Falling in Love
Do you remember falling in love with your spouse? What a silly question, of course you do!
For many of you this involved long talks, exciting dates, and, ultimately, a growing realization that you wanted to spend your life with this person.
Along the way you had a first kiss. But, even before that fondly remembered kiss, you probably did something else which helped your relationship progress.
And, to the point of this article, this same activity can keep strengthening your marriage today!
What is it? Well, read on…
Do you remember the anticipation leading up to holding your spouse’s hand for the first time?
Were you the one brave enough to make the first move?
Did this simple act fill you with warmth and closeness toward your future spouse?
However, wherever, and whenever it happened for you and your spouse, I bet you still fondly remember the details!
For my wife and me it was on a date a few weeks after we met. Carissa and I had already enjoyed a few dates together. This evening we were watching a play at a local theater.
I really don’t remember much about the play.
In part because it was a long time ago. Mostly, however, it was because my mind was completely preoccupied with my desire to hold her hand.
Well, why didn’t I just take it you might ask? After all, nothing ventured nothing gained, right?
But, as it was, I was a big chicken! Notwithstanding the fact that her hand was intentionally beckoning from the arm rest (as she would later confess), we were well into the third act before my wife’s husband finally had the guts to hold her hand for the first time.
If I had a hard time remembering the play before I held her hand, I had no chance remembering what was happening for the remainder of the play.
Thoughts like these were running through my head:
“I can’t believe it, this beautiful girl is letting me hold her hand.”
“Ugh, you fool, why didn’t you try this an hour earlier?”
“I really wish this was a seven act play.”
This simplest of physical touches, that of hand-holding, sent butterflies through my body that day. It was wonderful.
I bet many of you have similar memories!
Why We Need to Keep Holding Hands!!
While most newlyweds generally excel in the area of physical touch, it turns out that holding hands has benefits for all marriages (regardless of how long you’ve been married). Consider this fascinating TED talk from Dr. James Coan (PhD and assistant professor of psychology at the University of Virginia).
According to this research from Dr. Coan, when we hold hands with our spouse we actually send signals to each other. More specifically, this simple act of holding hands sends signals to your spouse’s brain suggesting that “I am here with you”. Over time the signal can grow even stronger to the point that it signals to the brain that “I am you”.
Isn’t this interesting?
There is something romantic about the notion of “becoming one” in marriage. This is often manifest as we share our dreams and triumphs, as well as our frustrations and challenges. Likewise, in obvious ways, we become one with our spouse during sexual intimacy. But, it is fascinating that simply holding hands can subconsciously help us feel of this desirable “oneness” in marriage!
So, if you do want to be married long enough to be one of those adorable older couples walking hand-in-hand through the grocery store, then commit today to frequently reach out for your spouse’s hand.
Remember, even simple acts can strengthen a marriage!
Go the Extra Mile
If you like this article, check out my new mini eBook (3 Things You Can Do Today to Create a Ridiculously Happy Marriage)! For just $4.99 you will receive powerful, practical advice and research-based principles that (if applied) can help you begin strengthening you marriage this very day!
About the Author
Robert Stewart (Dr. Rob) is co-founder and contributor at Family Good Things. He has his PhD in family studies and also teaches marriage and family classes at the university level. Stay tuned as Dr. Rob and Dr. Tim (Tim Rarick) will guest author a few articles each month on this site.
You might also like: