I've never been one who was good about expressing my feelings verbally. I am weirdly shy about pouring out my heart it that specific way. This has definitely been a problem in relationships over the years, particularly with partners who needed someone more expressive. That’s not to say I don't tell my partners how I feel about them, but oftentimes, I do it more with how I behave and with gestures, rather than just spitting it out. If you're unsure how to tell someone loves you if they aren't the talkative type, you can find all the answers you need in their actions. It may be cliche, but I do believe that actions speak louder than words.
So, while I may not be whispering sweet nothings and spilling my heart on the daily, I do show how I feel about my partner in all of the little things I do — like in how I go out of my way to take care of them, how I receive and honor their feelings, and of course, in the way that I touch them. The way you touch someone you love is actually very different from the way you might touch your friend or family member. Beyond the obvious — you know, sexy times — when you're touching someone you intimately care for, it's just not the same. So what's the difference? Here are four ways a partner’s touch shows you they love you.
1. They Are Present In Their Touch
One of the clearest signs that a partner is communicating how they feel through touch is if they are present. What does that mean? Well according to relationship expert and bestselling author Susan Winter, it’s all about focus and connection. "Someone who loves us is focused upon us, and their touch is a physical expression of what they feel emotionally," she says. "You sense your partner's present to the moment and connected to you. Not like a touch that's perfunctory or detached, this kind of touch signifies warmth and loving intention."
2. Their Touch Feels Special
So much of how we communicate with one another happens on an instinctual level. We pick up on subtle vibes and cues on a subconscious level that we’d never realize consciously. The same goes for interpreting physical contact. "We all recognize 'love' within a touch," says Winter. "Those individuals who touch us in this way activate a response that the human animal within us understands. (Although, it may be hard for us to articulate.) We know what we feel to be true." In other words, when you know, you know.
3. Their Touch Makes You Feel Safe
Physical contact from someone you care about can make you feel all kinds of things — excitement, arousal, peace. But the most important thing you should get from contact with a partner is a feeling of security. "We immediately feel safe and secure when touched by a partner who loves us. There's a sense of calm stability," says Winter. "Their touch is grounding." However, if the touch of someone who says they "love" you inspires fear or anxiety, you need to listen to that instinct, because your body may be picking up on something that's off in the relationship.
4. Their Touch Becomes A Caress
Think about the way you hold something that is precious to you. You are careful, intentional, and thoughtful. The same goes for how we treat and touch the people we love. "A touch is just a touch, but when our beloved touches us, it becomes a caress," says Winter. "Sensual and purposeful, our lover's touch relays a multitude of messages, from sexual attraction to deep admiration."
So how do you separate all these touches from that of a partner who doesn’t care? Winter says a touch from an unloving partner lacks warmth. It may be passionate, but there is still a coldness to it. "Their touch feels like the required prelude to the far more important goal of the sexual act," says Winter "The touch of someone who doesn't care for us feels more like taking than giving." So when your partner touches you, ask yourself, does it feel like an expression of giving? Or does it feel like they are just taking?
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