Friday, February 25

Me & Love Languages: Touch

This love language ties physical affection into the relationship - but it's not focused on sexual intimacy (though in marriage that plays a role). This love language is the language of high-fives, pats on the back, tousling hair, bear hugs, contact sports, and being physically close. The best way to say, "I love you" is by simply maintaining comfortable (for both) physical contact with the person. The worst way? Don't touch them at all.

This love language is messed up in my case. I'm not sure if it stems from abuse or if it's just an inherent part of being attracted to guys and not to girls, but this love language is hyper-sensitized to the point of being absurd. 

When most girls touch me (or I touch them), I feel like crawling out of my skin - even if they're really nice. The one exception is a nice handshake or a hug to someone who looks like they really need it. As we become better and better acquainted, I feel more comfortable being slightly more physical, but at the same time it doesn't give me a rush of positive emotion... so I don't do much touching when there are girls involved. And they're aware - most of the girls I've dated have at some point mentioned how I don't feel comfortable when hugging them after a date, and often that's true.

With guys, on the other hand, I have to set clear limits, because touch could easily become an outlet and breeding ground for feelings of same-sex attraction. Part of me wishes I could be more physical with guys; most of me is very grateful that I'm not! But, back to the topic, I definitely feel loved when a guy finds a way to show his love (friendship, camaraderie) through touch. A hug, high-five, punch in the stomach, hand on the shoulder, anything at all works. 

I probably need to give a massive explanation here. The temptation to be physically and sexually involved with men is a part of my life. When I see an attractive guy, my mind can easily go wandering, and it would be just as easy to let my body do what it wants. But that's not what I want. I repeat: That's not what I want. I've talked with God at length and I believe that true and lasting happiness comes from following what He has taught through modern prophets... and so I live the law of chastity. I'll never be sexually involved with another guy. I'll never make out with a guy or do a lot of other things that would lead to arousal. My eternal happiness is worth too much to bargain for temporal pleasure and happiness now.

My hope and dream is that I can find a girl someday where touch works as a love language for both of us - essentially, where I'm not repulsed by a romantic closeness and where touch engenders positive feelings for me and her. There are varying degrees of passion behind having to "find someone you're attracted to," but, at the very least, I wouldn't feel comfortable marrying someone that I didn't enjoy touching, and I'm sure that most of you agree with the premise. That will probably take a miracle, but God has already done some pretty amazing things in my life. He can do this, too. And even if He doesn't... He'll take care of me as I do my part to keep His commandments. When I feel totally unloved, I pray to God and ask to know that He loves me... and He fills in all the gaps that He gave me in the first place. "I give unto men weakness that they may turn unto me... and if they will turn unto me... I will make weak things strong unto them."

Receiving - complicated. If you're a girl, I'll probably bristle when you touch me. If you're a guy, I'll feel butterflies. Either way, I still need it.

Giving - fair. I can tell when someone needs a hug or a shoulder to cry on. I have trouble touching girls I'm dating because I don't want to send the wrong message... but to girls who are definitely friends, I'm there for them. With guys, I try to gauge their comfort in being physical to make sure I'm not overstepping my bounds.

Different with guys? Oh yeah. Night and day. Which is really odd... since it's the only love language that has marked differences between genders.


  1. Husband and I touch frequently, but it is loving, not sexual. Sexual touch has become awkward between us. I agree that God may bless you with a girl that you enjoy being loving with, but comfort with intimacy is a tall order. And in my experience, I would never encourage you to marry a girl and ask her to live without sexual intimacy. It may seem okay at first, but we all have needs, and they need to be addressed.

  2. I agree with both of your thoughts. Like I said in the post, it will probably take a miracle to fall completely in love, but that's what I'm working towards. I've been promised that... and if I do my part, I expect Him to keep His promise.

  3. I have really appreciated your insights with the five love languages these last few posts.

    In my experience I would have to add that with touch the worst is NOT "not touching" but hitting or slapping or any touch in a negative way. This could include sexual abuse.

    For a person who's love language is touch a slap in the face can be devastating and make them feel every opposite feeling of love, yet for a person who's love language is NOT touch that slap may be annoying, hurt, or make them angry, but they are soon able to brush it aside.

    Keep up the good work with your blog.

  4. This post reminded me of something I heard in a relief society conference a couple of weeks ago: Love the feeling is a result of love the action. People often talk about "falling out of love" but if the above statement it true, it is because they have stopped loving (via action) each other i.e. they have stopped serving each other.

    I'm a ridiculously practical person, sometimes to a fault (because people take my "practical" opinions offensively lol I'm working on sugar-coating things). Anyway, through-out my life I have seen marriages begin "so-in-love" and end either in divorce or in awkward emotional and physical distance. I decided I didn't want anything to do with that, I was going to marry for practical reasons and not rely on infatuation at all. As my husband and I have worked through our many trials and we have learned to serve each other I feel myself "falling in love". My point is simply that I believe that it is possible to fall in love with someone through loving (action, serving) them. (Am I being redundant? Sorry if I am lol).

    In the same conference I heard "There is no thing that causes divorce, only people unwilling and unable to deal with those things." Money does not cause divorce, a couple (or maybe just one of them) that is not willing to do the work to fix the problem, causes the divorce. This applies to a budding relationship as well.

    ONE more thing (sorry, I don't comment often but when I do it's long lol) I read most of the love language book a few years ago (skimmed the last 1/3 or 1/4), thought it was good but could have been summarized into a couple of bullet points. Something I've been thinking about recently is that maybe there is too much focus on giving in another person's love language. Don't get me wrong, it's important, but I have learned it's just as important to learn to receive in another person's love language. For example, my husband shows love by teaching healthy living habits, which is not something that says "I love you" to me. However, I am learning to realize he does it out of love and am learning to accept it as such. I could go on, but I think the point has been made? Search for how someone gives love, and learn to accept it that way (while still saying that you feel it a certain way and asking them to work on giving it to you that way.)

    Tehe, marriage/love is my favorite subject! Can you tell????



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