Long silences after arguments can’t be broken by reaching across the table and holding the person’s hand.And eventually you have to shut off the phone or computer and must confront the fact that you can’t feel his arm around you as you drift off to sleep.So in some ways I envy my parents who were far enough away from one another to form separate lives.They didn’t feel guilty when they missed a text or let down when a Snapchat went unopened.It’s one of the many reasons Americans are waiting longer to marry, according to research by Jeffrey Arnett, a professor of psychology at Clark University: men want a partnership with equals and therefore want women to pursue their own career goals. A recent Wall Street Journal article tells the tale of a couple that spent the better part of five years in a long distance relationship as they pursued their separate degrees and careers.That unfortunately means more geographically-challenged relationships. They planned visits around their separate lives, probably in a Google Cal — another modern invention that’s made relationships simpler. A study from Cornell published in June found that couples in long-distance relationships feel more intimate with their partners than those who live in the same area.Video cameras and phones can’t always capture laughter, smirks or sighs of frustration.
If I want to see his face, we can use Skype or Google Hangout or Face Time.(We were watching episodes of Sports Night simultaneously long before the New York Times dubbed the practice sync-watching.) It’s unimaginable to me that my dad had to sit by a landline waiting for my mother to call him at a specified time when they were dating long distance.But my generation’s hyper-connectivity is a double-edged sword.Sometimes my boyfriend and I don’t know what to say to each other on the phone at the end of the night.