Of all five love languages, physical touch might be one of the most intimate of ways to show your partner you care about them. Not only because of physical touch's relationship to sex, but also because of touch's non-verbal power to communicate with a partner. And, the good news is that there are really so many physical ways to show love that all it takes is a little thought to show your partner you care.
There's actually an increasing amount of research dedicated to studying the physiological, biochemical, emotional, and psychological benefits to physical touch between partners. In 2010, Tiffany Field, at the Touch Research Institute, University of Miami, reviewed empirical research on touch. This research suggests that touch between intimate partners has been linked to decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol, and increased oxytocin levels. This study also explains that touch has the potential to increase attentiveness, decrease depression and enhance immune function. Field stated that, "massage therapy [is] one of the most effective forms of touch." Although you don't have to be your partner's massage therapist, there's no doubt that affectionate touch can communicate care in a lot of ways.
If your partner's love language is touch, but you have a different love language, it can be helpful to remind yourself that they appreciate physical touch when you may not automatically think to do so. If you're wondering about ways you can show your partner you care through touch, consider the following tips!
Gentle finger-tracing and even light scratching is super underrated. There's nothing sweeter than watching a movie with bae and gently running your fingers along their forearm.
Kissing a partner's forehead is a super affectionate way to show you care about them. It's a great example of how a small action can go a long way.
Another way to be physically affectionate toward a partner is to play with their hair. This may not be the best move for a dinner date, but when you're kicked back and watching Netflix, it can feel really sweet.
A shoulder touch can add emphasis to a conversation when done the right way. If you and your partner are having a conversation in which they need to feel supported or reassured, placing a gentle hand on their shoulder can be really comforting.
When it comes to touch, a little can go a long way. Sometimes it's the smallest gesture, like grabbing your partner's hand in a crowded grocery store, that will remind them just how much you care.