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.