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He Said, She Said: Deciphering The “Sighs” Within a Long-Distance Relationship

A long-distance relationship, known as an “LDR” is typically an intimate relationship where two individuals are separated by a considerable amount of distance. They each face a geographical impediment and most times lack any real face-to-face contact. Quite often LDRs are formed through the online medium where two people will meet and be romantically inclined to one another. But through the countless hours of conversing, whether offline or online, can you tell through the unseen body language that the other is really, truly interested in you?

Image Credit: We Heart It

A new study published on July 18 in the Journal of Communication stated that those involved in long-distance relationships have stronger bonds and more substantial communication than couples who live near each other. In any understanding, such findings prove that absence may truly make the heart grow fonder because the couples who live apart have more meaningful interactions and stronger bonds than those who see each other every day, even though those in long-distance relationships communicated less than those close by. Regardless, a relationship built on the foundation of friendship and a “meeting of the minds” over body, find great intimacy through maintaining their dynamic over phone calls, texting, emailing, and video chat and therefore provide a concise idealization of their partner’s true behaviors. Couples in LDRs are able to tell more about themselves to the other, while having better opinions of how much their partner was sharing and reciprocating.

“Indeed, our culture, emphasizes being together physically and frequent face-to-face contact for close relationships, but long-distance relationships clearly stand against all these values. People don’t have to be so pessimistic about long-distance romance,” Crystal Jiang, assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong, said in a press release. “The long-distance couples try harder than geographically close couples in communicating affection and intimacy, and their efforts do pay back.”

This week we hear from Katy of Charleston, South Carolina who was at first in an online relationship, but after much thought and meaningful conversations, decided to take it to the next level and exchange phone numbers with her sweetie. The two of them talk for hours and have even planned to meet up, but Katy is puzzled as to why her long-distance beau sighs during conversations. Is she overthinking or does he find her boring? Our writers team up and decipher the exhalation.

He Said She Said - Katy July 24

Christopher says…

Katy, I think that everything you have said and described about your long distance relationship sounds really healthy and most of all—normal. If you haven’t seen each other for four months, then he might be tired of being apart from you. You two seem to be truly connecting on all levels and it is great that he is calling you often as well. Every time you two talk into the morning your relationship grows. The “sigh” after your jokes or when you two finish each others’ sentences might be like him saying, “I wish I could see her laughing” or “I wish she could be here with me”. Guys sometimes use those “semi-verbal” cues to say things like that.

Do yourself a favor, Katy: don’t overthink it. It sounds like the two of you are really hitting it off and the only thing you should be truly nervous (and by “nervous” I mean “giddy”) about is meeting up. Being worried when you’re in a long distance relationship is definitely normal, but as long as the two of you have been completely honest with each other, then I can’t see why meeting up wouldn’t be the best part of your summer.

Congrats and good luck to you, Katy.

Karen says…

Katy, I’m totally with Chris on this one. I don’t think you really have to worry about the sighing or much else when it comes to your long-distance relationship. Don’t overthink when he sighs over the phone. It could mean nothing at all or as Chris said, it could mean that he wishes he could see you laugh or that you could be with him. Maybe it means that he gets a kick out of the fact that you finish each other’s sentences. See, now you have me overthinking this too! But what I mean to say is don’t think of it as a negative when he does that. It could well be a sign of him longing for you. If he doesn’t mind talking with you for hours and really takes time to listen to whatever you have to say, then you’ve a got a good thing going on!

As far as meeting him for the first time in person, all I can say is be yourself and let the conversation flow naturally. Also, this is a no-brainer, but do meet up in a public place. Just go for it and see where it takes you next. Good luck!

Nicole says…

Katy, first and foremost, congratulations on having what souds like a really healthy long-distance relationship.  It takes a lot to make any relationship a good one and it’s doubly difficult long-distance.  Kudos!

As for your concerns I agree with Karen and Chris on this one: you likely have nothing to worry about in regards to the sighing.  It could be a positive thing as they have mentioned (him wishing he were there with you, comfort that you guys click so well).  It could also be something totally harmless and I have a little personal experience with this: back when I was in a long distance relaionship my boyfriend actually pointed out that I sighed a lot in the conversation.  It wasn’t something he ever noticed once we were able to hang out face-to-face, but on the phone I tend to hold my breath and thus sigh.  Maybe that’s what he’s doing, too  And if you’ve got a guy holding his breath on your every word…that’s a good thing. So just relax and enjoy the conversation–and that goes for when you meet in person, too.  Sure, there will be a few awkward moments, but if you’re already getting along so well I’m sure it will continue.  He likes you for who you are.  At the end of the day that’s all that matters.  After all, you’ve already come this far.  You’ve got this.

James says…

Katy, you sound a lot like me on this one. And by that I mean overthinking a small thing. If he’s the one that usually calls you I guarantee it’s not him thinking you’re being annoying or boring. The sigh sounds like it might be a nervous habit, or even a way he closes a smile that you just haven’t been able to see yet. Once you meet up with him you’ll be able to see the way the sigh happens and that could change a lot. Again, if he decides to meet up with you this summer, then you’ll know he doesn’t find you annoying or boring. Why would he waste his time?

As for meeting up with him for the first time, you’ve got to make it in a public place. I know it seems like you literally know him, but you’ve got to be careful on the first meet up. Go putt-putting or shopping at the mall. Or the classic coffee shop meet up and talk. After you’ve met up once, you’ll get that ever important first impression and can take it from there.

Go into it with confidence. Don’t give the energy that you’re just waiting to see if the things you’ve noticed about him will show up, like waiting for the sigh. It sounds like you’ll be just fine though. Have fun. Good luck!

* * * * *

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While our team of writers have given their advice with the best of intentions, they nor anyone of this site assume responsibility for your actions or the results of them.

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