I quietly worked in the kitchen making dinner for my family. Quickly moving from counter to counter. His hand is placed gently on the small of my back. The tension in my back releases just enough for a deep breath as his touch sent a chill up my spine.
Touching. In my opinion, the single most craved and powerful action a person can take. Touching, in a moment can take someone to their knees. It can catch you breathless for a moment. In a 2021 article by Allison Hope in the New York Times, Allison highlights some simple and standard touches that can stand out in a relationship. Intimacy and sex do not always have to be the end game when you use touch.
Allison goes on to highlight the different needs between partners. Touching is one of those love languages and each partner has a different need for touching. “Touch is a form of intimacy distinct from sex, with its own set of rules that can threaten to undo romantic entanglements.” Relationships, in general, are a lot of work, like flowers they need water and nourishment, and putting sex aside, touching can be a critical part of that nourishment.
Through these past pandemic years, it’s been increasingly difficult to mentally and physically satisfy each other. Lack of affection and touching can have devastating effects. Dr. Tiffany Field of the University of Miami School of Medicine at the Touch Research Institute explains. That lack of touch can dig us deeper into a feeling of depression, exclusion, and also affect our physical health. A single touch can be so impactful, not only to us mentally and intimately but to our physical wellbeing. Don’t discount the power of touch.
As my partner and I battle through shift work, busy schedules, kids, and all the other curve balls that life has to offer us it has been easy to forget how to “get it started.” It’s pretty simple – TOUCH. Reach out and touch your partner.
Here are three touches that we enjoy to help you get started. Try it out if you’re feeling lonely or struggling to get things going
- Holding hands. I recently read an article about a dying parent with his son. They had been estranged for years and as he visited, what was likely to be their last visit, he struggled to touch his father’s hand. Upon finally getting the courage to touch his hand he described the action of their hands interlocking as “opening the once closed door to our relationship.” Holding hands and interlocking your hands opens your mind and body to receive the signals that the touch is sending.
- Gentle and subtle touching as you pass by each other. There are times in our house that we are all moving about the house at lightning speed. Setting the table, doing homework, prepping for the evening activities, etc. It’s easy to get lost in those moments thinking and planning for the next activity, but this is a great time, as you pass your partner to gently touch their arm or rub their back as you pass. For that brief moment, you are taken out of your mission and a place of stress and given a moment to feel love and take a deep breath.
- Short embracing. By the end of the evening, I’m spent. I’ve got nothing left in me and some nights, I can’t even muster up the energy to think about sex. That’s OK. It’s been a long day, you are winding down into relaxation and preparing your mind and body for the next day, but this is also a wonderful time to share a short and powerful embrace. We enjoy nothing more than a hug from behind as we finish up the dishes. Sneak up on your partner, throw your arms around their waist, put your head on their back and just embrace that moment. You can hear their heartbeat and it takes you out of the “on the go” moment and gives your mind the chance to release.
Days are long and our bodies can fatigue at a pretty fast pace sometimes. Let the touching do the work sometimes. Let the touching send the signals to your partner. Let the touching free your mind for even just a moment. And, let the touching help to get things going when the time is right for you. Never forget the power of just a single touch.
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