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“You always hear people say ‘long-distance relationships suck’ or ‘long-distance relationships never work out,’” Jiang says.

“Indeed, our culture, particularly American culture, emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values.”It’s especially reassuring to hear this now, as so many couples today are living apart.

Three million Americans live apart from their spouses (for reasons other than divorce or discordance), Jiang says.

It's a trend that’s has spawned the term “commuter marriages” in recent headlines reflecting the new realities of tough economic times -- you've got to go where the job is, after all.

Gail Saltz, a New York City psychiatrist and frequent TODAY contributor.

This new study, and others before it, have shown that long distance partners tend to idealize each other, or see them in unrealistically positive terms.

She and her husband, who's a Marine, have been married for nearly two years, during which he’s been deployed twice. There’s nothing we hide, there are no secrets," she says.

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Not true, according to a small but growing number of social science studies.“If you don’t put in a good amount of effort, you just stop talking to each other.”Kendrot agrees.“Every day, you make that choice to be in it,” says Kendrot, who next week will be moving back to Rochester to be with Smith full time.But the separated couples reported “experiencing greater intimacy” – or, feeling closer to their partners, as intimacy is defined here – than the couples who were geographically closer.That’s definitely been the case for Smith and Kendrot.“Not only does it force you to keep in touch, it forces you to make an effort to do that,” Smith says.Since then, she and Smith have been dating long distance.

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