From the time we leave the womb, humans respond to physical touch. We are designed to need it; to crave it. Indeed, our mental and physical health actually suffers without it. On the other hand, it can heal us. Who hasn’t at some point felt comforted by the touch of someone we love? It’s a powerful force in our lives.
Some people are uncomfortable touching and being touched. Others are uncomfortable without it. I fall into the latter category. I have always been very comfortable with expressing my feelings through touch—often to my parents’ dismay when I was a teenager! I was reading an article the other day about how teenagers of the current generation are “embracing” (pun intended!) the concept of hugging. The article proposed that perhaps it was a result of the constant “impersonal” communication via text, chat, IM and email; an attempt to balance the lack of physical contact in most of their everyday interactions. Perhaps; it makes sense to me.
I know that both in my marriage and out of it, touch is one of the things that was most difficult for me to do without. Even now, it is touch that I miss even more than sex. The warmth and comfort of having someone next to you, or making contact as you go about your everyday life—that is the part I miss most. Those touches build intimacy in a relationship just as much as the act of intercourse, if not more so. Couples may spend years having sex, and never have real intimacy with each other. Conversely, there have been times in my life when I feel so intimately connected with someone that I can practically read his mind, without any actual sex.
I admit I’m a hopeless romantic. No matter how many times I’m hurt, I’ll probably never really give up the idea that someone somewhere will love me one day. I think and dream about sex; as we all do. Some men bring it out in me more than others! But just as often, I dream of being close to someone, and having him hold me and touch me and kiss me. It makes me happy. It heals my hurts, and eases my stress. It makes me feel alive. And I am so ready to live again!