Why Touch Matters so Much in Love

Why Touch Matters so Much in Love


We live in an age increasingly prepared to
see hurtful aspects lurking within many apparently so-called minor situations, and ready to lend
greater public acknowledgement to what had previously been merely private pains. It is
in this context that we should give due recognition to a truly grave hurt that can unfold, within
established relationships, when there is almost no touch left between the parties, when one
partner repeatedly moves to hold the other’s hand, or perhaps caress their shoulder or
waist – and receives no response at all, or a subtle turn away and withdrawal. We’re not talking here of the more obvious
and well-known problem of a lack of sex (though this may be present too), but of the long-term
and arguably equally serious or even greater hurt that can ensue when one partner’s body
as a whole becomes somehow unreceptive to, or uninterested in, the other’s touch. We
know, of course, how much this is awkward on an early date. We’re ready, at a cultural
level, to give due weight to a minor physical rejection when it happens around a potential
new partner. But there is as much loneliness and agony within settled couples around unheld
hands, except that here it feels a great deal more embarrassing and more humiliating even
to raise the issue. Perplexingly, the very person who quietly withdraws their hand or
leaves it agonisingly limp in our own, can also be the one who is named in our will,
with whom we share a mortgage and to whom we have given over our emotional lives. How
devastating to self-confidence an inert hand can be in this situation. Lifeless in ours,
it plays into every anxiety about unacceptability, exploitation and rejection. But precisely
because it is so devastating, it becomes impossibly hard to discuss in any fruitful way. We are
liable either to say nothing at all, or else to express our hurt through bitterness and
sarcasm. We cannot stay long enough with the pain we feel to share it – and try to correct
it – with the partner themselves. We may find it wholly beyond us to develop the authority,
self-belief and legitimacy to say: you didn’t take my hand after dinner, you never touch
me of your own accord – and it is driving me slowly but definitively insane. We don’t
have this kind of offence mapped on our chart of acceptable verbalisable unhappiness, it
doesn’t feel like a toll we have a language for or the right to. And yet, we should, despite our anxieties,
retain the courage and conviction of our feelings. An inert hand or a lack of touch, is truly
as serious a problem as we feel it is. The request to be held and physically acknowledged
is a subject of deep gravity, rooted in our capacity to tolerate and like ourselves. We
should not compound our misery by a sense that we are not allowed to feel or share it.
Then, when we can manage it, we should learn to pick up the partner’s hand with a newfound
confidence and say that the little flinch or inertness we feel when we do so is a huge
problem for us, that what they may blithely dismiss as ‘this touching business’ is
part of why we’re in a relationship in the first place, that it matters as much as anything
else does to us and that if they care at all for us or the continuance of the union, then
they will have to take the pain on board at last. We should have the bravery finally to
know in our hearts that this ‘small’ thing is not small at all: it may be quite simply
integral to how we know we’re loved – and how and when we feel we’re not. Love is a skill that we can learn. Our relationships book calmly guides us with calm and charm through the key issues of relationships. To ensure that success in love need not be a matter of good luck. For more click the link now.

100 Replies to “Why Touch Matters so Much in Love”

  1. If you want to chat more to your fellow School of Life audience members, be sure to download our free app: https://www.theschooloflife.com/london/community/

  2. I once dated a person who refused to give me the physical touch I needed from them, and gaslit me when I finally had the courage to point it out. At the time, I felt like maybe I was overreacting, or in my head. Thank you for this video, it was very reassuring

  3. Address these kind of things when they bother you but remember that people express their love differently and touch might not be of the same importance to your partner as it is to you. It doesnt mean they dont love you.

  4. That was a greaat video! Loved it! Guys I have an internacional whatsapp group with people ALL AROUND THE WORLD where we share our culture, our life, we talk about bunch of stuff, if you are interested on entering it, I'll let the link bellow:

  5. I am suffering from a quite serious human touch deficiency. So I know what this video is talking about, but it's talking from a very one-sided perspective. I have psychological blocks to being able to make and maintain contact both physically and emotionally. It is very difficult for me to initiate or receive contact comfortably because of all the associations in my head with contact and expectations and reactions, and with me being locked up in trauma around all this. I so badly need contact, but if I make contact and don't feel anything, what does it mean to me or the other? And if I make contact but that contact comes with expectations of more or other types of contact that I'm not prepared for, and I don't have good enough boundaries to be able to state my own feelings and needs in that situation and then have to deal with reactivity from a partner who can only see things from their own side, it just reinforces my feelings of unsafety and my tendency to stay shut down emotionally… which is hell, by the way – I don't want to be shut down, but I need contact that is not by demand and that has room for my needs as well as the other's.

    As for a lack of contact in a long-term relationship that once did have contact… there are obviously reasons for that too – there's something going on with the one who doesn't feel comfortable making contact, so try not making it all about you and see if you can actually brave a conversation about it to see what THEY'RE actually feeling. Otherwise don't complain so much about their lack of physical communication if you're not prepared to do the verbal. And yes, I understand that can be hard too. It can be just as hard for some to make physical contact when there is stuff going verbally unexpressed that needs to be shared.

  6. So appropriate to watch this video after a breakup due to lack of touch/intimacy.

    I'm afraid I was asking too much to my supposed ex-girlfriend. I wanted to touch, hug, kiss, you know… basically connect emotionally. She just turned the other way and "only" wanted to be f****d hard. Make no mistake, I love it like any guy.
    During the brief time we were together (around 3 months) she introduced me to her family, friends and asked me to spend NYE with her.
    Still trying to get my head around it for such behavior ?

  7. Black Women who partner with White Men statistically have more fruitful lives – and are more likely to have a father for their children in the home. ♥️?

  8. I wasnt really raised to show my affection through touch or speaking. It was until recently i have dated a girl who saw this and helped me do exactly that! This has changed my life to show people how much i care for them through my actions and words :]

  9. Seeing this constant suffering in the World really makes me look fondly towards my death…

    Getting romantic with a woman has become so fucking hard (and not worth the effort) that even those "little pleasures " that even a common man in the feudal times had are now totally off the table… 🙁 I don't want to be pitted against women on anything really but when such petty issues like opening doors becomes a problem? I mean WTF!?

    Somebody is doing this deliberately and is costing me my happiness with "opposite gender"…

    I miss her resting on my chest…

    fuckin' emotions! 🙁

  10. This is on point, I definitely agree with this. Communication is very essential in every relationship. And I think touching your partner is another way of communication.

  11. This is NOT a problem in South America amigxs!!!! We might not have money or jobs lol but we never deny a hug, a kiss or holding someone's hand!!

  12. An inert hand or lack of touch is truly a serious problem, as we feel it is. The request to be held and physically acknowledged, is a subject of deep gravity rooted in our capacity to tolerate and like ourselves. We should not compound the misery by a sense, that we are not allowed to feel or share it. Then, when we can manage it, we should pick up the partner's hand with a newfound confidence and say that the little flinch or inertness we feel when we do so is huge problem for us, they may be blithely dismiss as 'this touching business' is part of why we're in a relationship in the first place.

  13. This doesn't explain why it is important for us though.. This video tells us it is not nice when whe don't get the reaction we want.

  14. But there are people who simply don't enjoy being touched. You cant simply claim a right to touch someone, even if it is you partner. And insisting on touching you partner, even thou he said it makes him uncomfortable, is rude and ignorant. There are other ways to show that you love someone. The time they give you, the comfort, an open ear, loyalty, gifts of attention…. And maybe there is an issue, a conflict or something, which is often the reason someone does not feel like making this sacrifice of letting someone claim their body by touching them on the waist, holding hands etc. when their needs aren't met, and they don't agree on meeting the other's all the time instead.

    Just an idea….

    I love hugging and touching and cuddling btw, but I'd never demand it.

  15. Ask why they don't feel comfortable with intimacy don't just get uppity and demand it there could be a bigger underlying issue

  16. Yet another very good reason as to why I broke up with my fiancée; the man never touched me. Never. And I don't even mean sexually. I mean that, when we were all over at my sister's place to hear whether she was having a baby boy or girl, and we found out he was a boy–her first boy–and I learned in to kiss my fiancée because I was so happy and excited, he pulled away from me. It really wasn't until then that I finally put two and two together about him being physically repulsed by me. I'm not saying we should have been making out constantly, obviously, but to find your significant other so repugnant is kind of a problem, no?

  17. funny how i saw this in my recommendations after i just finished watching the trailer of ‘five feet apart.’ lol. youtube’s doing a good job.

  18. My partner is forever touching me. Sometimes she bites my arm or leg-leaving bruises! She tells me how much it means to her when I hold her hand in public. And complains when I don't initiate intimacy often enough. Touch is so important in a relationship IMO.

  19. Because people fall out of love and can't admit it. If someone once was touching you and stops it's for a reason. There's attraction and aversion. If you override aversion you get perversion, lol.

  20. Don't ever pressure your partners into touching you if they are uncomfortable with intimacy. Not everyone has the same boundaries, putting yourself in the place of a victim and making your partner the mean one because they do not have the same ease when it comes to touch is a dick move. Very unsmart of School of Life to word it this way.
    Not surprised though, it's not the first time I've seen a SoL video putting guilt on the back of those who have social anxiety.

  21. Most of us in middle age. What's more lonely? Married without any intimacy or touch or single? Nothing worse than to reach out and be shrugged off .Can't even talk about it.

  22. If sincerity is there in a relationship then all will be well enough , lack of sincerity , no emotional bonding , no physical bonding , so basically it's all in sincerity towards your partner ???

  23. What about cultures that have little to no physical contact? I feel like this approach is talking about the western perspective of intimacy but frames it like it applies to all human beings around the world. Especially in the west we need to be more careful about being so ethnocentric.

  24. Could this kind of dissatisfaction also happen in platonic but loving friendship? Sometimes I feel like I am apt to place a hand on a friend’s shoulder from time to time, usually in very happy or sad moments, but they “subtlety recoil”, so I usually don’t try again. I also wonder if it’s just a cultural thing not to physically contact anyone. When I lived in Spain for a few months, my new friends actually described me as the standoffish one with a bubble around me. At home in USA, I feel that I’m sometimes taken as the opposite, too touchy maybe. Has anyone else experienced anything like this feeling?

  25. Having my hand held lovingly makes me happy and warm. I need more hugs, too. (Sigh) Being lovable and worthwhile makes a difference. I made a difference. Where's my Love!?
    (Tears)
    #neverme

  26. If they repel your touch it's time to leave, if you cannot spontaneously touch and their hug is actually more them pushing you away you have become at the most basic level unattractive to that person, forget it, you can't possibly talk if they find your physical presence repulsive, it's sad but it's over, you have become viscerally repugnant.

  27. It use to feel like me and my boo didn’t touch unless we had sex. In the beginning I was all over him then would get the sense that he didn’t wanna be as affectionate so I stopped, felt rejected, and it made my soul hurt. I’ve started saying what was bothering me, and he’s been receptive. I can tell he tries to cuddle with me more, touch me outside of sex. And it’s nice ?

  28. yeah but what is going on with the person who is resisting touch? why does that slight aversion develop? can it be so easily overcome by some brave words from a partner?

  29. My ex-girlfriend of two years and I had this issue; her never returning any physical touch or never wanting it. I told her openly how I felt and tried many times to have a conversation about it, but she shut me down each time. Eventually she dumped me because I was “making her feel guilty about not being physical”. Am I at fault here? Is there anything I can do better in the future, judging from this short description?

  30. i‘m sure i wont get any kind of touches for years now. but its no use thinking about it and being sad.

    i‘ll do anything to push these „you need this and that else your life is worthless“ ideas that come from these kind of videos/informations away, else you‘d just would go mad wouldn‘t you? time to shut those biological scientificall needs to the side and doing the best with what you can have ?

  31. Touch is one of the most powerful ways to communicate. A simple touch can mean so much, emotionally and physically to your love once.

  32. He left and I freaked out at him and am now upset because he never said why he just blocked me. I finally got him to talk to me. And he says how he’ll never come back but he loves me. Yeah that’s bs love is about forgiveness he didn’t even had a particular reason just one more chance. That’s not love but I can’t stop wanting him. I’ve gotten myself in a bad situation.

  33. Touching is an additional tool of the body to express something and is just as important as speaking and that is what humans need to communicate and express themselves!

  34. I was raised in a family where we didn't really touch each other, we never hugged or kissed each other. That's why I feel uncomfortable when people touch me. It makes me anxious. I only really acknowlodged this problem cople of months ago as it also affects my sex life a lot. I guess I need therapy

  35. Lack out touch ended my long term relationship. I always thought it was lack of sex but it was lack of touch.

  36. It’s even worse, the feeling of being rejected of touching them, their hand or skin, even finger tips because as they said they don’t do pda…I can’t fix people I can only observe ?

  37. So how does the person who is pulling away change or fix this? I want to stop pulling away from my spouse but touch has come to feel painful and intimidating for various reasons (disability, pain, autism etc)

  38. I can easily imagine a SOL video arguing the exact opposite point to the one put forward here… "Sometimes, we must graciously forgive our partners lack of response because we recognize that they may be, like we so often are, tired, melancholic, or quite simply in a mood."

  39. My partner once told me that they felt very uncomfortable touching and I brought it up to the point were I told them that if they didn’t wanna hold my hand that, that meant they weren’t ready for a relationship and that I was gonna break up with them because I didn’t wanna waste my time…. and now that they hold my hand and hug me I feel so guilty because I feel like I forced into something that they didn’t wanna do and that makes me sad and angry me thinking of breaking up with them :/

  40. I watched this video because I'm kind of in this situation, except I'm on the other end. I'm the 'distant' one, let's say. Physical touch is very important to my partner – he's made it clear to me many times, and he's even told me quite openly that he doesn't like it when I don't reciprocate this affection. I understand entirely, and even though I'm not the most 'touchy-feelsy' person, even I greatly value a hug or having my hand held.
    The issue is I just can't be affectionate as frequently as he'd like me to.
    What do I do in this situation? How does someone like me satisfy their partner's needs without becoming irritated by an abundance of physical contact in the relationship?

  41. I'm single. I never realise how starved I am for physical touch until a guy does something innocent, like touching my shoulder or brushing their hand against mine. My inner reaction is devastating lol

  42. I was in an 8 year relationship like this. .. the first time I tired to hold his hand when we were first dating he slapped it away, so I knew what I was signing up for, but was stupid. I'll never settle for such a touch less, unaffectionate relationship again.

  43. This was always my number one compliment from men. That I had an amazing touch. It has magical powers.

    Then one day a man ignored me and gave me the silent treatment and in return I relinquished my touch and watched him die from the inside out.

    It is natural to give and receive all forms of affectionate.

  44. I didn’t realize how the minute things, such as a simple kiss on the cheek, a soft caress of the hand before bed, makes a large impact. When you go for a period of time without physical touch of your significant other, you begin to feel a little withdrawn because you start to question the validity in the placement of your importance in someone’s life. I’ve been sick all week and my boyfriend has been withdrawn, a little distant and lack of physical touch lasted a couple of days. Each day passed as I got more agitated and had an argument today about living together but him not expressing any emotional or physical connection during this time. He apologized as he was harbouring resentment towards me for the lack of sleep at night due to my sickness, which I did not intend to do. We both apologized and it felt like a huge weight lifted off my mind. My body felt lighter, my mood was better and after the conversation, I felt like our connection grow stronger.

  45. I grew up in a family that mocks or is disgusted at showing emotions. Saying “i love you” is a taboo. Being vulnerable is seen as pathetic. My boyfriend is the exact opposite. He’s been very understanding throughout the years. I just hope I’m not wearing him too thin.

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