Touch is one of our five senses and a vitally important one. It is an excellent means of communication. Most of us, at times, avoid affectionate touch yet most of us have a hunger for it. We begin our lives being held and touched by those who care for us. Contact with another's skin provides warmth and heat as well as touch and it makes us feel loved. The skin absorbs the infrared rays of the other person during touch. This is essential to our health.
Babies in orphanages during World War II were fed and diapered but not held. They died from the lack of touch even though all other needs were provided. As parents we often kiss our child's injury to make it well. This is a tradition that confirms the healing power of touch. There is evidence that married men live longer than single men. I suspect this is due to the fact they receive more affectionate touch.
There are many ways to make contact with another person. Though touching is more primary, we also make contact with our eyes and with our words. Here are some things you can do to make contact with your partner:
1. Ask your partner to hug you when you feel the need for this. Don't expect him or her to make the first move or to know when you want this. Also, give affectionate pats, hugs and kisses.
2. Give "verbal hugs" to your partner by saying "I love you" and by commenting on positive feelings you have about him or her.
3. Be sure that you have eye contact with your partner whenever you are talking.
4. Be persistent. Nine year old boys and older often pull away from physical touch because of their mistaken belief that boys aren't supposed to need or want that. Husbands often have a nine year old still inside. Be persistent about touch and your husband may accept more affection. You can touch a shoulder or a hand affectionately. You can give pats on the back. And you can offer a massage at bed time.
We close ourselves off to those we love when we are angry or resentful, when we fear being hurt or simply because the old pattern we learned as children is so strong. When touching is difficult for a couple, counseling may be necessary to heal the anger and hurt and to learn how to become more intimately involved with each other.
“I belong to my lover and his desire is for me.” Song of Songs