Is Skin Hunger Draining the Life Out of Your Relationship? 

How is touch deprivation affecting your relationship?

When was the last time you really touched your partner? I’m not talking about the romantic, candle-lit, grown-and-sexy kind of touch (though that’s important too!). I mean, when was the last time you held hands while walking, gave them a spontaneous hug, or just gently rested your hand on their arm while watching a movie?

If you had to think about it longer than a few moments,  your relationship may be suffering from something called ‘skin hunger.’ Crazy name, right? But it’s real. 

Skin hunger, or touch deprivation, is what happens when we don’t get enough physical contact. And here’s the shocker—it’s messing up relationships in ways many never even think about.

Every relationship is different and I love how many of us are actively working on being better communicators in our partnerships. But, while we’re doing better at talking things out, sharing our feelings, and doing everything we’re supposed to do, sometimes, we forget the power of a simple touch. 

Did you know touch is a universal language— with absolutely no words needed? And when we start missing those caresses, hugs, and hand-holding, our bodies and minds feel it?

Without enough touch, we can start feeling alone, misunderstood, even anxious. Our relationships may start to suffer too—less trust, more fights, a sense of disconnect.

Why, you ask? Well, each time we touch someone we care about, our bodies release oxytocin. You might know it as the ‘love hormone.’ It’s like a warm hug for our minds, reducing stress and making us feel all loved up and secure.

Touch is also crucial for non-sexual intimacy. It’s the gentle squeeze of the hand during a movie, the comforting arm around the shoulder, or a soft stroke on the back. It’s these moments that say, “I see you. I value you. I love you.”

So, how do we kick skin hunger to the curb and bring touch back into our relationships? 

I’ma break it down for you:

Step one: We gotta talk about it. Open up a conversation with your partner about what you’re feeling and what you need. Yeah, it might feel a little awkward at first, but it’s the only way forward.

Step two: Start small. Reach out for their hand while walking. Give a hug before leaving the house. Touch their arm while laughing at a joke. Use touch to communicate your love, even when you can’t find the right words.

Step three: Plan touch-centric activities. Think couple’s massages, dance classes, or even cooking together. Activities like these give us a chance to connect physically and create some beautiful memories.

And when things get a little heated, remember the power of touch. A soft touch or a quick hug can turn a brewing argument into a moment of understanding.

Listen, bringing touch back isn’t an overnight thing. It’s a journey. But as we continue to navigate our relationships, let’s remember to hold the power of touch close.

Because a gentle touch is more than just skin deep—it’s a way for us to actively communicate love, understanding, and connection with “our person” in ways that transcend words. 

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