2. Become an oversharer.
The most important thing you can do to build intimacy while you’re apart is talk. Talk about your day, and ask about your partner’s. Talk about the details, however unimportant you think they seem.
3. Video chat . . . daily.
Even those with the busiest of schedules can make time for a quick video chat each day. Being able to see one another daily, even for five minutes, goes a long way toward developing intimacy. The consistent visual connections build familiarity and confidence in knowing one another.
4. Send photos often.
Taking photos throughout your day, and sending them instantly is a quick and easy way to share your daily experiences. It also adds to the transparency of your daily life, which is a key factor in keeping trust alive.
5. Always be willing to learn.
No matter how much you try to build intimacy, living apart means there will likely be things about your partner that you don’t know. Whether it’s his new favorite beer or her latest work drama, there’s often something you yet to hear about. Recognize this, and try not to let it overpower how much you do know. Try your best not to get jealous of the people who are in your partner’s daily life — people who may know more of the details.
6. Respect the importance of making an effort.
Long-distance relationships often require more effort from each partner to keep the relationship healthy. You’ll have to make time for each other when you’re busy, talk when you don’t feel like talking, and spend time and money on travel. Recognizing this and respecting its importance will make for a healthier, more intimate relationship.
7. Set an intimacy goal for each visit.
To make the best of the time you do spend together, take time to plan an “intimacy goal” for each visit. One weekend might be all about staying in bed to develop physical intimacy. Another might be about showing your partner the details of your everyday routine. The next visit might be about meeting local friends. When you design your visits with an intent to increase intimacy, the visits will likely feel much more fulfilling, and bring you much closer than they would otherwise.
Instead of trying to forget about the physical intimacy you can’t have while you’re apart, fantasize about it. Let your mind create stories that you can share with your partner, and consider acting them out next time you meet.
9. Start the countdown.
When you make the choice to pursue the relationship long-distance, decide how long you’d be able to live apart. Envision your future living together, and create a plan to get there. Take measurable steps along the way and stick to the plan.
10. Enjoy your personal time.
Instead of focusing on how much you want to share every moment with your partner, appreciate the personal time you have while the two of you are apart. Do the things that make you happy, and tell your partner about them. The happier and more comfortable you are as a person, the better you’ll be able to communicate with your partner, and the more intimate your relationship will be.