It’s amazing how much a simple touch can convey. In general, it shows a level of comfort and acceptance.
My mom, for instance is incredibly affectionate. She absolutely loves to hug to show her love for us. My dad, on the other hand, tends to express his love through thoughtfulness instead of physical touch. He really dislikes hugs, the ones he does surrender are mechanical, with a measured pat, pat, pat on the back & shoulder. I’d rather no hug than one that isn’t warm and tight around me. Side hugs are okay, but they have to be given whole-heartedly.
The best hugs, though, are ones given in certain situations, because they are the most meaningful. When you’re sad, when it’s a special celebration, when saying goodbye, when you haven’t seen that person in quite a while. Hugs aren’t the only forms of touch that convey meaning. Small touches to the arm show that someone is comfortable around you. Hand holding is fun with friends. It’s the one form of public displays of affection. Sometimes it’s a functional touch, saying, “Hey, stay close by.” Sometimes it’s a caring touch, “Hey, I just want to be close to you.” Either way, it’s not something I take for granted.
Possibly my favorite touch is a kiss on the forehead. It is just so astoundingly sweet and gentle. I walk away feeling innocent and adored.
And another new touch I’ve come to treasure is my dog’s unabashed cuddling. Anytime, anywhere he’s ready to jump on my lap and lay while I do work or watch TV. He may be as heavy as an anvil, but he’s so loyal and eager that it’s hard to kick him off and refuse him petting.
Touch truly can communicate. So, whether it is coming from someone I love, or a stranger, or a friend, simple touches can mean I miss you or I like to be with you or even we are friends.