This qualitative study explored meaning and process in long-distance dating relationships. Based on in-depth interviews with 10 students aged 23-35, the following areas were examined: meanings connected to the relationship and separation, relational maintenance strategies, and commitment processes. Findings suggested that processes associated with intimacy were applicable to long-distance relationships--including the importance of subjective meanings around "feeling close." Other commonalities among participants included a strong foundation of friendship as well as the importance of technology in staying connected. Many participants identified trust as a prerequisite and result of commitment. The predominantly positive view about long-distance relationships seemed to be facilitated by meanings attributed to the separation that emphasized its temporary and necessary nature. (Author abstract)
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Staying Close When Apart: Intimacy and Meaning in Long-Distance Dating Relationships.