Friday - - Report -

In plain English There’s noth­ing like be­ing 3,000km away from some­one to for­get about their an­noy­ing habits. Ori­gins It’s thought this was a com­mon say­ing as early as the 17th cen­tury but the first time it ap­peared in print was prob­a­bly in the lyrics for Isle of Beauty, Fare Thee Well, a 19th-cen­tury mu­sic hall song. It might be true Be­ing away from some­one you truly love is “likely to re­mind you of all the qual­i­ties about them you ap­pre­ci­ate”, says Fadwa Lko­rchy. Her the­ory is backed up by a 2013 study from On­tario’s Queen’s Uni­ver­sity and the Uni­ver­sity of Utah. This an­a­lysed more than 1,200 cou­ples and found “greater dis­tance apart ac­tu­ally pre­dicted more in­ti­macy, com­mu­ni­ca­tion and sat­is­fac­tion”. It might not be The same study also made clear that its con­clu­sions were only true for strong, sta­ble re­la­tion­ships. Dis­tance is very rarely the cause for a break-up, it sug­gested, but it can ex­ac­er­bate cer­tain is­sues that lay un­ad­dressed.

“For some cou­ples, an ab­sence can make them re­alise that they were not happy in the first place,” says Fadwa. “Be­ing away can give them a chance to see all the un­der­ly­ing prob­lems that al­ready ex­ist.” The ver­dict As the 17th-cen­tury French au­thor François de La Rochefou­cauld noted: “Ab­sence di­min­ishes small loves and in­creases great ones as the wind blows out the can­dle but fans the bon­fire.”

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