As someone who's been in a serious long-distance relationship, I can attest to the fact that when it comes to emotional intimacy things are very different from relationships that aren't long distance. For starters, communication and the ability to do it clearly and effectively is absolutely essential, as is trusting your partner without hesitation or suspicion. In other words, establishing intimacy in a long-distance relationship is quite a bit harder than in a relationship where the partners get to see each other on a regular basis.
"The level of connectedness for a long distance relationship must rival that of those couples who have the luxury of being together," bestselling author and relationship expert, Susan Winter, tells Bustle. "Long-distance couples must work double duty to make sure they're sensitive to their partner’s needs. They understand that speaking to each other is a harder task to accomplish. They must learn to anticipate each other’s needs in advance."
In some ways, couples in a successful LDR are more in touch with each other, emotionally and mentally, than those who don't have to do the long distance thing, because the physical distance sort of forces them to communicate more. But, no matter how you slice it, being in a long-distance relationship presents a whole new set of challenges and because of that, emotional intimacy looks different.