Does distance really make the heart grow fonder?


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   Let's be realistic, in college it seems that long distance relationships just don't work. Most freshmen come into college with a relationship and leave for the summer without. Surprisingly enough, studies have come to show that long distance relationships do work and are sometimes better than closer relationships. 

   Time states that "The couples who were in what was once called "geographically impossible" situations tended to reveal more about themselves in each conversation and to idealize their partner's response to each piece of self-disclosure. They also spent more time on each interaction. Such disclosures and idealizations, studies suggest, are the building blocks of intimacy." This does seem to be held true if a couple is striving to make a relationship work long distance versus a couple who sees each other everyday and doesn't feel the need to work hard in order to keep the relationship going.

   According to USA Today couples simply have more "meaningful interactions" compared to couples who see each other daily. The article also states that in long distance relationships the communication is more frequent and more in depth conversation. Also USA saying that "about 25 to 50 percent of college students in the United States are currently in long distance relationships". So next time you feel hesitant about being with someone from another university or even in another state, remember that distance does indeed make the heart grow fonder.

3 Comments

Upon reading this I'm torn between being skeptical and completely agreeing. Being in a relationship where we each each other almost every day, I want to say that not EVERY conversation is that meaningful, there is sometimes a lack of exciting news, and a lot of comfortable silences (which is all fairly normal and even healthy to an extent). Therefore, I think the reason that each interaction between people in long distance relationships almost needs to be more meaningful because of the lack for stimulation by touch or sight. But when you claimed that distance makes the heart grow fonder, I immediately thought of my relationship with my parents and my appreciation for them as well as my home after going to college. Without the constant day to day interactions, I find there is less to get angry about and more to miss. I guess all in all, it really just depends on the situation.

I can believe it. My best friend is in a LDR and each time they see each other it's more meaningful than if they saw each other every day. However, I came here, like you said, with a long distance boyfriend and left without one. But I think college is a unique situation where this might not apply. In college, your first year especially, your adapting to your environment and growing an extreme amount in such a short time that's it's difficult to balance trying to figure out your life while maintaining a life with someone else who is miles from you and may be growing at a different pace or beginning to go in a totally different direction than you. It's a time in your life to figure yourself out, and sometimes that can't happen with another person (because a relationship is about putting their needs ahead of yours.) Post college I see how it brings you closer together... each of you are confident in who you are and where your headed in the future.

I was thinking about the whole "distance makes the heart grow fonder" thing just this afternoon. However, I was thinking about it in terms of my best friend. I miss her so much and I feel like we are missing out on things going on in each other's day-to-day life! Not to turn this into a Dear Abby article, but I feel like there are two sides to this situation. On the one hand, no, we don't have the time to talk as much as we used to, nor do we tell each other what was going on every waking second of our lives. Obviously this makes us feel like we're just not as close anymore. On the other hand, it gives us so much more to talk about when we DO finally see each other. After spending time with other people, it makes us appreciate what we have as friends so much more. The fact that, after meeting so many new people, we can still go home and have someone understand us and our background so much better than anyone else ever could is a huge comfort and will only bring us closer together over the next four years. In short, I guess I'm saying that distance DOES make the heart grow fonder, but not just in romantic relationships!

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