The Importance Of Touch In A Relationship

Any one that has read our book probably knows that one of the books we recommend and has helped in our relationships is the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If you have not read the book you can order it here.

You also probably know that I am aware of the love languages of each of my wives, and in fact most of my children as well. And if you were really observant you would realize that my primary love language is “Physical Touch.”

However, even if that is not your primary love language, it is a universal love language and one whose importance is often lost.  I am a great observer of body language and I often notice the language of couples. I once met the parents of a young man courting my daughter and was struck how they did not touch each other once during their interaction with each other.  Many couples, especially men turn to sex for their touch and they miss the importance of touch.Joe with an his daily affection with his kids

Psychologist Sidney Jourard conducted a study on touch by watching couples dining out in various countries and simply counted how often they touched each other over an hour. He found couples on average in Mexico City were touching each other 185 times, while the traditional love capital of Paris had couples touching each other 115 times during dinner.  The other extreme were couples in London who did not touch each other at all and in Gainesville, Florida it was barely improved at twice an hour.

Obviously America is not a touch culture. Polygamous culture is probably barely better. It is interesting that when I was growing up it was common for people to greet each other at social gatherings with a handshake.  Now it seems that everyone hugs.  Even I as a physical touch person find it somewhat unsettling when someone I don’t know well comes up as I offer out a hand and they are leaning forward for the awkward side hug.

Yet there is a reason for this.  I think at their core humans crave physical touch.  Cetainly when it comes to our close relationships it is a key to a healthy relationship.  I routinely make sure I touch each of my children every day.  Most of the time that is simply a hug, but often, especially with the teenage boys it can just be some kind of warm embrace on the shoulder or the dad rough rub on the head, though they routinely hug me as well.  It conveys warmth and affection and gives reassurance and security. It also gives me keys to how their day was and if further touch or closeness is needed.

In my intimate personal relationships it is essential for a good sex life and a healthy relationship. Touch is the best way to connect to your mate. Non sexual touch is essential in building trust and intimacy.  Often I think men too often turn to sex instead of a warm embrace or a tender caress to connect to their women.

For a good relationship touch your partner every day affectionately. Do it even when you are “not in the mood.” Many wonder how I “satisfy” so many women.  I find those who ask such comments shallow in their inquiry. A relationship does not always have to be about sexual intercourse to have sexual intimacy. I touch each of my wives many times throughout the day.  Touch will help your partner feel more attractive, more cherished, and more importantly, emotionally connected to you. The Mexican couples did not engage in 185 passionate kisses over dinner. Rather, a gentle touch on the arm or a stroke of the hair conveys the message that “I desire you”.

If I am on a single date with one of my wives, we always sit side by side for example. I see many wives sit across from each other, leaving the table to serve as some emotional divide.  The next time you touch without any expectation of getting back it will surprise you at the way it melts your partners heart, or the way your children respond with acceptance and joy.  I don’t know what I would do without my daily doses of affection.

This entry was posted in Book Recommends, Children, Parenting, Polygamy, Relationships & Sex. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Importance Of Touch In A Relationship

  1. Levi says:

    I couldn’t agree more. After spending a year in Costa Rica it became obvious to me that a great deal of their good-natured relaxed society stems from the fact that touch is an inherent part of their society. Women are always greeted with a kiss, and adults will still walk hand in hand, or arm in arm with their parents. Here in Germany it is, of course, quite the opposite, and the best one can hope for outside of close relationships is a handshake. Still, it is not because they don’t like contact… I believe they actually crave it even more. I have a client here who is a crusty old woman, always has a sharp word and a criticism for everyone, and yet she absolutely adores me. I know why, although I don’t think she does: it’s because every time I see her I make a point of making physical contact with her, even if it is just placing an extra hand on her forearm while shaking her hand. Hey, when are you going to send us a copy of your book so we can get it translated?

  2. Benjamin says:

    Thank you for this post Joe!
    Appreciate your insight and experiential knowledge.

  3. I could not agree more. I have friends who tease me because I am almost always have some form of physical contact with M when we are together. I believe I crave the physical connection that goes far beyond sex. For me if I have had a bad day, or am going through a stressful situation a simple touch from M can instantly calm me. I cannot explain it, because in former relationships I was a non-touch person but with M, it is not uncomfortable or odd, but just something that is a part of our relationship.

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