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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.

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But the heartache of being apart and living separate lives will start to wear on you, and soon enough, things will fizzle out.

Not true, according to a small but growing number of social science studies.

Long-distance relationships are, in many ways, stronger than relationships between couples who live together or close by, shows a new study published today in the Journal of Communication.

“While the public and the science community hold a pessimistic view towards long distance (LD), this research provides compelling support for the opposite side – long distance is not necessarily inferior to geographically close dating,” says Crystal Jiang, an assistant professor of communication at City University of Hong Kong.

And many college students, not surprisingly, live apart from their partners – up to 50 percent are in a long-distance relationship, according to one estimate in a 2005 report.

It gets harder to estimate how many non-married, non-college students are in long-distance relationships, but according to one estimate, 14 percent of dating relationships were long-distance, according to the Center for the Study of Long-Distance Relationships.“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.The two recently began dating and things are clearly getting serious because Belinda's been popping up in Criss' magic acts.We broke the story, Criss married baby mama Shaunyl Benson in 2014, but we're told they've divorced in October 2015.About 80 percent of the couples considered their relationship committed or serious, and the average length of their relationships was 22 months.

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