Let′s play the game Word Association, shall we? I say, ″Absence.″ You say? (I′ll give you a minute to list off one or two words that come to mind.)
If you′re anything like me, the first word you thought of was ″fonder.″ As in, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
You′ve heard this old adage. But have you ever wondered if there′s any validity to it? I have. Yep, I′m among those who′ve pondered whether we can take stock in words such as those of nineteenth-century Irish poet Thomas Moore, who said, ″Relationship at a distance can do things for the heart that a closer, day-to-day companionship cannot.″
Well, if researchers have anything to say about it, the answer would be yes.
In a 2013 study published in The Journal of Communication, L. Crystal Jiang and Jeffrey T. Hancock surveyed sixty-three college-aged couples in long-distance relationships and determined that these type of ″romantic relationships are of equal or even more trust and satisfaction than their geographically close counterparts.″
How did Jiang and Hancock come to this conclusion?
They discovered that these couples who had less in-person “face time,” worked harder to stay connected and communicated more. Not only that, but Jiang told USA Today, ″They also adapt[ed] their messages, for example, by focusing on more limited but relationally intense topics.″
Now, most of us aren′t non-married collegiates in long-distance relationships, right? I know I′m not. I′m going on thirteen years of marriage. So what can you and I as wives learn from these results?