Why Touch And Affection Are So Important In A Healthy Relationship

7 steps to bring you closer than ever.

Why Touch Is SO Incredibly Important To The Health Of Your Relationship getty

Touch is one of the most intimate of all actions. It allows you to move into sacred space, creating presence and connection. Although most women love to hear the words, "I love you," touching and affection catapult relationships into true intimacy.

Words are processed in the thinking part of our brains, whereas touch goes directly to our emotional centers. Regular touching of your lover as well as your own beautiful body gets the endorphins flowing, which create a sense of caring and pleasure, plus help to calm the stresses of the day.


Furthermore, touch is the communication of love. It engages the senses for our emotional and physical well-being and pleasure, and is a powerful way to express what we cannot say. And yet, we are a touch-starved society.

RELATED: Hug It Out! The Amazingly Sexy Benefits Of Non-Sexual Touch

A worldwide study done in the 1960s monitored the number of touches couples shared at coffeehouses around the world. The results reveal the drastic cultural differences we apply to skin-on-skin contact. Puerto Ricans got the prize, touching 180 times an hour, while Americans adhered to a strict diet touching only twice within an hour.


Thus began some serious research on the importance of touch, leading to the discovery that the amount of skin-to-skin contact in our lives plays a crucial role in our happiness and vitality.

The act of touching influences our ability to form healthy relationships with other people, to deal with stress and pain, and even to fight off disease. The hunger for touch may manifest as depression, anxiety, irritability, boredom, pain, moodiness as well as make you feel isolated, separate and lonely.

So many women complain that their relationships lack intimacy — much of it arguably because of our touch barriers. We are born with an intense hunger for contact. The emotional development of babies depends on tons of touching and as adults we have a strong need to be held in someone's arms, to hold hands, to be cuddled and caressed.


Yet, most people don't touch as often as they would like. Afraid of being rejected as being needy or vulnerable, they cover their need for intimacy with work, activities, TV, food, drugs and alcohol.

If you want intimacy, it's time to break the touch barriers. And the first step to developing a successful, intimate relationship with your partner is to first build intimacy with yourself.

Exploring every inch of your body will help you get to know what you like and what makes you feel good. Once you've got this down, you can reach out to your partner with confidence to create the closeness you crave.

RELATED: 7 Scientific Reasons Why Showing Affection Is The Most Important Part Of Relationships


With all these fantastic reasons to bring touch into relationships, let's take a look at 7 ways you can incorporate touch into your life.

1. Moisturize

Applying lotion to your body guarantees that all of your skin will be touched and rubbed. For an added calming effect, use an aromatherapy lotion scented with lavender.

2. Hug

Full-body hugging increases closeness, connection, and safety.

3. Kiss

A 20-second kiss will raise his testosterone levels and make you feel closer.

4. Back rubs

Studies show that a daily back rub drastically reduces anxiety and creates positive changes in attitude.

5. Massage

The shoulders, hands and feet create an emotional release when touched. New York-based sex therapist, Mildred Witkin, suggests couples should practice touching in a way that is not explicitly sexual to keep intimacy and playfulness alive.


6. Yoga

This popular fitness trend offers many of the benefits of touch because the poses involve rubbing limb against limb. Some Iyengar yoga classes also include a partnered practice — a great way to get your RDA of touching.

7. Dance

Dance classes are a great way to meet new people, and have your hand and waist held all evening long. Contact your local dance studio for schedules. Touching is your gateway to intimacy, providing a powerful, solid message of care, support, acknowledgment, and love.

RELATED: 10 Things You'll Only Understand If Your Love Language Is 'Touch'


Sherri Nickols is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and relationship/women's empowerment coach.