There are five Love Languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical touch, Acts of Service, and Receiving Gifts. This is the first part in a series where I will look at these love languages, and talk about how to survive long distance for each one. Today I’m focusing on people whose Love Language is Physical Touch - how do you connect with them and show them you care if you're in a Long Distance Relationship (or LDR, for short).
First, I think long distance is hard. There’s no way around that. But most of us at some point in our life will find ourselves in a long distance relationship, whether it be romantic, familial, or even just friends. When things get hard or complicated, or we feel like we’re in way over our heads so many of us turn to the internet for answers.
We want the stories from others who have gone through similar things to see what their experience was like and how they learned to cope.
There’s only one problem.
They aren’t you.
Things suggested in advice posts aren’t tailored to your individual experience, and often miss the mark. And while I can’t give you super-tailored advice, I can give you advice based on you and your long distance loves’ love language.
In this case, I will give you advice if you've recently found out the person you're trying to connect with long distance has Physical Touch as their Love Language.
Are you ready?
3 Tips to Connect with your Long Distance Relationship when their Love Language is Physical Touch
I want to start off by saying I know that it is impossible to physically touch someone who is hundreds of miles away. Luckily there are tons of ways to symbolize physical proximity with your long distance love or relationship even when it’s not possible. There is no perfect solution for this, but there’s lots of ways to show love even when you can’t give your person a hug.
Physical Touch is a love language that people often misconstrue.
It isn’t inherently sexual or romantic in nature, though it certainly can be.
Physical Touch is all about small gestures throughout the day. Small taps, hugs, and other physical reminders that you’re both sharing the day together. There’s a lot of ways to share this both in the technical world and outside of it.
1. If Physical Touch is their Love Language, Tech is your biggest ally.
There are ways to remain in contact with each other over the technical world. We live in a world of remote controls and high speed internet. So keep an eye out for products specifically designed to help bridge the long distance gap.
Jokes and self-publicity aside, there are, of course, tons of products and apps that can stand in place of physical reminders for your long distance love.
2. Comfort Objects are also the best.
Give your LDR a pillow or stuffed animal.
Load that comfort item up with hugs and kisses.
Now they'll have a soft comfort object they can squeeze whenever you need a tactile reminder that they’re loved.
Comfort Objects don’t have to be anything in particular, as long as they're soft and comfortable. Some ideas include, scarves, blankets, slippers, bathrobe, pillow, stuffed animals, or even hoodies. Just something they can grab easily.
3. Communication is the key to any long distance relationship.
If you’re trying to connect to someone whose Love Language is Physical Touch over the distance, communication is everything.
Similar to Quality Time, it’s incredibly hard to balance Physical touch and long distance relationships ((and remember - this can be a long-distance best friend or family member, too).
This is why it’s important to make the time you spend together worth it.
To make the most of the time that you spend together (when you visit, for example), remember that their love language is all about the way small reminders add value to the big moments.
To talk to them about what they need. It’s okay if you need to keep trying new things until you find what works. But I hear little knee taps, head bumps, small squeezes, and soft shoulder checks throughout the day can make you feel seen, heard, understood and loved.
And don’t forget to load up the comfort object with more hugs and kisses before you part ways!