Maintaining the "touch" love language with your partner is something that can often become complicated. We explain the five love languages, as well as some tips on how to mindfully practice the love language of physical touch together.
Developed by Gary Chapman in the early 90s, the ‘five love languages’ are the ways in which we like to express and receive our love. Although generally used in to build mindful habits within romantic relationships, Chapman’s love languages can be used for building platonic relationships in a healthy way, also. Generally, there are considered to be five main love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Acts of Service, the Love Language of Gifts and Physical Touch.
The Love Language of Physical Touch
The love language of physical touch, as suggested, refers to expressing love for your partner via physical intimacy both platonically and romantically. If this is your primary love language, you will feel most appreciated by physical signs of affection such as cuddling and kissing. In terms of dating, your ideal date night with your partner is probably any situation in which you can be physically close to one another, such as going to a spa together or out dancing.
However as with everything, it is important to set boundaries in your relationship. Rather than assuming all touch is acceptable, an emphasis must be put on consensual touch only and creating a framework where you and your partner are able to communicate any discomforts or dislikes respectfully and freely.
So now we know what the ‘physical touch’ love language refers to. But how do we practice this in real life? Here are nine ways that you can easily and practically incorporate the touch love language into your relationships.
Make Physical Touch a Thoughtful Priority
As busy as life is nowadays, it can be hard to find time to connect with your partner in everyday life. However, there are practical and mindful ways to make the love language of touch a thoughtful priority. Simply discussing what you and your partner enjoy and how this can be incorporated into your everyday life is a practical way to begin to develop your love language together.
For some, calming back rubs at the end of a stressful day might make them feel loved, while others enjoy a good tickling session. Simply sitting next to each other closely can be a great way to communicate via the love language of touch with someone that isn’t particularly ‘touchy’. It’s important to understand what you partner finds enjoyable, as different forms or touch can feel stressful or even triggering to some people.
What Kind of Touch?
As mentioned before, being mindful and getting consent before any kind of physical gesture is key to building a healthy touch language with your partner. But where should we start after this? Small gestures such as cuddling, holding hands in public and kissing can be a good way to begin your love language journey. The love language of physical touch is not specifically to sexual gestures either, so even simply sitting next to one another or eating dinner together can be mindful ways to maintain physical intimacy.
Dealing with Physical Touch and Long Distances
Maintaining relationships from afar in terms of intimacy can often seem impossible. However, there are many ways to make this distance seem easier. Incorporating video calls into your daily routine or organising virtual dinner dates is a good way to give your partner your full physical attention, as well as to keep your relationship exciting.
Spend Time With Your Partner
Any physical expression of love can’t begin without giving the gift of quality time to your partner. Although this can refer to sex and literal physical touch, going for long drives together, walking together whilst holding hands and watching a film together in bed are also practical, easy ways that you can maintain the touch love language with your partner.
Give Intimacy Related Gifts
Giving intimacy related gifts can be a healthy way to maintain physical touch in your relationship. This can include buying a blanket for two, booking a spa day for you and your partner or other more minimalist gift ideas. Alternatively, if your relationship is a long distance one, sending presents as a physical reminder of you such as a bottle of your favourite fragrance or a plush animal can also be a good idea.
Take Time for Yourself
The relationship between you and your partner is an important part of understanding your love language. However, practicing the love language of touch in a healthy way is equally about you. Learning to take care of yourself with self-care habits such as scheduling a haircut or manicure, sleeping with a weighted blanket, or establishing positive morning affirmations can be mindful ways to maintain a healthy relationship with your physical self as well as your mental health.
Physical Touch and Platonic Relationships
Although the touch love language mainly focuses on romantic partnerships, many of these practical tips can be used in your platonic relationships, also. Arranging trips with your family or cooking together regularly, as well as hugging your children and playing outdoor games with them are mindful, platonic ways that you can practice physical touch outside of romantic relationships.
Go on Dates Related to the Love Language of Touch!
Similarly to the ‘quality time’ love language, many common date ideas can be adapted to be more touch based. Date nights such as spending time outdoors, going to theme parks, cuddling on the beach or planning a picnic date together are all fun ways to try new things as well as practice physical touch with one another.
Keep It Simple
Ultimately, the relationship you have with your partner shouldn’t be a source of stress. If you find that any of these recommendations are becoming a hindrance to you and your partner’s communication, feel free to regroup and discuss what you enjoy and why. Simple acts of touch can be just as meaningful as grand gestures, anyway.
Did you know that expressing love through consensual touch isn’t only part of the framework of the five love languages, but also has its place in the idea of the seven love languages? Learn more: What Are the 7 Love Languages and What Do They Mean?
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