Let me be completely honest: I am not a hugger. I don’t like greeting or leaving people with a hug; I feel weird when people play with my hair or touch my arm. I am just not a touchy person.
My husband, however, is a touchy person. He loves hugs, hand-holding, and shows his affection with physical touch. As you can guess, this created a bit of friction for our first few months of marriage as we tried to figure out a good balance for the both of us.
There were several different things that we have tried and are still working on even now.
1. We took The 5 Love Languages test.
This was actually something we took for fun when we first got engaged. I love personality tests, so I just figured this would be another fun one just to see how we both receive and give love to others.
What I didn’t realize, though, was that this test would be very helpful. By taking the test we were able to read each other’s results in order to better love the other person and see what Love Languages we had in common.
2. We talked about and set boundaries.
This is something we are still working on as we grow in our relationship, and it will probably continue to evolve later into our marriage. My past has caused some hurtful memories in terms of physical relationships, so it was very needed and extremely helpful to discuss what I was comfortable with and how much physical touch I could handle at any given time. Just setting up limits helped me to not only feel comfortable but also truly enjoy when my husband wants to express love through hand-holding or hugging me while I do the dishes.
3. We try to be mindful of how the other person feels loved.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Just by being thoughtful of the other person, we are able to make sure that we both do indeed feel love. For me, I have to remember that while I am not a physical touch person, my husband is. So for him to feel the most loved, I sacrifice my lack of “touchiness” for giving hugs, letting him twirl my hair, or hold hands during a long drive. The same goes for him—I feel loved by written words, so Zach takes time to write me notes or cards to make sure I feel loved.
For both of us, since we receive love differently, our displays of love have to be intentional and thoughtful. In a marriage, there is constant sacrifice for the other person and in displaying love there is no exception. Keeping the mindset of “selflessness” really helps me personally on days when I just want to be left to my bubble.