Fortune Cookie Friday: Togetherness, Participation Required
This week’s fortune reminded me of when I met my husband back in college. He was from Houston, TX and I was from Buffalo, NY, so we had our share of long distant relationship angst. At school, we tried to spend as much time together as possible, because we knew that, once the semester was over, we would be with our families and separated by over 1000 miles (1,287 miles, to be exact).
There was a recent study in the Journal of Communication that proposed couples of long distant relationships were more intimate that couples with a closer geographical distance1. There may be some truth to that, but I believe you still need to be together to have a strong relationship.
Humans have a great need for haptic communication, the way in which people communicate and interact via the sense of touch. This does not just entail sexual aspects of touch, but also platonic, such as hugging and hand holding. Touch is extremely important for humans and is vital in conveying physical intimacy. It is hard to touch when you are thousands of miles away.
So, whether you loved one is in the next room or halfway around the world, how you spend your time together is what counts. Quality, not quantity, is the important factor. Make every moment count, because participation is required for every relationship to succeed.
1Crystal Jiang, L. and Hancock, J. T. (2013), Absence Makes the Communication Grow Fonder: Geographic Separation, Interpersonal Media, and Intimacy in Dating Relationships. Journal of Communication, 63: 556–577. doi: 10.1111/jcom.12029