Importance of Physical Affection in a Relationship

It seems that the world has lost its sense of the importance of physical touch. I mean, how many couples in America and all over the world don’t go on dates together?

We all know that physical contact and touch can make a difference in a relationship, but it’s not always easy to put it into practice. Most people assume that our better half needs to initiate the act of touch, which is a misconception, and an important one. 

The truth is most couples who are in a healthy relationship show fondness and are comfortable doing so with each other.

As long as your loved one is comfortable with you showing them love, they’ll naturally reciprocate by doing the same for you.

In this article, we talk about the importance of touch, physical connection and a healthy way to how to practice it in a relationship.

If you wish to learn more about other types of intimacy, read this article.

*Tips are not sorted in any particular order.

Read time: approximately 10 minutes.

Importance of Physical Affection in a Relationship


1. What is Physical Affection

Physical contact and attentiveness are among the strongest emotions we have. It is a non-verbal action that communicates devotion.

It is an expression of love, care, and warmth. You will see important touches in many contexts, such as a hug or holding hands between lovers, or a partner kissing a loved one goodbye.

A touch is a powerful tool for those who want to establish closeness. In fact, it’s a universal language that exists in every culture and is understood by everyone.

Basically, it is a form of communication that takes place in the physical realm and can be a simple touch or a non sexual act like hug, a kiss on the cheek, or a handshake all the way to sexual connection.

2. How Important is Physical Affection?

No matter if you are just dating or married, it turns out that physical touch plays a huge role in making a relationship last. Persons who experience touch tend to stay together longer.

Physical touch isn’t just about keeping a relationship strong—it actually makes both persons happier in their relationships in the long run.

New research conducted by the University of Denver showed that touch helps improve marital satisfaction and connection. The researchers studied 1,000 newlywed couples who were married between 18 and 30 years old and had been together for about eight years.

According to their findings, the amount of touch received and shared during the first five years of marriage is a strong predictor of overall happiness and attachment in the long run.

They say that “romantic involvement, or fondness, is an important factor that can help sustain marital satisfaction over time.”

a couple cuddling in bed and being affectionate

3. What are the Benefits of Physical Affection?

Receiving enough contact with each other reduces anxiety, forms a greater attachment and just overall builds a stronger, healthier bond.

Couples who receive attentiveness and sexual touch develop an increase in their overall health, happiness, and longevity.

In fact, spending 15 minutes a day receiving love and care can increase your life expectancy by three years. It’s also been proven that having a significant other who loves you is correlated with a longer life span.

An Afro-American couple hugging in a studio with blue background

The Science Behind Physical Affection 

Maybe you’re a bit of a romantic, and want to know the secret to have more care and love in your relationship or marriage. If so, there’s some science behind what may be happening.

While the exact science isn't clear, experts say it may be because physical touch promotes intimacy, releases oxytocin hormone, reduces stress, and strengthens healthy bonds.

It’s all about oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that exists in mammals, including humans. It is released during sexual activity and other forms of physical contact.

It’s also known as the "love hormone" because it facilitates bonding between people. The more you have intimacy and sex, the more oxytocin you release, leading to a stronger bond and developing closer contact. 

The same is true when you hug, kiss, caress, or even just hold hands with someone you love.

In short, there are several benefits of having physical affection:

  1. It’s a form of relaxation 
  2. It helps you feel good about yourself 
  3. It boosts self-esteem
  4. It makes you more comfortable around others 
  5. It increases your ability to read others’ emotions 
  6. It improves your relationship with your spouse 
  7. It can make you healthier 
  8. It's great for stress relief 
  9. It reduces loneliness and depression 
  10. It enhances communication skills.

A happy couple smiling at each other

4. The Negative Effects of Neglecting Physical Affection

Physical affection and sex itself are important parts of most relationships, so one of the main reasons why relationships or marriages fail is that they don't show tenderness to their other half.

They're too busy with other obligations and are unwilling to give their spouse the time and attention they deserve.

This leads both persons to communicate less, lose interest, become less happy, and overall just causes problems and makes the most important aspects worse.

If this happens, you can drift apart and eventually become estranged, to the point of breaking up or needing therapy. 

However, when couples show their love through physical acts of intimacy and touch, it allows them to experience the positive emotions and feelings associated with this form of love.

The Impact of Stress on Physical Touch

We all know that stress, fear, and anxiety can be incredibly destructive in a relationship and the negative effect they have on an individual can be devastating.

Touch is the most intimate and emotional way we connect with another person, and by neglecting it we increase stress in our lives.

But by doing it more, it provides us with the sensation of being in their presence. When we touch someone, we give that individual the message of our love and care for them. 

a closeup of two people holding hands

5. How can I have more Physical Affection?

There are a lot of small, but important things we can do. Every person is a little different, so first, communicate what you both like, enjoy, and would like to receive more. 

Do you like to be hugged, and kissed? If so - where? In which situations when you wish to have a sexual connection? And when - not so much.

But regardless of your particular preferences, we should strive to crave physical affection from our partners, since it's important for us to feel loved.

From hugging to kissing, being touched gives us a sense of security and warmth, which helps us to feel comfortable. It also sends a message that our partner is available to us and not just our friends or family.

To encourage us to touch us more often, we need to set up opportunities for physical touch. So, the next time your partner touches you, say something like: "I like it when you touch me, but I'd really love it if you could...(fill in the blank) it for me. Thanks."

6. How do we keep Physical Affection going in our relationship?

The short answer - is just do it more. For the sake of your relationship or marriage, make sure you touch your partner every day - the smallest thing like a kiss or hug will do.

It’s a simple suggestion, but research shows that people who don’t touch often are less satisfied in their relationships than those who touch daily.

The longer answer - on top of talking out, what you like and don't like, you need to keep your desire going for each other. That means not only having physical contact but showing your partner you like and want it. This part is very important.

Or you can try out one of our Sexy Games, or the Naughty Conversations to - they are created not only for a fun time together, but to build intimacy at the same time.

An Asian couple sitting on the floor while the man hugs the woman

7. Types of Touch

There are a lot of forms that touch can take place.

A touch can be platonic, soothing, sensual, sexual. A touch can be intentional and unintentional. And it can be wanted and unwanted.

It is important to know the difference, so you can use each type of touch in the appropriate situation, because a touch is a strong form of intimacy and can go a long way in the right direction by making someone feel good, as well as in the opposite direction causing problems.

When it comes to you and your significant other, try to learn what he/she likes and does not like, and then use it to make you both happy.

The Role of Hug in a Happy, Loving Relationship

Love - the thing that is worth living for! It is something that most of us desire and wants to have in life. But like all good things, it requires some effort.

There are many important aspects of love life, and there are ways that you can show your love to your partner, such as being attentive to your spouse and showing gratitude.

And there’s one particular form of physical touch that doesn't cost anything and is extremely easy to provide: hugging your loved one.

A hug doesn’t only give physical and emotional comfort but also helps you feel closer to your partner. Moreover, hugs make you feel happier.

A study by a team of German psychologists found that couples who hugged each other daily for a week had greater levels of positive emotions and higher levels of oxytocin than those who did not, as well as more healthy self-esteem and positive relationship attitude.

An Afro-American woman affectionately hugging a man

Does Physical Affection Make a Relationship Last?

The research is actually pretty clear - physical touch and romantic love do indeed play a major role in making a relationship or marriage last.

The connection between touch and the heart isn't limited to long-term relationships, either. Even in short-term relationships, touching and hugging can strengthen intimacy.

While most people agree that touch is good for the body, scientists are just beginning to understand what effect touch has on the brain and the rest of the body. The good news is that it doesn't take much.

A touch on the shoulder, arm, or hand can make a big difference.

man and woman hugging while standing on the beach

In conclusion

Human contact - we all need it. It is vital for our well-being and happiness, and relationships are no exception in this regard.

The benefits of physical touch are undeniable. In fact, kissing, and hugging can improve mood, and emotional and sexual intimacy, lower stress levels, decrease blood pressure, improve sleep and even avoid visiting a therapist in the long run. 

Couples who connect through touching enjoy longer and deeper relationships, and those who have been through a divorce are more likely to break up again than couples who maintain real and emotional touch in their relationship.

However, touching isn’t always easy. We often find ourselves so consumed with our own needs and desires that we forget to take the time to nurture ourselves or to care for others.

But, when we take the time to express ourselves physically, it creates an environment in which we are more open to receiving love. 

By expressing our fondness for each other, we create a connection that allows us to build deeper, more meaningful relationships. 

So, the next time you’re feeling disconnected or stressed, go ahead and give your partner a hug, kiss, and touch them. You’ll feel better and better about yourself for having taken the time to care for your relationship.


As always, feel free to read other relationship tips and look around our store to find some thoughtful and sexy gifts for couples.

Man and woman being happy and affectionate

Let Us Know

How important is physical touch to you? 

Do you think we missed something?

Let us know in the comments below.

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