Getting In “Touch” With Your Partner
At Emi, some of our favorite challenges focus on touch. Whether it’s a kiss or a hug, small moments of connection are vital to both our physical and emotional connection, and not just from a psychological perspective. Research shows that simple acts of physical touch cause a physiological response, including releasing oxytocin, a hormone associated with trust and love.
Perhaps the best thing about these small moments of physical connection is that they take only a few seconds, but their impact on your relationship is cumulative. So whether you’re holding hands or cuddling on the couch, one of the best ways to strengthen your connection is by getting back in “touch” with your partner.
The Oxytocin Impact
As mentioned above, physical touch releases oxytocin — but oxytocin isn’t your average hormone. Emotionally and physiologically, it facilitates some of the most important moments in our lives, such as during birth and nursing, while in our romantic relationships oxytocin increases empathy and faithfulness and reinforces positive memories. It’s even behind those moments when you find yourself gazing intently at your partner. It’s the ultimate love hormone, and it works together with serotonin and dopamine to create an overall sense of happiness and well-being.
Have You Got The Touch?
Even if touch isn’t one of your prime love languages, finding ways to integrate physical contact into your daily life is important to your relationship’s health. You can do this in any number of ways, including:
- Hold Hands: We often associate holding hands with young love; I know that I certainly held hands with my wife much more often when we first met than I do now. But why have we let go in the intervening years? Next time you’re out or even just sitting at dinner together, reach for your partner’s hand.
- Give A Backrub: Is your partner feeling stressed? A backrub could be just what they need. Not only can a gentle massage help resolve muscle tension, but they’re also a great way to foster emotional intimacy. You can even enhance the massage with aromatherapy oils, for a multi-sensory experience.
- Get Closer: Whether you’re watching a movie together or both on the couch reading, take some time to get closer to your partner. Plus, spending a little time cozied up together is one of Emi’s daily activity prompts, if you need an extra push.
It’s All Communication
If you’re hesitant about adding more touch to your relationship because you think it will feel forced or it’s just not your preferred way to connect, remember, at its core, touch is communication. In fact, it’s our first language, how we connect before we can speak, and it often reemerges in times of extreme stress — a hand on the arm when someone is upset, a hug, a reassuring touch on the shoulder. We communicate through body language as much or more than through speech, and that enables other types of closeness and intimacy.
Many relationship experts say that people in the strongest relationships touch every day, but you don’t have to start there. Emi has the tools you need to slowly integrate different kinds of physical contact into your relationship. Sign up today to learn more about our relationship reminders or expand your current Emi experience with our daily touch challenge. It can take a moment to get into the habit, but once you make touch a central part of your relationship, you’ll feel the physical and emotional difference.