Intimacy Issues in a Long-Distance Relationship

If you’re in a long-distance relationship, you know that intimacy issues are part of your relationship.

Intimacy issues in a long-distance relationship are quite common. There are two kinds of intimacy: emotional intimacy and physical intimacy. The main intimacy issues in a long-distance relationship include lack of physical intimacy, no intimacy, and fear of intimacy, among others.

Let’s explore each of these issues in a little more detail and see what you can do to fix them.

Losing Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

Some couples try to maintain their long-distance relationship for years.

Some people don’t have a strong sex drive and don’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 having a physical connection with your romantic partner, there might be underlying issues.

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.

So when you start losing emotional intimacy, that’s the start of the end of your long-distance relationship.

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 why 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.

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

A long-distance relationship that is missing intimacy isn’t worth having. Either find a way to build intimacy or breakup and move on.

Lack of Physical Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

Physical intimacy is an issue because you can only be physically close when you visit each other. Many couples go for weeks without seeing each other. Having a romantic relationship where you cannot be physically intimate with your partner isn’t healthy.

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.

When you do not have enough physical intimacy in your long-distance relationship, the solution can be more frequent visits. If it’s emotional intimacy that you’re lacking, maybe 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 find a way forward that works for both of you.

It’s not always the case that you have the means to see each other as often as you want while in the long-distance relationship. But it doesn’t mean that you should 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.

A Lack of Physical Intimacy Results in Sexual Frustration

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.

One way to manage your needs for physical intimacy is to regularly visit each other. This workbook will help you prepare for your visits and make the most of your time together:

Visiting In A Long-Distance Relationship - WORKBOOK

Lack of Emotional Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship

A lack of emotional intimacy is what really ends a relationship.

A lack of emotional intimacy results in:

  • Losing interest
  • Growing apart
  • Emotional cheating

Issues with emotional intimacy in a long-distance relationship include:

While you can manage an emotional connection for some period, with time, it becomes increasingly difficult.

Cheating in a long-distance relationship can be a manifestation of an absence of physical intimacy or a lack of emotional intimacy.

Being away from your partner means that neither of yours physical/sexual needs will be satisfied. One way to manage this is by talking openly and honestly about all your feelings and desires. Once you get it out in the open, it will allow both of you get on the same page and together you can make the best decisions that work for both of you. For this to happen you need to have an amazing communication skills and the ability to bring up the sensitive topics. Since it is not always an easy task, this workbook can help you a lot in getting comfortable to talk about different things. It is also a guide that will help you have important conversations, so you can feel emotionally connected:

Improve communication in your long-distance relationship - WORKBOOK

What Causes a Lack of Intimacy in a Long-Distance Relationship?

Reasons for lack of physical intimacy:

  • no money to visit
  • no time to visit
  • no willingness to travel

Reasons for lack of emotional intimacy:

  • infrequent communication
  • communication breakdown
  • lack of understanding

Fear of intimacy can also be a reason for lack of physical or emotional intimacy in a long-distance relationship.

Intimacy is a 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 history of your own.

Nobody comes into a relationship completely free from their past. 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 speak to your partner about it. The only way you can sort out your intimacy issues is by facing them.

How to Fix Intimacy Problems in a Long-Distance Relationship?

How to Fix Problems With Physical Intimacy

  • visit each other frequently
  • make trips together
  • go on fun holidays

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 help you. A long-distance relationship is a teamwork. So help each other and love each other.

If a lack of physical intimacy is threatening your relationship, reconsider your relationship. Find a way to move in together or have a break from your relationship. There’s always an option of an open long-distance relationship, although it’s not for everyone.

How to Fix Problems With Emotional Intimacy

  • work on your communication
  • Share your feelings
  • talk about the future of your relationship

You can maintain emotional intimacy with your long-distance partner through trust and effective communication. Maintaining physical intimacy is not as easy and can lead to many problems in your relationship.


Couples in a long-distance relationship face many issues with emotional and physical intimacy.

When you are away from your partner for a long time, your feelings may change, and you may start drifting apart. The lack of physical intimacy can lead to sexual frustration, which will negatively impact your relationship and your personal lives.

To maintain a healthy long-distance relationship, you need to handle intimacy issues if and when they arise. The best way to do it is by having a plan and a timeline for how long your long-distance relationship will last and when you will be able to move in together.

When you have a plan, you will have the reassurance knowing the next time you will see each other and ultimately, when you will be living together. Having regular communication without talking too much is also important to maintain an emotional connection, without creating unnecessary problems.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I improve my intimacy in a long-distance relationship?

You can improve intimacy by working on your communication. Trust and understanding are cornerstones for a healthy relationship. The way you demonstrate it is through clear and open communication. You know you are in a healthy long-distance relationship when you feel free to express your thoughts and feelings without the fear that your partner will judge you.

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

You can maintain emotional intimacy in a long-distance relationship by having regular communication. Avoid excessive communication, as it can lead to boring conversations, and you may lose interest in your relationship. To maintain physical intimacy, you need to schedule regular visits and go on spontaneous trips together.

Is distance an issue in a relationship?

The distance can be an issue in a romantic relationship if you don’t have the means to overcome this distance. If you can see each other regularly, then the distance is less of an issue. If you don’t have the means to see each other as often as you would like, after a few months you might find yourself struggling in a long-distance relationship while having sexual frustration which will penetrate other aspects of your life.

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

To stay emotionally connected in a long-distance relationship, you need to agree on how often you talk to each other. Talking too little can cause you to drift apart. Talking too much can lead to boring conversations and take away from doing something interesting and exciting with your life. Trust and understanding are essential components of making a long-distance relationship work and maintaining emotional connection.

How to make love in a long-distance relationship?

You can only make love in the long-distance relationship when you visit each other or go on trips together. You can maintain a physical connection by sending each other handwritten letters, gifts, and care packages. You can also play with each other online. But none of these replaces physical closeness, which is an essential part of a romantic relationship.

How to handle a long-distance relationship sexually?

While in a long-distance relationship, you can do things like sexting and have virtual sex over phone calls and video calls. If you are a visual person, video calls will work better for you. If you are an auditory person, sex calls will do just fine. Sexting will keep your long-distance partner excited throughout the day. While this can work for a short period, to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship long-term, you need to visit each other regularly and plan spontaneous fun trips together.

How to show love in a long-distance relationship?

In a long-distance relationship, you can show love by sending an occasional text message saying how much you love your partner and let them know you are thinking of them. Gifts and care packages are a fun way to give your partner something tangible, something physical that they can associate with you. One of the most romantic ways to express your love is by sending your partner a handwritten letter telling them how you feel about them and how much they contribute to your life.


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