People tend to recognize the importance of physical touch when it comes to babies and children. Infants are held much of the time. Many cultures place babies in a sling so they can be held close to their parent all the time. Children are given hugs and kisses regularly. However, many people underestimate the importance of physical touch in a romantic relationship.
Touch can be used for good or bad. People who experience physical or sexual abuse may suffer from emotional trauma as a result of how significant that touch was. When touch is used in a good way, it can an equally powerful, positive effect.
Physical touch does not always have to be sexual. Instead, it can include holding hands, giving a hug, or back massage. Think about how much you and your partner touch each other. Was it more often when you dated? Or when you first got married? Has it dwindled over the years?
Physical touch can be a great way to affirm to your partner, your love, and your commitment. Sometimes in a relationship, one person appreciates physical contact more than the other person. This can cause some feelings of rejection if the other partner does not want to hold hands in public or sit close together on the couch.
Talk to your partner about what he or she likes. Be willing to offer a back massage or give a foot rub. Have your partner communicate what feels good and what doesn’t. Experiment with other things such as a hand massage or neck rub too. Usually people who don’t necessarily appreciate cuddling or holding hands can appreciate a good massage.
Increasing your physical affection toward one another can increase the intimacy within the marriage. Learning what your partner likes and being willing to provide that can be a very loving act. For example, a massage on a day when you feel tired shows your ability and willingness to put your partner’s needs first. Or if you don’t particularly like holding hands, but your partner does, be willing to do so sometimes.