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Emma Merkas is an Australian relationships and marriage writer and the co-founder of Melt: Massage for Couples, a beautiful online video series that teaches couples the secrets to an amazing massage. She has been married to her business partner Denis for five years, together for ten.
So you’re the lucky person married to someone with the Physical Touch Love Language? I have some tips for you. I am a Physical Touch person through-and-through and I’m married to an Acts of Service man. Communication can be hard.
Once, before I even knew what a Love Language was, I tested to see what would happen if I didn’t go to him for a touch, a hug or a kiss. 72 hours later, we hadn’t touched at all… It was agony for me to go so long without affection and he barely registered it at all.
That’s not because he’s an uncaring person, it’s just not high on his Love Language radar. He has to consciously engage that side of him if he wants to keep me feeling loved, and it takes some effort on his part.
He’d rather be spending the day installing new memory in my laptop for me, or washing my car to show me his love… meanwhile, I keep telling him that it’s much simpler than that. I just need to be close.
It was truly a relief the day I found Dr Gary Chapman’s book because it explained so much.
If you’re with a Physical Touch type, perhaps you’ve noticed their near-insatiable appetite for contact with you. You really are lucky, because it’s a beautiful, simple Love Language that you can achieve with no money and little effort, providing you’re in the same spot.
Here’s what you need to do to make your Physical Touch spouse feel truly loved.
- Spoon them while you sleep
I love to spoon in bed. I especially love being the big spoon sometimes, which probably looks quite funny given my husband is much bulkier than me.
I also sleep hot, which means I usually can’t spoon all night long, but sometimes I do wake up to find him wrapped around me and I love it. Sometimes he tells me we hugged all night long and I didn’t even realize it because I slept so soundly and deeply… coincidence? I think not. Spooning soothes me, even if I’m not consciously aware it’s happening.
And if we can’t spoon, you can bet a foot of mine snakes out to find his or I have my back pressed up close against him while we snooze, so I can still feel the warmth of his body.
- Let them sit on your lap
I’m not ashamed to say it, I curl up on my husband’s lap every morning when I get up as a morning greeting. It used to irritate him so much but after 10 years together, I finally wore him down. In fact, I swear he enjoys it now. I see the way he smiled when I come in each day.
He’s usually at his desk already when I wake up. I go in and fold myself on top of him like origami, right there in the desk chair while I slowly wake up. It’s our first point of contact for the day and it’s as much a part of my morning ritual as a fresh coffee.
- Hold their hand
Walking down the street, sitting in the cinema, driving in the car, watching the latest blockbuster movie, eating dinner in a restaurant? All golden opportunities to take your love by the hand, at least for a little while (even I think one-handed dinner-eating is extreme) – every chance you get, interlace your fingers with theirs and give them a reassuring squeeze.
Much like hand-holding, there are repeated moments throughout the day you will find time for hugs… waiting at pedestrian crossings, while cooking in the kitchen, riding the escalator, snuggling together while watching TV… fill your sweetheart with joy by wrapping them up in a big hug as often as you can.
You totally saw that one coming, didn’t you? Kiss them! Pecks on the cheek, smooches on the back of the hand, a slow trail down their neck, a 10-second lip-lock in the hallway… if you really want to thrill your Physical Touch spouse, go for a hot and heavy makeout session on the sofa.
- Play with their hair
Twirl long locks around your finger, run your hands through their tresses as their head lays on your shoulder, tug gently at their ponytail, sit and brush it until it’s gleaming… offer to wash their hair for them while they have a bath and watch them purr.
- Worship at their feet
Or at the very least, rub them! Get your hands onto their toes and sore arches and watch them melt in front of you. They probably won’t even mind if you tickle them a little.
- Learn to massage them
Full disclaimer: my company teaches couples how to massage each other. But I only do that because I think it’s a legitimately wonderful thing for any relationship… let alone one where one of you is a Physical Touch fiend.
Think how eternally loved and grateful your spouse will be if you master the art of a great back rub and administer them regularly. The bonus for you is that if your spouse is a Physical Touch person, they’ll be equally as happy to learn how to massage you in return and will love showing their affection by rubbing your aching muscles whenever you need it. Win-win, right?
There you go, some surefire ways to bring a smile to your partner’s lips. Do them all, do them often and watch them blossom under your love. A filled Love Tank begets another filled Love Tank. And that makes for a very happy marriage indeed.
What does your Physical Touch spouse like the most?