Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

intimacy in long-distance relationships

Are you looking for guidance to maintain that emotional closeness you so deeply desire, while physical distance is in the way?

When you think of being intimate, you are likely thinking of sex. While sex, is definitely a part of an intimate romantic relationship, it is also 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, effective communication allows you to stay emotionally connected. To maintain physical and sexual intimacy, you need to visit each other regularly and spend quality time together.

Let’s explore the role intimacy plays in long-distance relationships, the challenging aspects of building intimacy and why the lack of sexual intimacy should not be ignored.

What Is Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?

Intimacy is a combination of closeness, connection and trust. In a long-distance relationship, you can maintain emotional intimacy through effective communication. Whereas physical intimacy requires visits and physical closeness.

Many people think that intimacy is sex. While sex is certainly a part of it, it’s emotional closeness that allows partners to feel connected. Physical intimacy like touching, hugging and kissing, are all fulfilling in their own ways.

A healthy relationship needs a balance of physical and emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is closeness, touching, kissing, and sex. Emotional intimacy is the feeling of connection to your partner.

To say that intimacy is an important aspect of a successful relationship would be an understatement.

Finding ways to develop emotional intimacy is vital in keeping a long-distance relationship alive.

In a regular relationship, you see your partner every day. You get to talk to each in the end of the day to share your day’s events and spend time together.

Types of Intimacy in Long-Distance Relationships

In long-distance relationships, there are three types of intimacy. Each of them contributes to the overall health and happiness of long-distance relationships. They work together to bridge the gap and create a sense of closeness that transcends physical distance.

  • Emotional intimacy – refers to the profound connection between individuals in a relationship, where they share their innermost thoughts, feelings, fears, and aspirations. It involves being vulnerable, empathetic, and understanding toward each other, fostering a deep sense of trust and closeness.
  • Physical intimacy – refers to the closeness, affection, and romantic connection that partners share through physical touch, gestures, and expressions of affection. It encompasses a range of physical interactions, from holding hands and hugging to more intimate moments of sex.
  • Sexual intimacy – involves the exploration of one another’s desires and needs in a physical and intimate manner. It encompasses activities that foster a deeper connection, trust, and vulnerability between partners, including sex, conversations about preferences, and the sharing of personal fantasies.

Let’s discover practical ways to build intimacy and stay intimate in a long-distance relationship.

To maintain an intimate connection with your long-distance partner, you need to trust them enough to feel comfortable expressing how you feel without reservation and the fear of judgment.

How to Maintain Emotional Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?

To maintain emotional connection, successful long-distance couples build intimacy by developing trust and understanding. Developing trust in a long-distance relationship is a priority because, without it, a successful relationship is nearly impossible. While understanding relies on your ability to communicate effectively, trust is built with time and experience.

In today’s world, you can stay emotionally connected through video calling and see your partner’s face as much as you want.

Clear and open communication can help you stay emotionally connected in times when physical distance can question the integrity of your whole relationship.

If you are struggling to maintain emotional intimacy with your partner because of physical separation, try the following:

  • Share your thoughts, feelings, and daily experiences openly.
  • Use video calls to connect face-to-face.
  • Watch movies simultaneously.
  • Play online games together.
  • Have a date night at least once a week.
  • Encourage deep conversations about your hopes, fears, and dreams.
  • Try phone sex to spice things up.
  • Maintain an emotional connection by listening attentively and understanding both points of view.
  • Communicate without holding back your feelings and desires.

During physical separation, spending time on video chat brings you closer by allowing you to see your partner’s face and interpret their body language. These interactions not only increase intimacy but also provide opportunities for heart-to-heart conversations, allowing you to connect at a deeper level.

To maintain emotional connection with your long-distance partner, you need effective communication to express yourself clearly, share feelings and develop understanding. It is not uncommon for long-distance couples to feel disconnected and start losing interest.

Remember, staying emotionally present and attentive helps bridge the physical gap and keeps your bond alive.

The secret to making your long-distance relationship work is to maintain emotional connection with open communication while avoiding talking too much.

How to Maintain Physical Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?

In today’s world, with the prevalence of long-distance relationships, it’s worth knowing the role physical intimacy plays in an online relationship. 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. Outside of your visits, the next best thing is to connect through something that you can physically hold in your hands. Keep things interesting with other forms of physical intimacy like:

  • Sending a handwritten letter
  • Putting together a care package
  • Try a new sex toy
  • Send photos of the two of you together
  • Plan your next meeting
  • Spend quality time together

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. If do not yet have a plan for your long-distance relationship, our step-by-step guide can help you with that.

In long-distance relationships, physical intimacy is only possible during your visits, when you see each other in person. Some long-distance couples may not see each other for weeks or even months at a time.

Physical closeness and physical touch are integral to a romantic relationship. But physical separation in a long-distance relationship makes it very challenging to fulfil this important aspect of a healthy relationship.

While you don’t get to be physically together with your partner, your body still needs physical and sexual contact, and talking about it isn’t enough. Infrequent visits lead to a lack of physical intimacy, which can create sexual frustration and strain your relationship.

You need to know how to handle your frustrations because the way you deal with the lack of physical intimacy directly affects the quality of your relationship.

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

When a long-distance relationship lasts a long time it becomes more challenging to maintain. And, eventually, becomes a struggle instead of the joy that it is supposed to be.

Planning your next visit in advance can help you manage your frustrations. You may still feel deprived of physical intimacy with your romantic partner. But knowing that it’s a temporary situation will make a real difference to the way you see your long-distance relationship.

How to Maintain Sexual Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

To keep the flame of sexual intimacy alive in a long-distance relationship, you can use some creative approaches.

  • Start by openly discussing desires and fantasies with your partner.
  • Share intimate thoughts through messages or calls.
  • Explore virtual ways to connect intimately, such as talking about preferences or using visual cues.
  • Plan special virtual dates
  • Use technology to bridge the gap and maintain a strong connection, despite being physically apart.
  • Discuss desires, fantasies, and boundaries openly and honestly.
  • Share intimate thoughts and messages to create anticipation.
  • Use video chat to see each other’s expressions and maintain a visual connection.
  • Engage in virtual role-play scenarios to explore fantasies together.
  • Share erotic stories or fantasies to spark excitement and imagination.
  • Send each other sensual surprise gifts or handwritten letters.
  • Use video calls to explore each other’s bodies and preferences.
  • Exchange sensual photos or videos, if comfortable, to enhance connection.
  • Engage in mutual self-pleasure during video calls if both of you are comfortable.
  • Explore remote-controlled interactive sex toys during video calls.
  • Plan a virtual date night with a focus on sensual connection.
  • Play erotic couple games that involve sharing intimate questions or dares.
  • Discuss and act out shared sexual fantasies.
  • Create a sensual music playlist to set the mood during virtual interactions.
  • Spice things up with dirty talk, phone sex and erotic literature or stories.
  • Include a sex toy for your partner in the next care package you put together.

Remember, communication and consent are essential for any intimate activities, and both partners should feel comfortable and respected throughout.

How to Deal with Intimacy Issues in Long-Distance Relationships

Intimacy issues in a long-distance relationship are very common. The moment you lose interest in your partner, the intimate connection tends to fade and the relationship starts falling apart. Overcoming the biggest challenges in a long-distance relationship over a video chat takes commitment, cooperation and even more effort than in a regular relationship.

While a lack of physical intimacy can be challenging, remember that intimacy encompasses more than just sex. Here are some tips, ideas and strategies to increase intimacy despite the distance:

  • Improve your communication.
  • Talk openly about your feelings and concerns.
  • Talk about your physical interactions in the past and express anticipation for future moments of physical closeness.
  • Plan surprises, send flirtatious texts, and use video calls to connect on a more personal level.
  • Frequent visits will allow you to maintain physical intimacy.
  • Talking about your feelings, and sharing your thoughts and ideas are the things that build trust and make your long-distance relationship stronger.
  • Increase physical intimacy by visiting each other more often.
  • Take time to listen to your partner and hear what they want to share with you.
  • If you have any doubts or insecurities, share them with your long-distance partner.
  • If you find that your long-distance relationship has become a struggle rather than an enjoyment, talk to your partner and reassess your long-distance relationship.
  • Listen to your long-distance partner. It’s 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.

Improving your physical intimacy in your long-distance relationship will require a plan of your next meeting. 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 a long-distance relationship, clear communication is essential for you to stay emotionally connected with your partner.

If you don’t take the time to learn how to communicate effectively, you risk having unnecessary misunderstandings. These misunderstandings can lead to issues that can strain your relationship.

Knowing how to express yourself and listen to your partner will help you build intimacy and create a long-distance relationship that’s based on harmony and understanding.

Remember that every relationship is unique, and it’s important to adapt these strategies to your specific circumstances and the comfort levels of both partners.


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.

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.

While physical contact depends on seeing your partner in person, emotional connection is something you can work on and improve, so you can stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship, even during physical separation.

To maintain physical intimacy in a long-distance relationship, you should be able to visit each other regularly and frequently. 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.

A lack of physical intimacy is a problem in a long-distance relationship. So, having a plan and an idea for when you will move in together is essential. Until you can move past the physical separation, try spending quality time together over a video chat where you can have a virtual date night and talk about things that are close to your heart. And, don’t forget to include some dirty talk and phone sex.

Take a look at some common problems in long-distance relationships, so you can avoid them and learn to deal with the ones you are facing right now.

For a hands-on approach to addressing issues and making your long-distance relationship work, check out these workbooks.

For personalised help for your unique relationship, get in touch or book a coaching session.

Frequently Asked Questions about Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

What does it mean to be intimate in a long-distance relationship?

Being intimate in a long-distance relationship means fostering a strong emotional connection. It involves open communication, sharing feelings, and building trust despite physical distance. It’s about staying close by being emotionally present and supportive in each other’s lives.

Is Intimacy Important in a Long-Distance Relationship? 

Absolutely, intimacy holds great importance in a long-distance relationship. It serves as the emotional glue that keeps the connection strong despite the physical gap. Intimacy fosters understanding, trust, and emotional support, all of which are crucial for maintaining a healthy and fulfilling relationship, even when miles apart.

How to Increase Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?

To enhance intimacy in a long-distance relationship, prioritize open conversations, engage in shared activities like virtual dates, and surprise each other with thoughtful gestures. Regular communication and quality time go a long way in strengthening your connection despite the distance.

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 physical proximity is not always possible, spiritual closeness is the only way for us to feel connected in a long-distance relationship.

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.

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

Intimacy in a long-distance relationship can be fostered through open and honest communication, sharing your thoughts and feelings, having meaningful conversations, and engaging in virtual date nights. Surprising each other with thoughtful gestures, sending handwritten letters, and expressing your love through words and actions help maintain the closeness.

Is intimacy necessary in a long-distance relationship?

Yes, intimacy is crucial in a long-distance relationship. It helps build and maintain the emotional connection that keeps the relationship strong despite the physical distance. Intimacy provides reassurance, understanding, and a sense of togetherness that helps couples navigate the challenges of being apart.

How to seduce my long-distance partner?

Seduction in a long-distance relationship is more about creating emotional closeness than physical presence. Send flirtatious texts, engage in intimate conversations, and share your desires openly. Use video calls to maintain eye contact and engage in playful discussions. Remember, finding creative ways to develop emotional intimacy is the key to keeping the spark alive.

How do you cuddle in a long-distance relationship?

While physical cuddling isn’t possible, you can create a virtual sense of closeness. During video calls, both of you can lie down comfortably and talk, mimicking the sensation of being together. You can also share stories of past cuddling experiences, enhancing emotional intimacy.

How do you know if he loves you in a long-distance relationship?

Signs of love in a long-distance relationship include consistent communication, showing genuine interest in your life, planning future visits, and making efforts to maintain emotional intimacy. Regular expressions of affection, support during challenging times, and mutual trust are all indicators of love.

How long can a couple go without intimacy?

The duration a couple can go without intimacy varies depending on individual preferences and circumstances. While physical intimacy is important, emotional intimacy can bridge the gap. Open communication about needs, desires, and expectations is essential to maintain a healthy balance.

How often should long-distance couples see each other?

The frequency of visits for long-distance couples depends on factors like schedules, finances, and distance. It’s important to find a schedule that works for both partners. Regular visits, even if they’re not too frequent, can help maintain the emotional connection and provide cherished in-person moments.

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