Updated: Sep 8
During Covid, many more relationships have turned into long distance relationships. If you’re not sheltering in place with your partner, you could be living in the same town, but still effectively have a long distance relationship. In this post, we’ll give you four tips for how to make long distance relationship more intimate.
Denmark to California
We have very personal experience with long distance relationship because when we first met, Christian was living in Denmark and Sonika was living in California. For approximately two and a half years, 9 hours time difference, 8500 miles and a 11 hour flight separated us.
We were challenged like a lot of people are being challenged nowadays. How do you keep your intimate connection alive when you can’t see each other, touch each other, kiss each other, talk whenever, sit down for a meal together, or make love together?
Admittedly, it was sometimes really hard not being able to see each other in person. But the upside of that issue is that while we were apart we got really good at staying in touch and still building our relationship, and this was even before the time of FaceTime. We only had landlines and email, so there’s definitely hope for you.
We had to get creative about how we connected and kept our relationship progressing. In this article, we’ll four ideas for what you can do to keep building a nourishing intimate relationship with your partner even when you’re not together.
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#1 Intimate Communication
The point here is to “drop down”, to take your communication to deeper levels that merely checking in about what you did during the day (although that’s wonderful, too). Share how much you miss each other, share about the pain of being separated, and about the love you have for each other. Share what you’re afraid of, what you’re worried about, as well as what you dream of and what you’re accomplishing in life. Go deeper than the logistics of your daily life.
Here’s a tip that might sounds a little counterintuitive when we’re talking about intimate communication. These days, we might default to communicating through Skype or FaceTime so we can see each other. Try once in a while to turn the video off, and only listen. The vast majority of the stimulation your brain takes in comes through your visual sense. So when you remove visual input, you enhance your sense of hearing and your imagination. Try using earphones, so your get your partner’s voice directly into your ear. This creates a soothing, intimate, sensual sensation. If you close your eyes while you listen to your partner’s voice and imagine their touch, it’s as if he or she is right there with you.
#2 Touch Points
This is a great tip for any relationship, but it’s even more crucial for long distance relationships. You want to create touch points throughout the day, throughout the week as an ongoing practice. With today’s technology, it’s pretty easy to create a touch point. A touch point can be a simple as a text or WhatsApp message that says, “Hey baby, I’m thinking about you” or “Good morning”. If you’re in different time zones like we were, you can make sure your beloved wakes up to a message.
There are any number of ways that we can let the other person know we’re thinking about them. Send images, videos, songs, shared social media posts. When you’re in a physical relationship, think about how many times you brush up against each other, give each a kiss, sit down next each other. When you live together, there are a lot of touch points built into your day (although many live-in couples forget to make touch points too, as they begin to take their love for granted). When you’re living apart, touch points are the day-to-day life blood of your long distance intimacy.
Watch the YouTube video of this post with Sonika & Christian
#3 Moment by Moment Relationship.
When you’re in a long distance relationship, you most likely have no idea what your future looks like. This was true for us too. Sonika wasn’t’ leaving her kids in California, and Christian had no intention of leaving his home country and family in Denmark.
With this built-in uncertainty, you might find yourself using a lot of mental bandwidth with questions like, “Are we ever going to be together?” “Where are we going to live?” “What’s going to happen?” “Am I wasting my time on this relationship?” “How am I going to make a living if I move to be together with him/her?”
It’s natural to want to answer those questions and they can be an important part of your discussions about the future. But when you start to obsess about them, it totally takes you out of the moment and makes it impossible to enjoy the intimacy you do share.
We find it much better to practice moment-by-moment relationship, and trust that if you keep liking each other and you keep wanting to move forward, these questions will be answered in due time.
For example, if we had tried to answer the question of where to live in the first six months of our long distance relationship, the answer would have been, “that’s not happening, we might as well give up now”. So we practiced moment-by-moment relationship, and did our very best to grow our relationship now, and now, and now. The only future decisions we made were if we wanted to see each other one more time, and how to make that one time happen.
So when you find the future-questions crowding your mental space, let yourself enjoy the intimacy you do share, relish the times you do see each other, and then share your thoughts with your partner (back to #1 above).
#4: Get Creative
Because there’s so much you can’t do in a long distance relationship, you definitely have to get creative. Here are some of our ideas for how to do that.
Write each other a love letter that serves to remind you both of your love for each other, your commitment, and your connection. Especially during times you’re feeling really insecure because you haven’t seen each other for a while, or if you’re starting to have doubts or fears creep in, then you read pull out your partner’s love letter to re-anchor you back into what you know. It’s like go-to love letter you can pull out again and again. And you can of course also write each other more than one love letter, so you’ll have a sampling:-)
Set up coffee or tea dates over zoom or Skype.
Make meals together. Set the table with candles and the device you use for Zoom, and have candle light dinner together.
Listen to the same song together before bed.
Watch the same together and keep a Zoom line open so you can laugh or cry at the same moments in the movie.
Synchronize your breathing. This is a great way to slow down, de-stress, and get into quick connection. Just sit quietly for a few minutes while you breathe in sync.
Read a book together and share about it as you go along.
Have virtual sex and love making. Make sure you’re using secure lines, obviously. Or do what we did before Zoom … just a phone line, your partner’s voice, your own hands, and your vivid imagination.
Cook together. Come up with a new recipe you want to try and both of you cook it in your respective places
Find a song that you can both sing with each other, like long distance karaoke session over FaceTime
These are just some ideas we put under the heading of getting creative. The practices we’ve shared with you here is to support you to really make the most out of this time. Long distance relationship is challenging, but it’s also a unique opportunity to develop your relationship. We got really good at it, and still do this day, when we hear each other’s voices on the phone, we both have a surge of sweetness from the days when we connected by phone. Because we were apart for so long we are still so grateful that we get to live together and sleep in the same bed.
LoveWorks: We believe relationships are meant to be an empowering, fun, passionate, safe place to grow, love, and learn. Where we get to be more of who we are, not less. We know it’s not always easy, but it can definitely be easier! With our unique and practical approach to relationship, you learn how to resolve conflicts quickly and enjoy fulfilling intimacy for the rest of your life. To learn more or contact us, visit www.loveworkssolution.com.