Do you and your partner touch each other often with affection? Do you make a habit of connecting physically by hugging, cuddling, kissing, and gently touching several times throughout the day?

If one or both of you isn’t physically affectionate, or if you have developed an “affection deficiency” over time, this is a fundamental habit to focus on. Physical affection is so important that it’s tied for the number one reason couples seek therapy, along with communication issues, according to research.

Studies have proven that physical affection correlates with general relationship satisfaction. In fact, a study published in The American Journal of Family Therapy states that partners involved in a romantic relationship feel more satisfied with their relationship when they are showing more physical affection toward each other. The more affection the respondents showed, the better the relationship.

Says Sean M. Horan PhD in an article for Psychology Today, “Specifically, we found, the frequency with which you expressed affection to and received affection from a partner was directly related to your commitment and satisfaction?and research documents that satisfaction and commitment are important, as they predict relational persistence over a 15-year period.”

Conflict resolution also was generally found to be easier with more physical affection, like cuddling and holding, as affection helps to reduce stress by lowering cortisol levels. Though your first instinct might be to withdraw and withhold affection after conflict, the best thing you can do to mend fences and reconnect is to hug one another?or at least hold hands 먹튀검증.

Physical affection between partners also can significantly lower systolic and diastolic blood pressure and increased heart rate. Hugging, cuddling, and kissing one another seems to increase levels of oxytocin, the “love hormone,” which has been linked to social bonding. In women in particular, the oxytocin surge related to physical touch has a significant calming effect. Kissing was even shown to decrease cholesterol levels.

The amount of physical affection between couples predicts how much they love each other, as this study shows. In fact, increasing physical affection will increase feelings of love between the couple.

If you are someone who craves affection, developing this habit is natural for you. You readily offer hugs and cuddles and are willing to receive affection most any time. However, if you don’t easily offer or receive physical affection, and it makes you uncomfortable, then you may find developing this habit a struggle.

If one partner needs more affection than the other, you can both find ways to get your needs met by figuring out a compromise. The partner who wants more affection may not get as much as he or she would like but with negotiation might get more than was previously offered. The partner who is less affectionate will need to make more of an effort to offer physical affection, knowing how important it is to the other partner.

If both partners are not the touchy types, or if your affection has dwindled over the years, it is still beneficial for all of the reasons previously stated to add more physical affection into your daily routine. You may discover over time that you enjoy this extra affection more than you thought you might.

The important thing is that you and your partner find a way to reach a workable arrangement about how much and what kind of affection you both desire, knowing that you want to please and show respect to each other.

How to Develop This Habit

Here are a few ways you can increase intimate touching with your partner:

Write down your affection needs.

Both partners should take five to ten minutes to write down his or her ideal physical affection desires (not necessarily what you are giving and receiving now). This list should include the kind of affection you like, when you want the affection, and how often you want it. For example, you might write something like this:
-Hugging: a long hug every day before work and when we both come home from work; a hug to make up after a conflict; a hug when I’m upset or worried; a surprise hug from behind a few times a week; a long hug if we’ve been apart for a few days.

-Cuddling: cuddling on the sofa every night when we watch TV; cuddling for at least fifteen minutes after sex; cuddling for a few minutes in bed before we fall asleep.

-Kissing: a kiss every morning before work and when we both come home from work; a surprise long kiss a couple of times a week; kissing as part of foreplay before sex.

-Other touching: a back rub or foot rub a few times a week when we are watching TV; holding hands as part of cuddling while watching TV.

-Public affection: put your arm around me or hold my hand when we are out with friends or family.

Discuss your list with your partner.

Take turns reading your lists to one another, and make notes about where you are in agreement about the type and amount of affection you both want.

Then the partner who needs less affection should read the other partner’s list to see what additional gestures of affection can be offered. For example, the less affectionate partner might not like cuddling in bed at all but is willing to cuddle for five minutes before sleep as a loving gesture.

The less affectionate partner should write down everything he or she is willing to do to offer more affection to the other partner. So now you should have two lists?one that includes the affection you both want and another that includes the touch the less affectionate partner is willing to offer and how often he or she will offer it.

If the less affectionate partner asks for less cuddling or wants the other partner to back off of public affection, talk about a substitute behavior that can be offered instead. Maybe it’s loving words, a warm smile, or a quick hand squeeze.

Make a master list.

Combine the two lists to create a master list of physical affection the two of you will offer one another. Review the list again to make sure you are both in agreement. You may need to make compromises to ensure each of you feels comfortable with the agreement.

Decide where you will start.

If you have several new affection habits you want to adopt, choose just one to start with?preferably one that you will repeat every day. It could be a long hug in the morning or a nightly five-minute cuddle before sleeping.

If you can’t agree on where to start, flip a coin. Remember to offer the affection to one another graciously and with love. If you offer it with resentment or apathy, then it does more harm than good to your relationship.

Determine a time and a trigger.

Decide when you want to perform the affection habit and what will trigger the gesture. If the habit is cuddling in front of TV, then perhaps turning on the television is the trigger. If it’s a hug in the morning, then gathering your keys or purse before work might be the trigger.

Remind one another.

The partner who is not as naturally affectionate may need a gentle reminder to follow through on the affection habit, especially if it’s a habit that doesn’t happen daily (like a back rub on Tuesdays and Thursdays, for example).

The goal is to remember to offer this affection without a reminder from your partner, so adding it to your calendar with a reminder set is a good idea. But in the beginning, be patient with one another as you try to establish the habit.

Offer less touch to the less affectionate partner.

If your partner has requested you not cuddle or touch as often and has made a specific suggestion about this, find a substitute behavior that works for both of you, as mentioned earlier. Find out what the less affectionate partner prefers, and try to offer that gesture instead when you would normally be more touchy.

Remember that some amount of physical affection is necessary for the health and happiness of your relationship. As the research suggests, the more affection between you, the happier your connection. It’s worth the extra effort on the part of the partner who isn’t as keen on affection to stretch a little and make room for a more physically affectionate connection.

Continue with more affection habits.

Once you feel the first habit has become automatic, go back to your list and decide on another form of physical affection you want to cultivate. You may find after igniting more physicality with the first habit that it’s easier to be affectionate without having to work on it.

Try to connect physically a few times a day at least to experience the benefits that physical touch provides. Talk to each other in your weekly meetings about how this increased affection is impacting both of you and your relationship.

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