Relational savoring in long-distance romantic relationships

Jessica L. Borelli, Hannah F. Rasmussen, Margaret L. Burkhart, David A. Sbarra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Relationship satisfaction is crucial for health and happiness. In the absence of physical contact, people in long-distance romantic relationships (LDRs) may use alternate means of maintaining relationship satisfaction, such as mentally activating feelings of closeness to their partners. This experiment examined the effects of relational savoring, relative to two control conditions, on emotion and relationship satisfaction following a laboratory-based stress task, among 533 people in an LDR. Relational savoring yielded greater positive emotion among participants, particularly those with medium to high baseline relationship satisfaction. Further, emotional state mediated the link between relational savoring and post-stressor relationship satisfaction for participants with average or higher baseline satisfaction. Savoring relational memories resulted in short-term benefits among people in LDRs with average or higher satisfaction. The promise of relational savoring as a brief intervention is discussed as well as the implications of the results for couples in LDRs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1083-1108
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Social and Personal Relationships
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Long-distance relationships
  • emotion
  • intervention
  • relationship satisfaction
  • savoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Communication
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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