It’s not a secret, really, though I’m going to make you click to find out more (because I’m cagey like that…)Touch! Touch often, casually and intimately. Touch because you can. Touch because it takes the sting out of harsh words. Touch because it reminds both of you that you’re not alone, you’re in it together, and that eases anxiety. Touch because we can forget to, because we become complacent, because we take each other for granted, because we have busy lives.
Think about it: How many times have you touched your partner in the past 48 hours? Has kissing just become foreplay rather than every day? Do you only touch because it’s the routine (a peck on the way out the door)?
For the next week, touch mindfully, rather than absent-mindedly. Hug for longer than you usually do. Hold hands while you walk. Look for opportunities to be physical. Your relationship will thank you for it.
Touch has a physiological impact. It soothes our nervous systems. It can release chemicals of well-being. And yet, when people are most stressed, they tend to touch their partners the least. It feels like there’s no time for affection, but on the contrary, that’s when you most need it.
It doesn’t have to take long; it can be a momentary connection. But there’s something about physicality that sends important messages surging through us. If we’re only communicating verbally, we’re missing half the story.
When we have kids, there’s often a lot of tactile contact, and maybe that seems to diminish the need for touch with a partner. But that can be detrimental to a romantic relationship. It can signify, really, the death of the romance. There has to be some touch between partners that is distinguished from all the other touch in the world, and it can’t be only sex (though that’s a good one, obviously!)
So on this long July 4th weekend, remember that independence is good, but interdependence is better. Remind yourself and the one you love that you’re there, right there.
Intimate couple photo available from Shutterstock