Is physical touch your husband’s love language, but you’re struggling to find ways to increase touch in your marriage beyond the obvious? If so, check out these ideas for some awesome new ways to make him feel loved.
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Physical touch is so much more than simply being affectionate. According to Gary Chapman, author of The 5 love languages: The secret to love that lasts, it’s one of the five love languages and as such, plays a super important part in your relationship.
Whether your relationship is flourishing or failing, Dr. Gary Chapman’s proven approach to showing and receiving love through the five love languages will help you experience deeper and richer levels of intimacy with your partner.
That’s because your love language is both how you show love and feel that you are receiving love.
The other four love languages are:
- quality time
- words of affirmation
- acts of service
- receiving gifts
(Not sure what your love language is? Take the quiz here).
Physical touch has so many benefits beyond the final destination. Touch releases oxytocin, which makes us feel loved and soothed.
Think about it – if you’re a mom, you’ll remember how your touch was the thing that soothed your baby when they cried or hurt themselves, how they’d seek you out for that physical comfort when they felt emotionally distressed – well, as adults we’re not much different!
And if your love language is physical touch, then you’ll know that the best way for you to fill up your love tank is to physically connect with your partner. That tangible, physical feeling of closeness makes you feel safe and secure.
You might also like: 10 quick ways to connect with your spouse.
However if you don’t “speak” physical touch, you may misinterpret it when your partner wants to get close to you, thinking that light touch on the back of your neck is a one-way ticket to sexy time.
Depending on your mood, that can make you annoyed or ready to go, when neither of those responses are necessarily what was intended.
It’s like something got lost in translation.
Understanding and respecting your partner’s desire for physical touch can transform your responses.
They love touch and touch makes them feel good – so touch them more!
For those of us who speak physical touch, this sounds like a no-brainer, but trust me, if you don’t, doing this instinctively is hard.
I know this for a fact: my first husband was not brought up in a home where physical demonstrations of love were common. As a result, he didn’t find it easy or natural to give me the affection I craved.
It didn’t matter how many times I told him, he just didn’t get how.
I was young and immature and still dealing with my own baggage and as a result, I really believed that he did not care for me the way I cared for him. In fact, I was surprised at how upset he was when I told him I was ending our marriage.
Years later when I came across the love languages book, I suddenly realized what the problem had been all along: it was like I’d been speaking French and he’d been speaking Spanish. No wonder we weren’t connecting.
Because of this experience, I wholeheartedly endorse you knowing and responding to your partner’s love language in order to keep your marriage strong.
Now that’s out of the way, if learning to speak the physical touch love language sounds like something your relationship needs, you’re in luck. Of all the five love languages, physical touch is probably the easiest to do.
Here’s some simple suggestions to get started.
Take the physical touch challenge
So for those of you who may be struggling with the physical touch love language, here’s a challenge.
There are three sections below that deal with incidental touching, at home physical touch and physical touch date ideas.
To increase the amount of physical touch in your relationship, set yourself a goal of trying the following:
- one additional everyday physical touch a day
- one additional at home physical touch a week
- one additional physical touch date a month
Everyday physical touch love language ideas
Everyday physical touches refers to those affectionate actions that you can sneak in on the back of something else.
Like all good habits, it’s a great way to get started, because all you need to remember is the usual behavior that is the cue, and then add some touch on to that.
Remember the rule – increase the amount of physical touch by one every day!
15 ways to increase everyday physical touch
- Wake up a few minutes early, roll over, and lie with your head on his chest
- Wash his back for him when you’re both in the shower
- Kiss him goodbye
- Kiss him hello
- Squeeze his butt when you give him a hug
- Give him a hug from behind when he’s working in the kitchen
- Give him a light touch as you walk past
- Go for a walk and hold hands as you do so
- High five or fist pump when something good happens
- Cuddle up on the couch
- Have him lie with his head in your lap as you’re watching television
- Play with his hair as he’s lying in your lap
- Scratch his back gently
- Hold his hand when you go for long drives
- Sit close enough that your thighs touch when you’re in public
At home physical touch love language examples
At home physical touches are those which require a little more effort but can be done at home. Your goal is to increase the number of these in your marriage by one a week.
These are in rough order from the least sensual to getting down and dirty with it. Be warned – the last five or so on the list are likely to have the same eventual outcome!
15 ways to increase physical touch at home
- Practice a slow dance to your favorite slow song
- Jump in the bath together for a long, relaxing soak
- Play Twister (keep those clothes on though. Let’s be realistic, how can naked twister be a good look?)
- Have him get in the bath by himself and wash his hair
- Try a fun couples workout
- Get him to lie on the couch and give him a foot massage
- Sleep naked and lie spooning each other before you sleep
- Kiss him for at least 10 seconds
- Give him a head massage
- Straddle him when he is sitting on the couch, and kiss him
- Put a towel on the bed, strip down to your underwear, and give him a back massage
- Rub your hands up and down his thighs, until you’re teasing him with your touch
- Sit on top of him then tease him by moving your body over his (clothing optional)
- Make love. Making love once a week is the magic number required for most couples to feel satisfied with their love life (source)
- Channel your inner kid and try a hand clapping challenge
Note that nowhere did I mention tickling on this list.
Tickling is horrible and should be banned.
That is all.
Physical touch love language date ideas
This category refers to dates which have a specific physical touch focus.
Aim to have at least one of these dates a month.
Now a caveat- Some of them don’t involve you giving the physical touch. However many physical touch people love these specific touchy-feely activities.
10 dates focused on physical touch
- Get a couple’s massage. Choose a place which has two therapists so you can be done in the same room
- Get a body scrub. This is an alternative to a massage if you’re feeling a bit sluggish or just in the mood for something different. Again, this works best if you are both in the same room
- Go out for dinner but sit side by side, preferably in a booth
- Go ten pin bowling and take every chance you can to high-five. Add to the excitement by inviting couple friends and making it a double date. That way you and your husband can be on the same team
- Go to an upmarket movie theater with couches instead of seats so you can snuggle up close
- Attend an outdoor concert or theater performance and get cozy on a blanket
- Go to a theme park and grip onto him for dear life as you ride the roller coaster
- Sign up for ballroom dancing lessons
- Create an old fashioned games day and invite your friends to meet you down at the park. As well as those old faves like the sack race, and egg and spoon race, you can get close to your honey in the three legged race, and wheelbarrow race
- Sign up for a pottery wheel throwing class and attempt to re-enact the scene from Ghost
Physical touch is an important aspect of any relationship.
Even if it’s not your primary love language, both you and your partner can benefit from working to increase the level of touch in your marriage.
If it IS you’re spouse’s love language, then you need to show love through touching. There’s no other option!
Set yourself small goals, aiming to increase your amount of physical touch week by week, and watch your relationship satisfaction increase.