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Research Says Sexual Fantasies Help Maintain Relationships, Especially Long Distance Ones

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I love the type of conversations that have to end because sleep is important too. If it wasn’t, I would be doing things I love in the hours of silence and solace nestled in the embrace of the dark. But then again, if sleep wasn’t so important, nights wouldn’t be so pure. I am not one of those people who can just fall in love and not talk often. For me, it’s essential that we are connected to the little things in our daily lives. He should know who my friends are, how my day was, and if he asks follow up questions, even better. I should know the same. So as long as a person knows how to really connect, long-distance relationships are doable.

However, I also love physical affection; that’s how I express my love. I need extra-long hugs, coziest cuddles and kisses. I also have sexual desires that would need his participation. Of course, long-distance relationships don’t give you that. But a gal can imagine.

I have seen several couples not giving their relationship a chance because it’s long-distance. But here’s the thing – you can be satisfied even if your partner is away and no, I don’t mean by resorting to cheating. It works differently for different people, but I believe it’s at least worth a shot. Relationship maintenance, whether your love shares the same pin code with you or lives miles away, requires all the same ingredients.

A new study has found out that certain behaviours contribute to relationship maintenance both in long-distance and geographically close relationships. Previous research has enlisted various behaviours such as having a common social circle, participating in activities together, and engaging in positive talk to be good for relationships. However, the authors of this study found that there are certain sexual behaviours that help maintain your connection, even when your miles apart.

“I was interested in studying long-distance relationships because I was in a long-distance relationship with my husband for 5 years while we were in graduate school. I wanted to know what the best ways were to ensure that our relationship thrived while we were apart,” study author Kaitlyn Goldsmith, a registered clinical psychologist and lecturer at the University of British Columbia told Psypost.

The researchers conducted the study on men and women in the age group of 18 to 30, 232 of them in LDRs and 263 in geographically close relationships. They were asked questions on their participation in various behaviours such as “being pleasant/cheerful around their partner, conveying commitment to their partner, and engaging in open communication.” The questions also analysed their participation in sexual behaviours including “having sexual fantasies about their partner, the frequency of sexual activity with their partner, the frequency of solo sexual activity, and sexual compliance.”

“First, the researchers found that all of the examined relationship maintenance behaviors were linked to greater relationship satisfaction and greater sexual satisfaction. In terms of sexual maintenance behaviors, greater sexual idealization (the extent that one believes their partner is their ideal sexual partner) and higher frequency of sexual fantasies about one’s partner were also related to greater relationship and sexual satisfaction,” reports Psypost.

Moreover, even when it comes to direct effects, only sexual idealization and frequently fantasizing about your partner were unique predictors of sexual satisfaction. Both of these are relevant to LDRs and GCRs. “Interestingly, the analysis revealed similar effects among those in long-distance relationships and geographically-close relationships, suggesting that the maintenance of romantic relationships operates similarly in both types of relationships,” reports Psypost.

However, solitary sexual behaviours were negatively linked to sexual satisfaction. Relying on porn and masturbation as well as sexual compliance, that is, feeling pressured to satisfy your partner was negatively associated with sexual satisfaction. “Some romantic and sexual behaviors we found to be associated with satisfaction could be circumstantial. Specifically, solo sexuality (online and/or masturbation) and sexual compliance were not related to positive outcomes in relationships. This may be a result of some participants being dissatisfied sexually and turning to other modes of achieving satisfaction,” Goldsmith revealed.

“These behaviors may function differently in relationships in which satisfaction is high, and masturbation and solo on-line sexual activity could be seen as an enhancement, versus replacement, for sexual activity and connection,” she clarified.

Does this mean several people are maybe too quick to dismiss the possibility of things working out in a long distance relationship? It very well does. You can make it work and it all works on the same rules that apply to geographically close relationships. Of course, you can’t steal a kiss whenever you want. But if you fantasise about it often, and consider your partner your sex soulmate, it shouldn’t be a problem!

ALSO READ:7 Sex Resolutions For More Fun And Orgasms

“The main findings of our research suggest that long-distance relationships are not doomed due to the distance. Rather, the results suggest that there are many ways to enhance both relationship and sexual satisfaction while apart,” Goldsmith told PsyPost. “These include staying in touch via electronic media, thinking positively about your relationship, and spending intentional, positive time together when you get the chance. Focusing on the romantic side of relationships can also have a positive impact on sexual satisfaction and vice versa,” she added.

The study, “Factors associated with sexual satisfaction in mixed-sex long-distance and geographically close relationships”, was authored by Kaitlyn Goldsmith and E. Sandra Byers.

ALSO READ: What Qualifies As Bad Sex? Netizens Share Their Turn Offs

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