Problem: Long-distance relationships (or LDRs, as they are sometimes known) are pretty universally acknowledged to be a bad idea, especially if the separation has no finite end-date. And sure, there are exceptions to the rule. One of the best couples I know dated long-distance for years, and they’re married now. But do you really want to bank on being an exception, in the face of a hazy future filled with Skype calls and expensive plane tickets?
But of course people do defy the advice of their more level-headed friends and go for the LDR. And a recent study provides them with some warm and fuzzy data to snuggle up to on nights when they’re missing their partners.
Methodology: Researchers at Queen's University in Ontario, and the University of Utah, looked at 717 people in long-distance relationships, and 425 people in “geographically close relationships.” The sample size included both students and non-students, people of different sexualities, and a wide range of actual distances. The participants answered questions about their attitudes toward LDRs, and then completed multiple questionnaires designed to assess the quality of their relationships:
- An assessment that measures emotional, social, sexual, intellectual and recreational intimacy
- A commitment scale
- A scale that measures a relationship’s communication levels
- “Dyadic Adjustment Scale,” which measures couples’ disagreement on things like demonstrating affection and handling finances.
- “Dyadic Sexual Communication Scale,” which measures how well couples communicate about their sexual relationship.
- A measurement of female sexual satisfaction
- A measurement of male sexual satisfaction
- An assessment of the amount of psychological distress, anxiety, and depression a person has felt in the last month.