quick love tip: spend time together


Researchers have identified numerous strategies that individuals use to further develop a new relationship or intensify an old one (see Dindia & Timmerman, 2004 for a review). Now this may seem obvious to many of you, but spending time together by increasing the frequency and duration of contact you have with your significant other is one of the best ways to escalate your relationship (Clark et al., 1999; Miell & Duck, 1986). While some scholars (Guldner & Swensen, 1995) have argued that the amount of time a couple spends together does not by itself play a role in relationship maintenance (there are MANY other components to relationship development), it is very difficult to intensify your relationship if you are unable to have any face-to-face time with your mate.

Don't worry, all is not lost for those of you in those pesky long-distance relationships. You can "spend time together" even if you're hundreds of miles away. Taking on the phone, over instant messenger, or by way of text messaging, while not ideal, are also ways to "spend time" with your mate when you're apart. In addition, communicating over Skype or other web-cam programs has the potential to greatly increase relationship satisfaction and feelings of closeness among individuals in long-distance relationships. Take advantage of this new technology whenever possible.

The take-home message here is to make time for your partner. It will be very difficult for your relationship to survive if you don't.



References
  • Clark, C. L., Shaver, P. R., & Abrahams, M. F. (1999). Strategic behaviors in romantic relationship initiation. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 709-722.
  • Dindia, K., & Timmerman L. (2004). Accomplishing romantic relationships. In J. O. Greene and B. R. Burleson's (Eds.) Handbook of communication and social interaction skills. Lawrence Erlbaum: Mahwah, NJ.
  • Guldner, G. T., & Swensen, C. H. (1995). Time spent together and relationship quality: Long-distance relationships as a test case. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 12, 313-320.
  • Miell, D. & Duck, S. (1986). Strategies in friendship development. In V. J. Derlega & B. A. Winstead (Eds.), Friendship and social interaction (pp. 129-143). New York: Springer-Verlag.

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