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Traditional wisdom says the closer two people are in a relationship, the better. But recent research shows that this isn’t necessarily the case.

A 2013 study published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that the key to healthy relationships wasn’t whether individuals were closer to each other, but if their “closeness” was at a comfortable and suitable level.

In other words, there needs to be a balance found between being “too close” and “too distant” in our relationships.

If someone is too close, we’ll probably end up feeling annoyed and suffocated by that person. But if someone is too distant, we’ll probably end up feeling needy and deprived of attention.

But this “balancing point” is going to be different for every individual and relationship.

Some people are going to want more independence and privacy than others. The trick is asking yourself, “what kind of relationships do I really want in life?

Are you the type of person who needs to text or call someone every day? Or do you prefer to go 2-3 days without needing to “check in” with the other person?

How often do you need to meet up with someone in person? Every day? Once or twice a week? Only a few times a month?

No answer is right or wrong, but these answers will give you some insight into whether a current or future relationship is going to work out or not.

If someone is “too close” or “too distant” for you, then chances are the relationship is incompatible, unless you or the other person are very flexible in their ways.

Even when we prefer close relationships, giving people space is an important part of keeping ourselves healthy and sane.

Too much dependence on any one person for happiness can be toxic and destructive.


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