Recently, I took the Love Language Test. I was surprised at the end, to see that physical touch was listed as the top language of importance to me, even though I would not say I am generally a physically affectionate person. By that, I mean that I work at being affectionate. I consciously give hugs to those who seem to need it. I make an effort to show affection in social situations where it seems I should (hugging people at events, not shying away when someone touches me unexpectedly, etc.). I give hugs to friends and family members in greeting. I will offer comfort when it's needed. But I'm not ever going to run around throwing my arms around people. Some people are really touchy-feely and want to spread their affection everywhere, and that is wonderful, but it's not me. So, yes, I was a little surprised.
Then I started thinking about why that was, and why physical touch ranked so high for me. It's because my husband is safe. He always has been, and touch with him is something that grounds me, connects me, makes me feel secure. I love just holding his hand, or feeling the warmth of his skin beneath my palm when he's sleeping, or resting my hand on his thigh when we're eating dinner or sitting on the couch. I would rather have him hold me, than give me a gift. I would rather he give me a hug, than almost anything else. I love being close to him, absorbed in him. When he touches me, I can let go, relax, take a breath. His affection is oh-so-important to me, but I didn't think about it like that until I took this test.
We have a line, we say "I haven't had enough hugs today." If either of us are feeling stressed or down or fatigued, or like we just want a hug. We stop what we're doing and hold onto each other for a while. It's amazing how recharging that simple act is. As humans, we need physical touch, it's scientifically proven. Unfortunately it's also one of the most abused languages, therefore feared and pushed aside most of the time. I'll never be a touchy-feely person, but touch is important and I get all I need from my husband who always has, and always will be, my safe place.
I love my husband because he's safe, because I'm secure in his affection.