THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES ARE:
1) Words of Affirmation – covered in my blog here!
2) Quality Time – covered in my blog here!
3) Receiving Gifts – covered in my blog here!
4) Physical Touch
5) Acts of Service
If these 5 love languages are new to you, don’t worry! First, I encourage you and your partner to discover your own love languages by taking the quiz here: https://www.5lovelanguages.com/quizzes/ After that, stay tuned! Over the next few months, I will be doing a blog to highlight one of the 5 love languages with tips on how to apply it to your relationship.
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I hope you all have been finding my Love Language series helpful and inspiring so far! In today’s blog, I will discuss the fourth love language – physical touch.
Physical touch is a powerful love language. I want to crush a common misconception right at the start: it doesn’t always mean sexual intimacy! It can also look like walking together hand-in-hand, a back rub after a hard day, or snuggling. It is knowing when your partner needs a loving touch at the right place, at the right moment.
As I’ve mentioned in earlier blogs, it is important to share your love language with your partner and learn about theirs. This is especially true when it comes to physical touch. Not all are comfortable with being touched, and this may cause conflict! What if physical touch doesn’t come naturally for you? The important thing to remember when you are struggling to use a Love Language that means something to your partner is that you are not doing it for you… you are doing it for them. This love language is easy for those who use it and hard for those who don’t, because for the latter, it will feel very awkward. This is all about building new habits, which makes physical touch a “practice makes perfect” type of love language.
TIPS TO SUCCEED AT PHYSICAL TOUCH:
Incorporate Appropriate Touch and Intimate Touch.
It is very important to point this out because both types of touches are needed at different times. As I mentioned before, physical touch isn’t just about the sexual aspect, but more about closeness and contact. A brief touch on the arm/shoulder as you walk past each other, kisses hello and goodbye, holding hands… those who “speak” physical touch will feel very loved from touches big and small.
Know When to Touch.
Limiting your physical contact to only when you are alone may give off the impression that you don’t love your partner enough, or are not proud enough of your relationship, to show it in front of others. Demonstrating love through physical touch when other people are present really takes it to the next level. If you are at a gathering, determine what type of touch is appropriate (i.e. holding hands, arm around waist, quick kisses) and do it.
Incorporate it into Your Routine.
Whether you grew up in a family that wasn’t physically affectionate or physical contact is uncomfortable to you, there are many reasons this love language can be challenging for some, and therefore, it will not come naturally. The best way to achieve feeling comfortable with physical touch is to practice it. Be mindful, incorporate it as much as possible, and build it into a habit. For example: I come from a big, typical Filipino family where it is customary to greet everyone with hugs and kisses as soon as you walk in the door. This is completely opposite from my husband’s traditional Vietnamese family, where a smile and general greeting to the entire room will suffice. At first, it took a lot of gentle reminding for my husband to participate in something that didn’t come naturally to him, but after years of practice, he’s much more comfortable and it has become routine. The same can happen for you!
Give Amy Wine Counseling Center a call at 832-421-8714 if you have questions about our therapeutic services or would like to schedule an appointment.