Shared everyday decisions and constructive communication: Protective factors in long-distance romantic relationships


  • Fanny V. Jimenez
  • Jens B. Asendorpf


This study applied an attachment framework to explore whether shared everyday decisions (SHARED) and constructive communication during conflicts serve as protective factors for relationship quality and stability in a sample of 971 individuals in long-distance relationships (LDRs). The behaviors were found to partially and differentially mediate the association between attachment orientations and relationship outcomes. While SHARED was more strongly linked to commitment than to relationship satisfaction, the reverse was found for constructive communication. Only SHARED was found to predict relationship stability over and above attachment when relationship length was controlled for. The findings suggest that attachment anxiety and avoidance influence relationship quality and stability partly through the two communicative behaviors in LDRs, with  especially SHARED emerging as a potent protective factor for positive relationship development in longdistance relationships.