One of the first things my husband and I did in marriage therapy was discover our primary “love languages.” The idea comes from the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. I’m not going to go through all of the love languages here because there are a lot of other people who have already done that much better than I could. Feel free to check out the link and the book because I do think it is useful information.
Back to my point… During our counseling session I discovered that my husband’s primary love language is Words of Affirmation followed by Physical Touch. It wasn’t exactly a revelation to me. The marriage counselor explained the 5 love languages first, then asked us to guess at what our spouse’s primary and secondary love languages were. Surprisingly, I got his primary and secondary love language right and he got my love languages (Quality Time and Acts of Service) right. Physical Touch doesn’t rank at the top of my list, but when I look the Love Languages quiz I found that it is my #3 love language.
Over the past couple of days I have seen a few things about the importance of touch. Today I thought I would share some of my thoughts on why touch is so important to a relationship. Several people on the forum have posted about some of the things their marriage lost even before they knew about their spouse’s affair. Physical touch was one of the first things to go. By physical touch I don’t just mean sexual encounters, but every type of intimate touch – from holding hands to hugs and kisses.
Those are the types of physical touch that mean the most to me. It is part of the comfort of being in a relationship. Knowing that I can come home after a long day and have my husband wrap me in his arms makes me feel loved and safe. I still find it incredibly romantic when we hold hands in the car or walking down the street. Simply sitting next to each other so that our bodies are touching while we watch TV or a movie is strangely intimate. I also love it when he runs his hands through my hair or rubs his nose against mine (an act we call “snuzzling”).
I think that a lot of couples forget the simple pleasure of kissing and “making out” away from the context of sex. Our lips are one of the most sensitive areas on our bodies. There is a good reason that we feel a rush the first time we kiss someone. Physical touch increases the hormone oxytocin and makes couples feel closer. Kisses can also convey many different emotions, so you can truly understand what the other person is thinking. There is the sweet and sensitive kiss, the affectionate peck, the kiss hello and goodbye, and those oh-so-passionate, I-want-you-NOW kisses.
Small touches and kisses can definitely turn into something much more. Touching can help you find that little flicker. Then you can increase that little flicker until it becomes a burning flame. My skin still tingles when my husband runs his fingers down my arm. And don’t get me started on his massages! Not only does a good foot massage melt away the stress of the day, it also makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Those tingles I was talking about earlier? They migrate to all the right places. It reminds me of the song Bubbly by Colbie Caillat.
I firmly believe that connecting physically allows couples to reconnect emotionally, too. It is easy to get distracted by all of the craziness in the world – by your job, responsibilities, bills, kids (for those that have them), and all of the mundane tasks of the day (dishes, laundry, paperwork, grocery shopping, and the list goes on…). Touching helps you remember what attracted you to your partner in the first place. It can bring back those butterflies in your stomach even years into a relationship. For all of those reasons, I am going to make physical touch more of a priority every day.
- The 5 Love Languages (yankeegalscafe.com)
- Collision Of The Senses: Touch (theothersideofinfidelity.wordpress.com)
- …She’d Enjoy Public Displays of Affection (myidealwoman.wordpress.com)
- Love Language: Communicate Your Love Effectively (kickasswife.com)