Holding hands is for young unmarried couples , right? Actually, holding hands can convey so much, both to your partner and to the world around you. Married couples should make a point to continue to hold hands through all phases of their married life together. Here is why.
Holding hands declares to the world that you are a couple. Often the first sign of intimacy in a new couple, it also can mean that you are committed to the other person. People who don't like to hold hands may be holding back in other areas of the relationship.
When you are holding hands with someone, you are telling the world that you belong together and that you are unavailable for a relationship with someone else.
By holding hands, you are offering someone else your comfort and protection. Many people hold hands during a stressful time, such as a funeral or vigils. We so often think nothing of grabbing the hand of a child to offer protection and connection, but seem to forget holding the hand of our spouse, our partner for life.
Holding hands can be very practical. For anyone who has tried walking down a New York sidewalk in the middle of the day or has strolled the mall during the holidays knows that holding hands can keep you physically connected to your partner, so you don't wind up losing each other in a big crowd. Hand holding takes on more of significance these days, I think, when kissing in public is seen more as a sexual act rather than a sign of intimacy. With hand holding, you are making yourself more vulnerable to rejection. What if the other person drops your hand or doesn't hold it back?
Hand holding in private, rather than public, can send different messages. Instead of declaring your couple status to the world, you are declaring your intimacy to your partner and perhaps sexual attraction as well.
Do you hold hands with your spouse?
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA