A crowded room can be the most lonely place on earth. Living in one of the great cities in the world is no antidote to isolation. In close proximity to many, yet alone. Why? We lack connection. Conversation is important but there are other vital elements.
The myriad social media sites make it easier than ever to keep in touch with existing friends and meet new ones. Surely this should make us happier than ever? Anecdotal evidence seem to suggest that those existing primarily on virtual relationships still feel isolated.
You are inherently physical.
A newborn baby is helpless. Completely dependent. Unable to speak and having no concept of language. As parents we sooth a troubled baby with sound, movement and touch. Research shows that babies experiencing frequent touch respond and develop better than those that are deprived of it. The conclusion: touch is important for humans.
As we grow older touch becomes less socially acceptable. Yet one of the cries of many a lonely person, particularly the elderly, is that they feel unloved, unwanted, even unseen, simply for the lack of human touch.
Touch can help us reduce stress and anxiety. Having someone with us, a hand on our shoulder or holding us as we cry, seems to somehow diminish the load and we become more optimistic though nothing else has changed.
As one of the five love languages it is the primary way of communicating love for many. To a “toucher” holding back from touching your spouse is a sign of withholding love. Not all touch should be sexual. Brush past your spouse as you cross the room. Hold each other’s hands. Put your arm around their waist. These little things are significant expressions of love.
Does your touch communicate love and acceptance to your spouse?
Do you need to touch your spouse more to save them from the loneliest place on earth?