Long distance. Turns out the lack of face to face contact increases idealization. And once they get close? They were more likely to end the relationship:
Two studies explore the seeming paradox reported in prior research on long-distance dating relationships (LDDRs): Despite limited interaction, LDDR partners evidence greater relational stability than partners in geographically close dating relationships (GCDRs). We investigate speculations that romantic idealization may bea key component in LDDR stability. Idealization (i.e., idealistic distortion, romantic love, relational reminiscence, perceived agreement) and satisfaction with communication was more pronounced in LDDRs than GCDRs. Idealization was also associated with infrequent face-to-face communication. LDDRs were more stable than GCDRs as long as LDDR partners remained geographically separated, but LDDR partners were likely to terminate their relationship upon becoming proximal. Longer absences between face-to-face visits and extreme idealization during separation predicted instability upon reunion.
Source: Eric Barker’s barking up the wrong tree
To add on to idealization, I think long-distance relationships could be more sustainable because it’s much easier to keep things status quo. Oftentimes relationships survive simply because it’s most convenient to do so. Depending on our views of how things work in the real world, we subscribe to different schools of thought ranging from idealistic to practical. Many I know seem to believe happily ever after doesn’t exist. While the in-love feeling clearly cannot last forever, I still believe in happily ever after.