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"What advice do you have for maintaining a healthy long-distance relationship, given that my girlfriend and I have been physically separated for 8 months?"

The brain chemical phenylethylamine (PEA), linked to feelings of love, can be released during Skype or phone calls, helping to maintain the "in love" feeling in long-distance relationships.

Contrary to popular belief, long-distance couples may have better communication habits than geographically close couples, as they make more intentional efforts to stay connected.

Absence can make the heart grow fonder: short-term separation can increase longing and appreciation, but prolonged separation may lead to a decrease in relationship satisfaction.

Approximately 14-15 million people in the U.S.

identify as being in a long-distance relationship, according to a 2021 survey by Statista.

A study in the Journal of Communications showed that long-distance couples who exchanged more personal and detailed messages had higher relationship satisfaction.

The concept of "expansion memory" suggests that the positive aspects of a long-distance relationship are magnified in memory, while negative aspects are minimized, leading to an overall positive evaluation of the relationship.

A 2013 study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that long-distance couples reported having more frequent and satisfying sex after reunion compared to geographically close couples.

The "scarcity principle" may apply to long-distance relationships; the limited time spent together can increase the perceived value and desirability of the partner.

A study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that long-distance couples scored higher on intimacy measures, possibly due to their increased reliance on emotional and verbal communication.

A recent study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships found that long-distance couples who maintain a strong friendship in addition to romance have higher relationship satisfaction.

According to a 2021 Statista survey, about 36% of U.S.

long-distance relationships are attributable to work or education, while 30% are due to couples meeting online or through friends.

For couples separated by long distances, planning shared experiences and goals can help create a sense of unity and shared purpose, contributing to a stronger bond.

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