What is the physical touch love language?

3 mins
31 Jan 2023
Connell and Marianne in scene from Normal People

A compatibility and relationship expert explains the meaning behind this affection-focussed love language and how to talk about it with you partner(s)

image Normal People / Element Pictures

words Lucy O'Brien

There’s no doubt about it, touching is a central pillar for many people when forming romantic relationships or connections. But what does the physical touch love language mean?

Well, to rewind just a little bit, it might help you to know a bit more about love languages in general. There are five love languages in total: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. The concept was created by Gary Chapman in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts, which talks all about how to use the framework of love languages in order to communicate and express romantic needs and love.

Now you've got the context, here's what you need to know about the physical touch love language. Physical touch is all about desiring tactile reassurance from a partner as the primary way of experiencing affection.

Woo sat down with match-making expert Louella Alderson, Co-Founder of So Syncd, a dating app that matches compatible personality types, to investigate what physical touch really entails as a love language – both receiving it for yourself or learning how to best give it to a partner.

Know your love language: physical touch

Physical touch is a love language built on the desire for the physical, but this doesn't necessarily translate to just sex. It can be anything from hugs, to the feeling of skin on skin to kissing. Alderson describes it as: “A form of expressing love and affection. It could be anything from holding hands, sitting close to each other, playing footsie under the table, or even giving your partner a hug when they need it most.”

My love language is physical touch…

If your preferred love language is physical touch, there are ways to communicate that to a partner - the best of which being, just telling them straight-up!

“Let your partner know what kind of touch makes you feel connected to them. You should explain to them that it’s not all about sex [if this is the case] and that frequent physical affection makes a huge difference to your happiness,” Alderson explains.

My partner’s love language is physical touch…

If you want to support a partner whose love language is physical touch, and help them feel loved, it's time to get touchy-feely - but, of course, only if this feels comfortable to you.

“My advice would be to make sure to let them feel your presence and affection. Give them a hug or a kiss when you get back from work or if they’ve had a long day. It's important to remember that physical touch doesn't just mean sex, although this is often a part of it.”

Are love languages even important?

Love languages are a good way to interpret the best ways to communicate your emotional needs, and meet the needs of whoever you are with.

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