I just bought my husband’s Valentine’s card for next month. He always buys better cards than me but I’m pleased with my find this year. We don’t really go in for lots of presents generally as a couple but I do like a declaration of love.
I’m a very tactile person. I like lots of hugs and kisses and all of that soppy stuff. My husband realised how much affection he’s been on the receiving end of when he went away on a work trip. He was in South Africa for 16 days. We’d speak every day but it just wasn’t the same. My husband told me how much he missed me touching him. And before anybody says it I’m not talking about hanky panky. GET YOUR MINDS OUT OF THE GUTTER PEOPLE!
He literally meant he didn’t realise literally how much I touch him on a daily basis and he’d underestimated how much he would miss it. The hugs, the hand holding, the pat on the bum, the goodbye kiss, the hello kiss, the whenever I fancy it kiss, the cuddles, the hair ruffle, that squeeze, the leg resting on his thigh when we sprawl on the sofa to watch TV… it’s a lot of contact if you think about it. He asked if I felt the same. I missed him dreadfully. But I wasn’t having withdrawal.
I have a theory about this. I don’t think men generally have the same sort of relationships with their friends (and family?) as women. For example I nearly always kiss my friends hello when I see them. I put kisses at the end of my texts and emails to pretty much everyone. If we’re having a heart to heart I might hold their hand or place my hand on their arm. I’ll hug them. I’ll hug them hello. Hug them goodbye. Hug them to congratulate, to commiserate. If we’re walking along and talking I might link arms with them. It’s a girl thing. It’s nice. My husband doesn’t do any of this with anyone. Only me.
Men get the majority of physical contact from their significant other. They don’t generally interact that way with anybody else. Other than maybe the odd handshake or friendly back slap hug.
Women are more likely to opt for pampering treats than men. Head massages at the hair salon are standard. Manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, reflexology… it’s all touchy touchy!
I grew up in an almost entirely female household, my husband grew up in an almost all male one. He’s not sure when it happened but at some point in his childhood it just wasn’t the done thing to hug or kiss or cuddle your family members, especially in front of your peers.
When he met me he said I knocked him off his feet. I didn’t, I’m not a stampeding rhinoceros. But he claims he’d never really been comfortable about public displays of affection before he met me. But once that band aid had been ripped off he decided there was no going back.
Now I’m not talking about snogging each others faces off in an abandoned bus stop or being in breach of those public swimming pool rules that we all know so well. And certainly not inappropriate groping at every opportunity. Nobody wants to invite that couple to dinner.
After near enough 15 years of marriage I’d say the roles have almost reversed and my husband is now competing for the title of Touchiest Feeliest Spouse!
Obviously our daughter is the product of this lovey dovey union. We all hug and tell one another we love each other every day. I realise this makes us sound like The Waltons but hopefully you understand I don’t mean it in a saccharine way. And is it going to last? My daughter is now a teenager after all. Will the tide turn? Will she suddenly avoid us, her embarrassing huggy parents? Perhaps but I hope not.
For some, I realise this would be just too much. Too gooey, too soppy. Too clingy? Some subscribe to the thinking that if you say ‘I love you’ too often it loses its meaning, makes it less special. I disagree. If anything ever happened I wouldn’t want anyone I loved to ever doubt my feelings. I’d want it fresh in their mind. I’d want them to be certain.
So if I love you then you already know. Deal with it.