The final love language, “physical touch”, while last, is far from the least. In fact, there is no least when speaking about love languages. While everyone has a primary love language, many have secondary and even tertiary languages.
Physical Touch is Love Language # 5
The love language of physical touch is, at its simplest, just that…physical touch. These people are the “touchy feely” type. They want to hug, they speak in terms of how things feel.
Now physical touch is quite simply a form of communicating that is tantamount within loving relationships. Without physical touch in the form of hugs, kisses, caresses and the like, love would be a wholly different animal indeed.
But for those whose love language is physical touch it goes deeper. Without they actually will begin to feel unloved, unappreciated and generally unhappy.
Touching Can Communicate Love, Hate and Everything in Between
Touch is in itself a way to communicate, and for those that speak the language of touch, it is the most profound method of communication.
It’s all too simple to convey the wrong message with the wrong kind of touch, and touching needs to be sincere, for falsities can literally be felt almost immediately.
What’s more is that even though this may seem like the simplest of languages, it’s actually one of the most complicated. Every person is different, and every dialect of touch is subtly different as well.
In fact, this can become something very intimate even in unintimate settings. In short, this is something that requires constant vigilance and a willingness to talk to your partner about what they like, and don’t like.
Watch their body language and their reactions, but most importantly, talk to them! Get comfortable, no matter how awkward it feels at first, with asking questions about how you touch them. Get used to the idea of having communication and even experimental sessions because it’s possible that your partner isn’t even that aware of what they do, and do not like.
Just Because You Like It Doesn’t Mean Your Partner Will
It’s a common misconception that just because you like a form of touching, that your partner will. Now perhaps it’s a good starting point, a manner of educated guessing that can get things rolling, but you need to be aware of, and respect when you find out they don’t like a form of touching.
The reason for this is mainly because if you touch anyone in a way they don’t like to be touched, then disinterest is the best you can hope for, but many times it will actually evoke a feeling of irritation.
In a person that speaks the love language of physical touch, that’s disastrous! Thinking about this in terms of spoken language, it’s the touching way of saying something like, “screw you” or something else that is offensive!
The point is that it does NOT fill their love bank, in fact it can actually result in a withdrawal. Do it enough, and they’ll be looking for a new “banking partner”.
Touching Takes on Many Forms
There are countless forms of touching. Here are a few:
- Holding hands
- A single simple touch to accentuate a point
There are types of touching that are casual, and can almost happen unconsciously. For instance, if you are telling a story, and you want to accentuate a point, reaching out and touching your mate gently with the tip of your finger on their shoulder creates a connection not only with the story, but with you.
There are other types of touching that take your full attention. One of these types of touching is a back rub. I can tell you from experience that if you are not giving your full attention to someone that speaks the love language of physical touch during a backrub, that it will lack meaning to them and become more of an annoyance than a benefit between you.
Just sitting next to each other with your legs or feet touching is meaningful to these people. Walking and brushing your arm against theirs. Dancing is another form of touching that can be fun, provocative, intimate, and all of the above.
Times of Crisis Demand Touching
For anyone in a time of crisis touching is important. For those that speak the language of physical touching it’s imperative. If you don’t engage in some form of touching, even if it’s peripheral, they will remember you as “not being there”.
That is something you don’t want, and touching will help not only them but you. It’s natural that after many years of being together, especially if you are both aware of the other’s love languages (either implicitly or explicitly) that you’ll start to take on the other’s language.
This is because as you practice your lover’s language, you’ll gain a better appreciation for their love dialect. Just like when you learn a foreign language that you become proficient in, you’ll appreciate and begin to enjoy the idiosyncrasies of the language, and you’ll speak it with ease.
Sex is Important
If you’re going to talk about the language of physical touch in the context of romantic relationships, you have to touch on sex because it is the world-class of touches.
For someone that speaks the love language of physical touch, this is the tour de force of touching. If you are a man that loves a woman that speaks physical touch, you probably don’t worry too much about sexual rejection because likely, she’s always ready and willing!
If you are a woman that loves a man that speaks physical touch, you better get ready because it’s going to be a thing!
Sex is the most intimate form of touching, and for those that speak touch, it’s almost everything. They think about it constantly (when not depressed or angry). They are the experimenters, it helps them achieve a level of closeness only available through intercourse.
Your job as the partner, is to embrace it without becoming a slave to it. Be willing to try new things, and be willing to try often. Read some books on the subject, there are some good ones out there.
Some Specifics and Examples on How to Speak the Love Language of Physical Touch
As we’ve discussed touch can be a complicated thing to become proficient at. The wrong touch will be rejected with heat at time, and worse, silently. I say worse because if you aren’t keenly aware of the subtle nuances of your partner’s body language, you may not even know you are annoying them.
As you are walking somewhere, reach out and take your partners hand.
When you are among people (relatives, parents, friends) touch your partner. Brush their arm, or put your arm around their shoulders. Rub their back gently (not like a massage). Caress the back of their head (don’t mess up their hair).
When you are helping them make dinner, yes that’s important and sexy no matter what language you speak, when you pass behind them, touch them on the shoulder or put your hand on their back, you know, to let them know you’re behind them.
If you open the car door for your wife, take her hand as she enters or exits the vehicle.
If you’re watching a movie, put your hand on your partner’s leg.
If you happen to be passing by, give your partner a peck on the cheek as you go.
If you are leaving the house, even if it’s just to pop to the store, give your partner a hug.
Better yet, take your partner in your arms and plant a kiss on them, a real one not one of those “sterile pecks”. It doesn’t always have to be passionate, but it should be sometimes. Follow it up by saying something, in mock seriousness like, “I’ll be counting the minutes until we’re reunited”.
When you come back home, make it a point to seek them out and tell them “hello” and that “you missed them”. Follow this up by a cheek caress, or another hug.
The point is simple, come up with excuses to touch them!
Touching Without Touching
That’s probably confusing you a bit, but really, it’s just a play on words.
People that speak the love language of physical touch are tactile in nature about everything.
So, think about things that are soft, or delightfully textured:
- A cashmere sweater
- Ultra-soft leggings
- Soap or lotion that softens the skin
- Cups that have smooth ridges or polished bumps
- Pillows, sheets, comforters
That’s a point I should stress; know your partner’s sizes. His shirt sizes, her bra size, his shoe size, her dress size, and so on.
Know their tastes in color, because that’s important too.
If you are separated by distance, or even if you’re not, sending or leaving notes in places is much more preferred to someone that touches as their primary language. In other words, favor the printed form of communication over electronic.
Sure, a text saying that you love someone is nice, but finding a note expressing the same thing in your lunch box, or her coffee cup is way nicer!
Embroidered messages on throw pillows, T-shirts, or other wearable type items often seem to be enjoyed by those who speak touch.
Get clever, start thinking, I know you can do it!
Love Languages are Asexual
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that a love language is more masculine or feminine. Don’t do this!
Often physical touch is associated with the feminine, but you’d be mistaken if you let that be your reality! There are MANY men that speak the language of physical touch as well. Never make the mistake of thinking a love language is explicitly a girl’s or a guy’s language only.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this explanation of the love language, acts of service.
The Other Love Languages:
For an even more in depth discussion about love languages, I encourage you to check out the book, “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts”.
What’s your love language? You can tell me about it in the comments below.
If your love language is physical touch, what could that special person in your life do for you that would be most meaningful to you? Let me know in the comments.
If you have any questions or comments of any kind, use the comment form below to let me know, I’d love to hear from you!