Play footsie or hold hands (DW#544)
Feb 21, 2019
When people first get together with their spouses, they find every opportunity to touch each other. (Remember playing footsie under the table or holding hands while watching a movie?)
Couples who have learnt to hack their marriage know that it is vitally important to maintain pleasant and playful touch in their relationship beyond the physically intimate relationship.
Why is touch so important?
Firstly, it is a fundamental human need. Touch is essential for babies’ development for their physical, emotional and eventually social health. In fact, touch is the first of the five senses to develop. The need for positive touch, the connection, and reassurance it can bring is hardwired in us. We now know that touching someone in a loving and positive way releases Oxytocin – a feel good and bonding hormone which results in attachment to the person who causes the release of this hormone within us.
Moreover, to touch someone you love is to acknowledge their presence and to communicate your desire for them. It is to notice them and to want to be close to them. Touch communicates that the other brings a positive presence in our lives and that we are enriched and pleased by being physically close to them.
The good news is that in order for this to work, you don’t always have to feel loving or close to the other in order to touch them. It is perfectly okay to develop a ritual of hugging or kissing at the beginning or end of the day. The reality of married life is that you will not always feel romantic or loving towards your spouse but it is the accumulation of touch that will keep your marriage strong over time.
Need one more reason or motivation to try this marriage hack?
Consider this study which was published in the Personality and Social Psychology Review: couples in the study were asked to either avoid touching, or to touch each other in a "warm, comfortable and positive way" while watching a movie. Afterwards, those who had touched said they were more confident their partner loved them—even when they knew they were being told what to do by the researchers!
So even if you read this in the Daily Wisdom and apply it, it really counts :)
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