How to Be Intimate in a Long-Distance Relationship?


How to Be Intimate in a Long-Distance Relationship

When you think of being intimate, you are thinking of sex, don’t you? But intimacy is much more than that.

So, How to be intimate in a long distance relationship? To maintain intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you need five things: 

  1. Keeping in touch
  2. Maintain emotional connection
  3. Work on your communication
  4. Have a plan and a timeline for your long-distance relationship
  5. Take the time to share your feelings and listen to one another

In a long-distance relationship, it’s hard to be intimate but it’s not impossible. To figure out how to be intimate in a long-distance relationship, first, you need to understand what is intimacy.

Here we will talk about what intimacy is and the difference between physical intimacy and emotional intimacy. We’ll also explore the intimacy issues that couples face in a long-distance relationship.


Intimacy in a long-distance relationship

Many people think that intimacy is sex.

Intimacy is a trust and a connection between two partners.

A healthy relationship needs to have a balance of physical intimacy and emotional intimacy. In a long-distance relationship, physical intimacy is reserved for special occasions when long-distance partners visit each other.

This lack of physical intimacy can create sexual frustration and put a strain on your long-distance relationship.

To have a successful long-distance relationship, you need to compensate for the lack of physical intimacy with emotional intimacy.

Physical intimacy is closeness, touching, kissing, sex. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of connection to the person that is your long-distance partner.


Is intimacy important in a long-distance relationship? 

Intimacy is essential in a long-distance relationship. Without it, your long-distance relationship is not going to survive for too long.

Intimacy is so important in a long-distance relationship that your relationship can be ruined if you don’t have enough intimacy.

In a regular relationship, you have easy access to your partner on an everyday basis. You get to see each other to talk to each other to maintain emotional intimacy.

When you’re in a long-distance relationship, physical intimacy is impossible. Depending on your situation, you may not see your long-distance partner for weeks at a time.

While you are not seeing your romantic partner, your body still needs the reassurance that you are physically in a romantic relationship.

You can think and talk about being in a romantic relationship, but your body feels different. When the need for physical intimacy is not fulfilled, you can start feeling sexually frustrated; this is perfectly normal.

The way you deal with intimacy can make or break your long-distance relationship.

Emotional intimacy is the connection you feel with your long-distance partner. Thanks to the Internet, you can keep in touch with your long-distance partner as much as you want. You and your long-distance partner can feel emotionally connected through talking, video calling and exchanging gifts.

It’s easier to maintain the emotional connection in a long-distance relationship than physical contact. But you still need to know how to stay emotionally connected when you are away from each other.

Excessive communication can be just as destructive to your long-distance relationship as a lack of communication.


Intimacy issues in a long-distance relationship 

Intimacy is one of the main issues in a long-distance relationship. Intimacy issues include lack of physical intimacy, no intimacy and fear of intimacy, among others. 

Let’s explore each one of these issues in a little bit more detail…


Fear of intimacy in a long-distance relationship 

Intimacy is the connection that you feel with your long-distance partner. Some people are afraid of having this connection for fear of losing it. Ironically, it’s the fear of losing this connection that gets in the way of a person having this connection, to begin with.

People can be afraid of intimacy because of their previous experiences. When you’re in a long-distance relationship, both you and your long-distance partner have a personal history.

Nobody comes into a relationship completely clear open and honest. Previous experiences affect your behaviour, your thoughts, and your beliefs.

There’s one thing you can do while in a long-distance relationship. You can talk about intimacy issues with your long-distance partner. If you recognise that you are afraid of intimacy, you should talk to your partner about it.

The only way you can sort out your intimacy issues is by facing them.


Lack of intimacy in a long-distance relationship 

Due to the very nature of long-distance relationships, lack of physical intimacy is what makes them hard.

That’s the reason long-distance relationships aren’t meant to last a long time. You can hold off for a few months without having sex with the person you are romantically involved with.

Some couples try to maintain their long-distance relationship for years. In some cases, a person doesn’t have a strong sex drive and doesn’t need to be physically close to their partner. For such people being away from their long-distance partner may not be such a big issue.

However, if you are okay not to have a physical connection with your romantic partner, it may be an indication of underlying issues.


No intimacy in a long-distance relationship 

When you don’t have physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you rely on emotional intimacy to help you feel connected to your long-distance partner.

Suppose you don’t take time to learn effective communication, or you are not completely honest with your long-distance partner. In that case, your long-distance relationship won’t work.

For example, you may have been in a long-distance relationship for a few months, and you feel deprived of physical intimacy. Your options are to suppress the need for physical intimacy and pretend that you are okay with it or find a way to work it out with your long-distance partner. 

Suppose the absence of physical intimacy is bothering you. In that case, you should talk about it with your partner before it becomes an issue.


No physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship

If you feel you are not having physical intimacy, the solution can be having more frequent visits. On the other hand, if you lack emotional intimacy, it can indicate that your feelings have changed or perhaps you have developed feelings for another person. 

Either way, you should talk to your long-distance partner about your feelings, and together you can find a way forward that works for both of you.

It’s not always the case that you don’t have the means to see each other as often as you want while in the long-distance relationship. But you should be careful not to neglect your need for physical intimacy. 

If you cannot find a way to be together and you’re getting very frustrated, then having a break from this relationship may be a solution, at least for now.

Maybe, later on, you will get back together, or perhaps you will move on.


Lack of physical intimacy in long-distance relationship

Lack of physical intimacy makes it hard to make your long-distance relationship work.

In a long-distance relationship, the hardest thing is to be away from your partner. Most of the time, it’s because of circumstances rather than out of choice. 

It’s challenging to maintain your relationship without physical affection. You don’t get the comfort of physical touch, a kiss or a hug. 

Physical closeness helps you feel safe, calm, and content. Without it, it’s hard to judge the state of your relationship. The distance can strain your relationship, making it hard to remain emotionally connected. In this situation, you may feel helpless. 

It may seem that all you can do is wait. You need to decide if you want to suck it up and stick it out or make your long-distance relationship work.


Sexual frustration in a long-distance relationship 

When you don’t get to fulfil your need for physical intimacy for a long time, it’s normal to feel sexually frustrated.

Having a sexual life with your romantic partner is healthy. In a long-distance relationship, physical intimacy is minimal. You can have a very healthy long-distance friendship that lasts for years.

Still, you cannot have a healthy romantic relationship over a long-distance if you don’t get to see your long-distance partner often enough.

When you’re feeling sexually frustrated, this frustration will spill into other aspects of your life. If it lasts for a long time, it can harm your relationship and your life.

If this happens, you should reconsider your relationship and find a way to move in together or maybe have a break from your relationship.


How to build intimacy in a long-distance relationship? 

To build intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you need understanding and trust. 

It’s challenging to maintain a connection with a long-distance partner if you don’t trust them or if you’re unable to express how you feel without the fear of being judged.

Many couples communicate without thinking about it. But in the long-distance relationship communication is the only thing that can help you maintain your relationship.

It’s worth taking the time and learn how to communicate effectively in a long-distance relationship. Knowing how to express yourself and how to listen to your partner will help you build a relationship that is based on harmony and understanding.

If you don’t take the time to learn how to communicate, you risk having a lot of misunderstandings. These misunderstandings can quickly become issues that can strain your relationship. 


How to stay intimate in a long-distance relationship? 

To stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship, you should have clear and open communication.

You should take the time to formulate your thoughts and ideas in a way that are easy to understand by your long-distance partner.

If you don’t take care of how you say things, they are likely to misinterpret your message and respond to it in the wrong way.

Commonly, people who are in long-distance relationships have a lot of doubts and insecurities about being with a romantic partner with whom they cannot be physically intimate.

These doubts, frustrations, and insecurities can make you interpret the message from your long-distance partner negatively. If you do, you will respond defensively, creating an argument.

You can avoid having arguments, and have a healthy long-distance relationship if you work on your communication with your long-distance partner.


How to maintain physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship? 

To maintain physical intimacy in a long-distant relationship, you should be able to visit each other as often as you like.

While it’s a beautiful idea, not all couples have the means to visit each other often enough to satisfy their needs for physical intimacy.

Suppose your long-distance relationship will last for a long time without you fulfilling your need for physical intimacy. In that case, it will get harder. It will eventually become a struggle instead of a joy that your long-distance relationship supposed to be.

Planning a long-distance relationship is one of the ways you can manage it. You may decide that your long-distance relationship will last for three months, during which you will be able to see each other every two weeks.

In this example, you may still feel a little deprived of having physical intimacy with your romantic partner. But knowing that it’s a temporary situation will make the whole difference to the way you see your long-distance relationship.

Even if you can only visit each other once every two weeks, you can spend a lot of time doing things you like and working on your personal goals. You can also plan this visit to be fun and exciting, and you can come up with spontaneous trips to a different place every time.


How to stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship? 

Emotional connection is essential to make your long-distance relationship work.

In a long-distance relationship, your connection relies on emotional intimacy. You can maintain an emotional connection with effective communication. 

This can bring clarity to your relationship and help you survive the long-distance. A simple tweak in communication can help you avoid arguments and bad feelings. You can improve your communication with your partner following a few simple steps.

With practice, you will no longer be afraid to express your feelings and desires. A long-distance relationship can be hard and may feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. I will show you how to turn it around.

Effective communication is essential in making a long-distance relationship work.

To maintain the connection in a long-distance relationship is slightly different than when you are together. A large portion of communication is done through body language. 

In a long-distance relationship, you don’t have the luxury to observe your partner’s body. So to understand each other, you rely mostly on verbal and written communication. 

The clearer you can express yourself through words, the easier it will be for your partner to understand what you mean. A lack of physical touch makes it harder to maintain an emotional connection. 

Getting to know another person involves a lot of touching. Physical touch can reassure you that all is well, and it can also tell you if something is wrong. Without physical contact, it’s hard to navigate the state of your relationship.

Once you met your long-distance partner in real life, you know how it feels when you are together. But how do you stay connected without body language and physical contact?

In a long-distance relationship, your connection relies on emotional intimacy. You can maintain an emotional connection with effective communication. This can bring clarity to your relationship and help you survive the long-distance. 

A simple tweak in communication can help you avoid arguments and bad feelings. You can improve your communication with your partner following a few simple tips. With practice, you will no longer be afraid to express your feelings and desires.

A long-distance relationship can be hard and may feel like a struggle, but it doesn’t have to be.


How to make a long-distance relationship more intimate? 

To make a long-distance relationship more intimate, you need to work on improving your communication, which in turn will help to improve your emotional intimacy.

Expressing openly and freely with each other will help improve your relationship with your long-distance partner.

Talking about your feelings, sharing your thoughts and ideas are the things that build trust and make your long-distance relationship stronger.

Improving your physical intimacy in your long-distance relationship will require a plan to visit each other more often. Your meetings can also be more fun, exciting and spontaneous with a little bit of creativity and an element of surprise.


Intimacy tips for a long-distance relationship

Here are some tips on how to be intimate in a long-distance relationship:

  • Work on your communication.
  • Take time to formulate your messages so that they are easy to understand.
  • Take time to listen to your partner and hear what they want to share with you.
  • If you have any doubts or insecurities or your feelings change, tried to share them with your long-distance partner as soon as you become aware that they exist.
  • Make your long-distance relationship more spontaneous, exciting, and fun.
  • If you are finding that your long-distance relationship became a struggle rather than enjoyment, reassess your long-distance relationship with your partner.

Conclusion

Physical intimacy is scarce in long-distance relationships. But doesn’t mean that you cannot maintain emotional connection when you are apart from your long-distance partner.

Maintaining emotional connection requires clear and open communication where you are free to express your feelings without being afraid that your partner will judge you.

You should learn to listen to your long-distance partner. It’s very likely that they also have doubts and insecurities about themselves or the relationship. You can be there for them to help them open up and support them through their journey of self-discovery.

The better they understand themselves, the more love and joy and happiness they can bring into your relationship.

Physical intimacy is a problem in a long-distance relationship. Ideally, you would have a plan for how long a long-distance relationship will last and be able to see each other as often as you’d like.

If you can’t see each other as often as you would like, try to recognise how you feel about it. Don’t compromise and don’t ignore your feelings, because it will only make it worse long-term.

If you are struggling with the lack of physical intimacy, the first thing you should do is to talk about it with your long-distance partner. If you don’t share your troubles with your partner, they won’t be able to help you. A long-distance relationship is teamwork. So help each other and love each other.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is intimacy?

Intimacy with your long-distance partner means the feeling of connection and trust.

How do you show love in a long-distance relationship?

In any relationship, we want to feel close to the person we love, both physically and spiritually. In a long-distance relationship where the physical proximity is not always possible, the spiritual closeness is the only way for us to feel connected.

How do you make love in a long-distance relationship?

You don’t. That’s the sad reality of a long-distance relationship. You can go all out during your visits, but is this enough? It’s good to talk to your partner to see their preferences. Knowing what both of you need will help you understand each other better.

Can you fall in love over a long-distance?

Yes, you can fall in love over a long-distance. You can also fall in love with a fairy tale or a romance novel character. When you meet a person online, for example, you create an ideal. Then you weigh everything you learnt about this person against your ideal to see if their characteristics match. If they do, you fall in love and if they don’t you move on. Falling in and out of love is not the same as having a relationship.

How can I make my BF miss me?

First, you should find out whether he misses you or not. Then, if he doesn’t, ask him why. Maybe he is busy, or perhaps he doesn’t want to be with you. Once you know how he feels, you can figure out what’s the best thing for you to do.

Alex Barinov

Hi, I’m Alex:) I am a relationship coach. My passions include understanding life, relationships and human behaviour. As a coach, I help couples resolve their conflicts and create a harmonious and loving relationship.

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