When you think of being intimate, you are thinking of sex, don’t you? But intimacy is much more than that.
Intimacy is the feeling of physical closeness and emotional connection. Intimacy is built on trust and understanding. In a long-distance relationship, you develop emotional intimacy through effective communication. To maintain physical intimacy, you need to visit each other regularly and spend time together.
First, let’s talk about what is intimacy and the difference between physical closeness and emotional intimacy.
What is Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?
Many people think that intimacy is sex. While physical intimacy does involve sex, intimacy as a whole is created with trust and a connection between two partners.
A healthy relationship needs a balance of physical and emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is closeness, touching, kissing, sex. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of connection to your partner.
In a long-distance relationship, physical intimacy is only possible when partners visit each other.
Infrequent visits lead to a lack of physical intimacy, which can create sexual frustration and strain your relationship.
To have a successful long-distance relationship, you need to work more on keeping an emotional connection to compensate for the lack of physical intimacy.
Levels of Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship
As your relationship develops, you start as acquaintances who connect at some level, to friends who like spending time together, to partners, who have romantic feelings towards each other.
Once you reach a level of a serious romantic relationship, you expect physical intimacy. And if you are in a long-distance relationship, this is where things become a little tricky.
For a healthy and successful romantic relationship, you need to be physically close to each other; or at least have a plan for moving in together.
To maintain physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you need to have time, money, and willingness to regularly visit each other.
Without the possibility of frequent visits, your romantic relationship will turn into a friendship. If you insist on maintaining the exclusivity status, your long-distance relationship will soon enough become a source of struggle and suffering.
We’ll talk more about physical intimacy later in this article. If you want to learn more about the emotional side of things, check out this article on how to stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship.
How to Build Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?
As you progress through your long-distance relationship, you build intimacy by developing trust and understanding. At each level of intimacy in your relationship, you need deeper trust and understanding. If this does not happen, your relationship stays at a certain level.
While understanding develops at the early stage of a relationship, it takes time to build trust. That’s also the reason why trust is harder to rebuild once it’s broken.
It’s challenging to build a connection with a long-distance partner if you don’t trust them or if you’re unable to express how you feel without worry or the fear of being judged.
Questions you can ask to build intimacy
- What are your likes and dislikes?
- What’s important to you?
- How do you feel about…?
Intimacy building exercises
- Playing games together
- Going on holidays
- Sharing a hobby
How to Be Emotionally Intimate in a Long-Distance Relationship?
What does it mean to be intimate in a long-distance relationship?
To maintain intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you need to:
- Keep in touch
- Maintain an emotional connection
- Work on your communication
- Take the time to share your feelings and listen to one another
- Have a plan and a timeline for your 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 is easy to understand for your long-distance partner.
If you don’t take care of how you say things, your partner is likely to misinterpret your message and respond to it in the wrong way.
Commonly, people in long-distance relationships have many doubts and insecurities about being with a romantic partner with whom they cannot be physically intimate.
You can avoid having arguments, and have a healthy long-distance relationship if you work on your long-distance partner’s communication.
How to Maintain Physical Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?
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 physical reassurance that you are in a romantic relationship. While you can think and talk about the fact that you are in a romantic relationship, your body feels different.
When the need for physical intimacy is not fulfilled, you can start feeling sexually frustrated; which is expected and is perfectly normal. However, you need to know how to handle your frustrations because the way you deal with the lack of physical intimacy directly affects your 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 more challenging. 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.
You may still feel a little deprived of physical intimacy with your romantic partner. But knowing that it’s a temporary situation will make the real 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.
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.
How to Increase Intimacy in a Long Distance Relationship?
To make a long-distance relationship more intimate, you need to improve your communication, improving your emotional intimacy. Frequent visits will allow you to maintain physical intimacy.
Expressing openly and freely with each other will improve your relationship with a 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.
Many couples communicate without giving it much thought. But in the long-distance relationship, good communication is essential for you to stay emotionally connected with your partner.
It’s worth taking the time and learn how to communicate effectively in a long-distance relationship.
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.
Knowing how to express yourself and listen to your partner will help you build a relationship based on harmony and understanding.
To increase physical intimacy, try to visit each other more often and go on trips and holidays together.
You can always play around with digitally interactive sex toys, but that’s a temporary solution.
Intimacy Tips and Ideas for 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, fun, and exciting.
- If you find that your long-distance relationship became a struggle rather than enjoyment, reassess your long-distance relationship with your partner.
- 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.
- Be there for your long-distance partner to help them open up and support them through their journey of self-discovery. The better your partner understands themselves, the more love and romance, joy and happiness they can bring into your relationship.
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.
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.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is intimacy?
Intimacy is the feeling of connection and trust. In a long-distance relationship, you can develop emotional intimacy through effective communication. Physical intimacy requires regular visits and physical closeness.
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 without it, your relationship has no future.
How to stay intimate in a long-distance relationship?
1. Share your feelings
2. Have meaningful conversations
3. Play online games
4. Send each other gifts
5. Visit each other regularly
6. Travel together
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’ve learnt about this person against the image you created, 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.
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