Many couples live a portion of their lives being separated from each
other as part of a long-distance relationship. This includes a large number of dating
college students as well as established couples who are geographicallyseparated
because of situational demands such as work. Long distance couples often
face challenges in maintaining some semblance of intimacy given the physical
distance between them. Traditional media helped here, where they would stay
connected by physical letters, telephones, e-mail, texting, and instant messaging.
More recently, many couples resort to “hanging out” over the new generation of
video chat systems in order to stay connected. We explore this phenomenon by
presenting case studies of how couples in long distance relationships hang out
over video. Each couple is in a unique relationship situation, yet all share increased
intimacy over distance by leaving a video link going between their residences
for extended periods of time. These episodes involve couples participating
in activities that are sometimes shared and sometimes not, where the key component
is simply feeling the presence and involvement of the remote partner in day
to day life.