence greater relational stability than partners in geographically close dating relationships (GCDRs). We investigate speculations that romantic idealization may be a key component in LDDR stability. Idealization (i.e., idealistic distortion, romantic love, relational reminiscence, perceived agreement) and satisfaction with communication was more pronounced in LDDRs than GCDRs. Idealization was also associated with infrequent face-to-face communication. LDDRs were more stable than GCDRs as long as LDDR partners remained geographically separated, but LDDR partners were likely to terminate their relationship upon becoming proximal. Longer absences between face-to-face visits and extreme idealization during separation predicted instability upon reunion.

Source: “Idealization, reunions, and stability in long-distance dating relationships” from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

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