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Once feared for its potential to spark sexual harassment claims, the office romance is losing its stigma.

According to a 2006 Workplace Romance Poll by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Career Journal.com, restrictions against office dating have relaxed.

"Workplace romance is dropping the negative stigma that was associated with it in the past," the report read.

"It appears that employees have become more open-minded about relationships between their colleagues." Most employers now permit office romances, even though they discourage it, the survey also discovered.

He was doing a medical residency in Southern California when he met his future wife on a trip to Phoenix.

The couple survived four years in a two-state relationship before marrying.

According to the center's web site, "The rise of Internet dating services predictably contributes to 'coast-to-coast couples' -- those who live on opposite ends of the nation and met on the web, but have a real, not just a virtual, relationship.

Society has finally started accepting long-distance relationships as a viable alternative." Long-distance marriages do have drawbacks, though.

On average, couples live 125 miles apart, but some dwell on separate continents.With powerful forces -- such as the Internet and a 24/7 work world -- exerting influence on our passions, surprising trends are springing up on the romance front.In a landscape of dual careers, Internet romances, and globalization, the long-distance marriage is growing in numbers. S., long-distance marriages increased by 23% between 20, according to census figures analyzed by the Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships.Warranted or not, couples do tend to worry more about infidelity.Furthermore, if children are involved, one partner shoulders almost the entire burden of raising them.Such pairs include the two married academics who love their jobs and have lived apart for more than a decade; the spouse who accepted a foreign job assignment but didn't want to uproot the family; the high-powered, dual-career couple constantly on the move to advance in their jobs.

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