Understanding each other’s love languages has helped many couples feel more connected in their relationship. But what do you do if you know each other’s love languages but can’t do anything about them? What do you do if you’re in a long-distance relationship when your love language is physical touch?
If you’re not familiar with love languages, they’re five ways that people give and receive love: quality time, words of affirmation acts of service, gift-giving, and physical touch. Most of the time, your partner’s love language won’t be the same as yours. That is why talking about them can be so beneficial to your relationship.
It goes without saying that fulfilling someone’s need for physical touch isn’t that simple for long-distance couples. Being hundreds or even thousands of miles apart makes doing things like holding hands and cuddling impossible.
So are you destined to feel unloved and deprived for the duration of your LDR?
While I don’t have a magical solution for being able to hold your partner’s hand through your laptop or teleport to each other when you want to feel loved, I do have a few solutions to hold you over until you see your partner next.
They’re not the perfect answer for your need for physical touch.
But they’re your next best bet for a (hopefully?) temporary situation.
1. Borrow your partner’s hoodie until the next time you see them.
You might not be able to hold your partner, but at the very least, you can wear their clothes. The feel of their favorite hoodie against your skin could make you feel close to them during those hard times when the distance feels like too much.
Have your partner pick a piece of clothing and ask them to wear it for a few days here and there (with regular hygiene in mind, of course). Don’t have them wash it, so the scent of them lingers on the fabric. Then, either grab it the next time you see your partner or have them mail it to you.
That way, you’ll have something to wear or cuddle that reminds you of them.
2. Video chat more than texting and calling
Sure, you can’t talk in person but at least seeing your partner’s face will make you feel a bit closer to them. While texting and phone calls are more convenient, you’re going to be happier communicating in a way that’s closest to actually being together in the same place.
That’s why I love video calls. It’s the closest thing you can get to hanging out with your partner. Not to mention it’s great for clear and honest communication. Make it a daily or weekly thing, depending on what works for you.
3. Mail each other a note with your scent on it.
Whether it’s their perfume, deodorant, cologne, or special laundry detergent they use, have your partner physically mail you a note with their scent on it. It’ll elicit memories of all the times you were together with them.
And while it might not be the same as touching your partner, smelling them is still a sensory experience that can help you feel connected. You may even consider sending your partner a note with your scent, too. Just putting together a loving gift like that may help you feel closer to them.
4. Incorporate movement into your next Zoom call.
Zoom calls don’t have to be boring.
Let me repeat that: Zoom calls don’t have to be boring. They don’t always to be the same!
In fact, you’re going to make your LDR harder if you don’t find creative ways to incorporate newness into your video calls. So why not try physical movement?
If you recently started doing yoga, that could be a perfect activity for both of you to do together on a video call. If video games are more your thing, connect online for a gaming date. Heck, you could even paint together. The possibilities for zoom dates with movement to them are endless.
5. Talk about Physical Touch more.
There’s nothing wrong with missing being able to hug your partner. So you shouldn’t have to hide that. Let your partner know how much you value hearing them speak about touching you. Talk about how you can’t wait to hold and cuddle with each other once you’re together again.
Words might not be the perfect substitute, but they’re a step in the right direction. Plus, you don’t have to feel like you’re secretly harboring all this sadness about not being physically together.
6. Send a soft gift to each other.
As someone whose love language is physical touch, you most likely feel comforted by textures and feelings beyond just your partner. Discuss with your partner the idea of sporadically sending each other soft or fuzzy gifts. These could be the perfect way to feel cared for and fulfill a bit of your need for touch.
A stuffed animal works perfectly for this tip, and so do blankets, clothes, and anything meaningful to you. As a bonus, you can spray your scent (like perfume or cologne) onto the item, as I mentioned before!
7. Try an Emotional Wearable.
The world of long-distance relationships has come a long way since simple letters in the mail. Nowadays, there are entire companies devoted to making long-distance relationships more bearable for couples.
Some of the most exciting gadgets out there are the ones that try to solve the lack of physical touch in an LDR. You can buy lamps that change colors when one of you touches them. There are rings you can both wear to feel each other’s heartbeat. You can even try a bracelet like Bond Touch that uses vibrations to mimic your partner’s touch.
While it might feel like physical touch is the unluckiest love language to have in a long-distance relationship, don’t let yourself feel totally down.
There are still ways for the two of you to connect that have to do with touch that come as close as humanly possible.
With a bit of communication, planning, and creativity, you can feel a little more comforted in a relationship where distance is inevitable.