Can Relationships Work Without Physical Touch? – Research and Insights

Human beings are wired to crave physical touch and intimacy in relationships. It's one of the primary ways we express love, affection, and passion for someone. However, in today's world, it's not always possible for people to be physically together all the time. Long-distance relationships, busy work schedules, and even global pandemics can make physical touch and intimacy challenging or impossible. While it's true that a relationship can technically survive without physical touch, the question remains – can it really thrive? There are many different factors to consider, including the emotional and mental needs of each partner, their communication styles, and their overall compatibility. In this essay, we'll explore the concept of relationships without physical touch and examine the different ways couples can strive to maintain a healthy and fulfilling connection, no matter the circumstances they may face.

Is Physical Touch Important in a Relationship?

Oxytocin fosters feelings of attachment and closeness between individuals. In a romantic relationship, physical contact helps individuals express their affection and deepen their emotions towards one another. A lack of physical touch can strain the relationship over time as the absence of oxytocin production can create feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Physical touch isn’t limited to romantic relationships, it’s also important in familial relationships. A parents touch can provide a child with feelings of comfort and safety. The ability to express physical affection in a family unit helps to cement strong bonds between family members.

Sexual touch in a romantic relationship is particularly important as it fosters intimacy and strengthens the bond between partners. The act of sexual touch is crucial for the release of oxytocin and is a way for couples to communicate their passion and desire for one another. A partner who consistently denies sexual touch may foster tension within the relationship as the rejected partner may feel a lack of affection and desire.

Physical touch has long-term health benefits as well. Research shows that individuals who’ve high oxytocin levels due to physical touch experience lower blood pressure, have decreased levels of stress hormones, and have balanced immune systems. Individuals who experience a lack of physical touch may not experience the same health benefits, leading to decreased overall physical health in the long-term.

The power of touch goes beyond language and provides individuals with feelings of comfort, safety, and belonging. Therefore, it’s essential that individuals prioritize physical touch to strengthen their relationships and improve their overall health.

Physical touch is an important aspect of romantic relationships, where partners express affection, intimacy, and emotional connection. However, the belief that love solely depends on physical touch can be limiting and fails to acknowledge the many ways that people can show love to their partners. As we explore the significance of touch and how it affects relationships, it’s important to remember that there are different love languages, and physical touch is just one of them.

Does Love Need Physical Touch?

Physical touch is an important aspect of any romantic relationship as it helps create a deeper emotional connection between partners. When we touch another person, there’s a chemical reaction that occurs in our bodies that produces feelings of love and trust. This is why hugging, holding hands, and kissing can help to strengthen the bond between two people in a romantic relationship.

However, physical touch isn’t the only way to show love and affection. Words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, and gifts can also be used to demonstrate love for your partner. It’s important to remember that everyone has different love languages, and what works for one person may not work for another.

In some cases, physical touch may not be possible due to distance or physical limitations. In these situations, couples can still maintain emotional intimacy by finding alternative ways to connect, such as video chats, phone calls or sending letters. It’s important to make the effort to connect emotionally and maintain the connection even if physical touch isnt possible.

It’s crucial to establish boundaries and communicate openly with your partner about what feels comfortable and what doesnt.

Partners should always aim to communicate their affection in a way that feels comfortable and consensual for both parties, whether through touch or other means. Ultimately, the most important thing is to always prioritize open communication and emotional intimacy.

Source: The Physical Touch Love Language Explained – Verywell Mind

Now that we’ve established what a platonic relationship is, it’s worth exploring the benefits and challenges that come with it. Building a strong, long-lasting connection with someone without any physical touch can be incredibly rewarding, but it also requires communication, mutual respect, and a clear understanding of each other’s boundaries and expectations. Let’s take a closer look at what goes into cultivating a successful platonic relationship.

What Do You Call a Relationship Without Physical Touch?

Platonic relationships have been around since human beings started building connections with each other. However, it can be challenging to understand and maintain this type of relationship in todays society, where physical intimacy and sex have become such an integral part of romantic relationships. Nonetheless, platonic relationships can be immensely rewarding and provide a sense of comfort, support, and understanding.

It’s a bond that goes beyond physical attraction, and it’s foundation is built on shared interests, experiences, and values. These relationships are highly cherished, and those who experience them frequently describe them as having a quality of a soulmate, without the sexual component.

Moreover, these relationships provide a different perspective on love and can help people build strong and lasting bonds.

They offer a unique and special bond that’s based on deep understanding and affection. Whether between two friends or siblings, the desire for physical intimacy doesn’t have to be a defining factor of a relationship. Instead, through trust, honesty, and vulnerability, individuals can form emotional connections that last a lifetime. It’s a testament to the power of love and it’s ability to connect people on a deeper level.

Maintaining a satisfying and healthy relationship requires effort and understanding from both partners. While being in a relationship without intimacy may seem feasible, it can take a toll on the bond you share. In the next section, we shed light on some reasons why intimacy is crucial in relationships and offer tips to improve it.

Is It OK to Be in a Relationship Without Intimacy?

While physical intimacy is an important component in any romantic relationship, it isn’t necessary for maintaining a healthy partnership. It’s always important to remember that every individual and every relationship is unique, and one size doesn’t fit all. Whether you’re comfortable with limited or no physical intimacy in your relationship, or you’re looking to improve it, it’s essential to acknowledge and communicate your needs.

However, a lack of intimacy can take a toll on the emotional well-being of both partners. The partner who’s less intimate may feel unappreciated, unloved and unwanted, while the other partner may feel frustrated, rejected and resentful. This lack of physical connection can also lead to emotional distance and a loss of intimacy in other areas of the relationship. It’s important to recognize the parameters of your comfort levels and be willing to communicate and find a way that works for both parties.

If your relationship is lacking physical intimacy, then it might be time to reassess your expectations and communicate your needs. The communication process may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s an essential skill in building a healthy, long-lasting relationship. You can make an effort to introduce more small physical gestures like a hug, holding hands, or a kiss on the forehead as these small gestures can help maintain that physical connection and communicate love and affection. It’s important to understand that intimacy doesn’t always have to mean sex.

Seeking professional help can also aid in bridging the gap and improving intimacy in the relationship. A professional counsellor can help both partners navigate and understand their feelings, communicate effectively and build a customized plan to improve intimacy.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual and each couple to decide what works best for them, and to work together to find a solution that makes everyone happy.

On the surface, physical intimacy might seem like just one aspect of a relationship, but in reality, it plays a crucial role in keeping that relationship healthy and fulfilling. When there’s a lack of physical intimacy, it can have a profound impact on both partners, causing everything from self-esteem issues to emotional distance. In this article, we’ll explore what happens when physical intimacy starts to fade in a relationship and how to address the problem.

What Happens When There Is a Lack of Physical Intimacy in a Relationship?

You may start to question whether you’re still desirable or physically appealing. The constant questioning can lead to insecurities and low self-confidence, which can have a negative impact on your mental health and overall well-being. It’s important to address these concerns and communicate with your partner to understand the root cause of the issue.

Strained Relationship The lack of physical intimacy in a relationship can lead to a strained and unhealthy dynamic between partners. Often these feelings can lead to arguments and disagreements that are ultimately harmful to the relationship. This can cause a lot of tension between partners, making it difficult to be emotionally connected. It’s essential to address the issue and seek professional help if necessary.

Infidelity Issues When there’s a lack of physical intimacy, it can lead to seeking intimacy outside of the relationship. This can lead to infidelity issues since people start looking for the love and attention they aren’t getting from their partner. The lack of physical activity in the relationship can push one partner to explore physical options with others, causing a lot of emotional pain and betrayal for their partner.

Health Risks Lack of physical intimacy in a relationship can affect both partners health. Many studies have shown that regular physical intimacy can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Communication Issues The lack of physical intimacy can lead to communication issues between partners. Different hormonal changes resulting from sexual activity leads to a positive mood, relaxation, and relieving stress.

The Impact of Technology and Social Media on Physical Intimacy in Relationships

  • The use of social media can lead to decreased face-to-face communication in relationships.
  • Technology can be a distraction during intimacy, leading to less connection and satisfaction.
  • Studies have shown that excessive social media use can lead to decreased levels of happiness and relationship satisfaction.
  • Technology can also contribute to more long-distance relationships and reliance on virtual communication.
  • However, technology can also provide new opportunities for communication and connection in relationships.
  • Couples can use technology to stay in touch and share intimate moments, even when physically apart.


Furthermore, physical touch is a crucial component of human connection and is necessary for the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes bonding and trust between individuals. However, with the advancement of technology, virtual intimacy and communication have become more accessible, providing an alternative means of fostering intimacy in a relationship. Ultimately, whether or not a relationship can work without physical touch depends on the needs and preferences of the individuals involved, but it requires effort, communication, and openness to explore different ways of connecting emotionally and physically.