I’ve worked with many couples who were having intimacy issues in their relationship. One of the biggest challenges I see is they are feeling disconnected. As we peel back the layers to their relationship, one of the main culprits is this digital age. Even for the long term couples out there. They too, struggle with connection. So just how exactly has this digital generation fallen prey to intimacy issues? Let’s explore.
The power of non verbal communication has become a lost art. We bury ourselves in technology, and we forget about biology. We connect on social media and go looking for answers on Wikipeda. Depression and social anxiety are at an all time high. Yet, going out with friends, we don’t even try. We document online everything we do. But we’re too busy to say the words “I love you.”
I often advise my couples to embrace the power of touch. I ask how often do they hold hands? When relaxing at night, do they sit together or apart? How many times a day do they hug? When is the last time they gave their partner a massage? What I have found shocking is the answer, which is almost never. The power of touch transcends verbal communication every day of the week. I learned this principle from my 2 decades working as a crisis counselor. When arriving on a scene of a tragic event, the victim instinctively would open their arms for a hug. Not sit down for a conversation. Why? Because the power of touch calms, heals and affirms “I am here with you, and for you”.
There is nothing wrong with communicating with your spouse digitally. But, don’t underestimate the power of that hug. Or simply holding their hand. It’s so endearing and affirming to see a couple that has been together for years still holding hands. I know for my wife and I, after 15 years of marriage, we still hold hands almost everywhere we go. I think because we both lead very different lives, when we are together, the act of holding hands is sacred. It is a way of strengthening our union.
The power of touch goes beyond spoken word. I ask my couples to build intimacy through touch. I let them decide what that looks like for them. Sometimes they get creative and surprise me. But, what doesn’t surprise me is the result. The couples that incorporate touch back into their relationship, report remarkable shifts in attitudes and the relationship. In other words, they again feel loved, care for and appreciated.
So the next time you feel your relationship starting to slip. And just like it say’s in the song. Turn to your partner and say “I want to hold your hand.”