Not everyone is keen on hugging. Whether it’s not something you can physically do or it’s just not particularly appealing there’s lots of other ways to show your affection.
1. Hand holding
Scoff if you will, but hand holding goes back years. In 2014, a team of archaeologists discovered two skeletons holding hands that were 700 years old. Another set of skeletons were found in Italy dating back between the 5th and 6th century A.D. It’s simple, but effective.
This is another great choice, and potentially more simple for people with sensory processing to work with. Although you could learn this skill professionally, if you can’t find the time, there are simple instructions for giving massages online . Even if you’re not an expert, it doesn’t matter! Just be sure to check in frequently with your massag-ee and ask them what they are and aren’t comfortable with. And use blankets where your massag-ee doesn’t want air hitting their skin.
It’s hard to see hair styling as a form of intimacy, especially when it’s very commonplace. We had at least over 35k hair salons in 2012 in the UK according to statistics on hair salons by the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority. But it’s all about context. Without the stress of paying for an expensive style that might not come out right, you might find it more relaxing.
Intimacy doesn’t always have to involve physical contact. If that’s something you or a partner can struggle with, there’s always the option of leaving notes. They don’t have to be long or complex, just something simple. To make them fun, hide them in places your partner might reach or go to. For ideas on what to write, think of your senses or some of the things they do that you’re grateful for. Or just write something simple like, “I love you.”
Another great way to send a message is with a sign that can mean something special. You can use the BSL sign for “I Love You”, or you can create your own sign that means something special between the two of you. Think about something fun that you both like or an experience that you both had together that you enjoyed.
You might find after some time together that you develop your own ways of showing intimacy – and those ways count too! It might be unconventional, but if it works for you and your partner, then that’s what matters.
There are loads of other ways to show intimacy other than touch. What are the ways you show intimacy with someone you love? Share your tips on our community.