10. Touch

In my previous post, I had talked about “touch” being one of my main love languages.  I love being touched by people who know me well.  Hugs are a staple in my interactions with others.  Most of the time when I’ve had a bad day, a good hug is all I need to feel better.  It gives me the sense that everything will work out and that someone is there for me.

However, being single, this can be a challenge.  I currently don’t have someone in my life who is obligated to be physically affectionate with me.  I have days where I crave touch, and only get minimal interaction with others.  Then there is the social appropriateness of touch.  Some people just don’t like to be touched and I don’t want to come across as clingy.  Open up any magazine such as Cosmo or Elle, and women are told that touch is always sexual and flirty.  That men and women can’t touch in a non-sexual way.

I need touch, from both men and women.  It’s easier to get a hug or touch from the same gender, especially in the church, but non-sexual touch from men is very important.  It reinforces that I am beautiful and worthy to be touched.  That I’m not dangerous and that my needs are important as well.  Men hug differently than women do.  Because I’m so tall, when I hug most women, I have to lean down and wrap my arms around them.  However, when I get a good hug from a taller male friend, he may wrap his arms around me.  Being wrapped inside someone’s arms is very comforting and reassuring.

When I was younger, I was strongly discouraged from being too touchy.  It’s been a process learning and embracing that part of who I am and realizing why I struggled with feeling loved when touch wasn’t involved.  Acknowledging that I was created by God this way.  That I show and experience love with touch.  Right now, I’m learning the balance of touch while single and remembering that I am loved even if touch is not involved.  Also, learning how to express my need for touch from others in a healthy way within the appropriate boundaries of relationships.

9. Love Language

Some of you may be familiar with the book “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman.  I honestly have not read it, but I do like the premise behind it.  Knowing how best you relate to one another and how best to show love.  And understanding how you receive love from others.

The love languages listed in the book are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

For the longest time, I knew that one of my main love languages’ is Quality Time.  I love it when someone takes the time to hang out with me, give me a call, and engages with me frequently.  This can be a challenge in a society that tries to schedule people in hour-long slots.  Where you’re running from one activity to another.  I truly delight in spending quality time with those I love.

My other main love language is Physical Touch.  Hugs, affection, someone rubbing my back or arm, all reinforces the feeling of love.  As a single woman, this one of the hardest ones to have.  It is a struggle to be able to express this appropriately and safely some days.  Where others don’t like touch, or that (in my case), your single and you just want to snuggle with someone after a bad day at work.  Touch from someone who cares about me deeply has always affirmed that everything will be ok, and that I am not alone.

I’m still trying to figure out the balance of my love languages and be completely ok with how God has made me.  To be able to express my needs better to others, but also to be honoring and respectful of other’s love languages‘.