According to the best-selling book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts there are five different ways in which people like to give and receive affection towards their loved ones. Problems arise in relationships when we don’t realize that people have these different ways of giving love. One person may feel unloved if their partner doesn’t tell them explicitly about their feelings every day while another could never hear “I love you” but be totally blissful as long as they spend hours together watching Netflix every week. If you or your partner’s love language is touch, here are some things to keep in mind.
1. There is no feeling as good as the steady, quiet reassurance of frequent tender touches from your loved one. Whether you are at home watching a movie together, at a family event, or at some mundane place like the grocery store their touch always affirms their feelings for you and your happiness in the relationship.
2. It’s not just about sex. Sure, sex is a big part of the physical touch in a relationship — but what your partner might crave the most is the casual touch that happens outside the bedroom. If you want to make them feel secure and happy and express how you feel about them, you should hold their hand when you walk together, rub their shoulders while they’re working at their computer after a long day, caress their arm while you drive somewhere. Sexual touch in a relationship is a given, but casual touch is not.
3. You partner’s needs are simple. Of all the love languages, touch is the most primal. It supersedes language and symbolic gestures.
4. The best way to end an argument is with a hug.
5. A few things you should do for your partner every day: hug them, caress them, kiss them, hold their hand.
6. The best way to end each work day is with an embrace. When your partner walks into the door from a long day at work, take a minute to hug them and welcome them home. Make a thorough transition from a stressful, sterile work environment to a loving home by showing them in their own language that they are appreciated and cared for.
7. Never, ever withhold affection to someone you care about. Is there a worse way to be rejected than someone you care about recoiling from your touch? This is something that will deeply hurt your partner, and something that will be hard for them to forget.
8. If your partner is irritable, offer them a back rub. You’ve heard the expression ‘hangry’ for when people start acting angrily because they haven’t eaten enough but it works with our other needs too. When we aren’t getting what we need, we get crabby. If you know your partner’s love language is touch and they’re running a bit hot for no reason, ask them if they’d like to relax for a few minutes while you work out the knots in their back. Often by the time you’re finished their bad attitude will have melted away.
9. We need to be kissed. Like really kissed. Often in long term relationships making out falls off the menu. Sex is more exciting, and pecks are more practical. But especially for someone whose love language is touch, deep kissing is what keeps the spark alive.
10. Sex is never just sex. For a partner who craves touch, sex is the ultimate time to check-in on the status of your relationship. Are they the one always initiating? Are they primarily doing all the touching? If you were only able to use touch, would they be able to understand how you felt about them? Take advantage of the easiest time to let your partner know you love them and fill your sex sessions with little loving caresses and touches that make them feel connected to you.
11. If you want to be the best boyfriend/girlfriend ever, learn the art of massage.