57. Holding Hands: The first time you held someone’s hand.
Did you know sea otters hold hands to keep from drifting a part when they’re sleeping? You probably did because that fact has been circling the internet for quite some time now. To be honest, hand holding kind of makes me anxious. I’m always worried about how clammy my hands are going to get while holding hands, and that it will secretly gross out whoever I’m doing the hand holding with. The logistics of it all can be awkward too. Whose arm goes on top of the other arm? Are you going to get offended when I pull away?
Naturally, this is over analyzing the situation but these are the things that cross my mind. I have no recollection of the first time I held someone’s hand, and I can’t tell you the last time I did it either. I had a conversation with a friend of mine a few weeks back who has been struggling to find meaningful friendships while she has been in her first year of grad school.
At the university where we did our undergraduate degree everyone was in your face, showering you with love and quality time, and she missed having that connection with a group of people. You couldn’t get through a single day without receiving a hug or at least I couldn’t. But then again I’m usually the one delivering the hugs. Now the two of us are in situations where we can go days at a time without physical touch. I never realized how important simple acts, like hand holding could be until I suddenly went long periods of time without them.
Touch has always been a love language for me, and if you don’t know what your love language is then you should probably take a break and do this quiz. I cannot stress enough how important it is to know this about yourself. Maybe it’s just the communications major in me but understanding love languages can go a long way in how you communicate your needs and desires in a relationship.
I express my love for people by giving them hugs and by simple acts of touch. That is how I show others that I’m thinking of them. Weirdly enough after taking the quiz again touch ended up being the second to last love language for me. Meaning that words of affirmation, acts of service and quality time all are how I want love to be expressed to me instead. Which the more I think about it the more it rings true.
While I do enjoy hugging other people I kind of am like a cat. The hugs have to be on my terms and freely given. Whenever my mom comes in for a hug I tend to tense up in anticipation and pray that it will be over soon. Now that may just be a reaction to mom but clingy people in general tend to rub me the wrong way. Even my dog, Peanut, whose love language is totally touch can feel a little too needy to me sometimes.
On the other hand I think I may have adapted to learning other languages since touch has been out of the picture for quite some time now. What always takes the cake for me though are words. I need to hear you physically say that you care for me. I need the reassurance. Words make it real for me, and then you can follow it up with a hug.
Do yourself a favor and take the time to reflect on how you want to be loved. Ask yourself, what makes you feel cared for? We all agree that we want love but we often lack the self awareness needed to express the best way that it can be shown. Let people know how you deserve to be loved and be open to how you should love others. Now if you excuse me I’m going to give my dog a hug.