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Of all the five love languages, physical touch is undoubtedly the most difficult to manage in a long-distance relationship.
How can you overcome the challenges of speaking the physical touch love language in a long-distance relationship? A little bit of effort and creativity, plus a lot of prayer.
Since physical touch is my husband’s primary love language, I used a lot of trial and error to learn how to love him well while we were dating at a distance. Here are five proven ways you can speak the physical touch love language to your long-distance boyfriend.
1. Give him a stuffed animal of significance
One of our most powerful emotional experiences as a dating couple happened when I gave my boyfriend my stuffed koala. This bear is one of my most cherished possessions, and giving him away was no small sacrifice.
If you have a beloved stuffed animal from your childhood, you can read more about how I presented Koala to my boyfriend to learn ideas for giving yours.
2. Make him a cozy blanket or winter hat
Physical touch people often adore soft objects. Anything fluffy, fuzzy, and comfy will bring them sheer delight — especially if you made it.
Tie blankets are one super easy gift to make for your boyfriend. If you’re more skilled at crafting than me, you could also knit him a hat or a sweater.
3. Choose one distinct perfume scent
Scents are powerful triggers of memories and emotions. The smell of your perfume or lotion can remind your boyfriend of the feeling of sitting next to you when you’re apart.
But in order to create this association, you need to choose one distinct scent and wear it every time you see each other. I love Bath & Body Works for this reason. You can buy mist, lotion, shower gel and more all in the same scent. I like to think wearing them all at the same time (without overdoing it, of course) maximizes the impact. 🙂
If you do this, a small bottle of your favorite lotion will be a great gift for your long-distance boyfriend. You can also soak a notecard in your perfume and mail it.
4. Prioritize visits during difficult times
My husband was in a minor car accident while we were long-distance dating. He was perfectly okay, but his vehicle was totaled and he was discouraged.
Although I’d only be in town for less than 24 hours, I made the journey there to support him. I knew my physical presence would communicate my concern for him better than any phone call, so I made the trip a priority.
5. Embrace him immediately when you reunite
Sometimes, I forgot how important regular physical touch was to my boyfriend because we rarely saw each other.
After starting several visits off on the wrong foot, I realized that the first few moments we were together were a crucial opportunity to speak my boyfriend’s love language, particularly through hugs.
Even if you’re in a public setting like a family gathering, you can still make a point to sit near him and hold his hand.
6. Encourage his friends to give him hugs
One of my greatest “love language fails” was asking a ton of my boyfriend’s friends to write him a note for his birthday. From my Words of Affirmation point of view, this seemed like the perfect surprise.
But while he appreciated the thought, I should have told everyone to give him a hug. Their embrace would have been an enormous encouragement on a day when he especially missed me.
7. Don’t remain distant any longer than necessary
You’ll never be fully satisfied with your ability to love someone with a physical touch love language from a distance. This frustration simply reflects the reality that relationships aren’t designed to be long-distance forever.
While distance may keep you apart for a season, it’s important to consider the future and prayerfully pursue Christ’s desires for your relationship. If you’re wondering if moving to the same city before getting married is a wise next step, I encourage you to ask yourself these 11 questions before moving.
Keeping love languages in mind is valuable, but it isn’t everything. The most reliable way to help your boyfriend feel loved is by encouraging him to seek God’s presence more than yours.
God is “ever-present” and “near to the brokenhearted” (Psalm 46:1, 34:18). Only He can truly provide your boyfriend with the love he needs. Remember that as you seek to care for him as a witness of God’s love.