In modern dating, it seems that some habits that were reserved for couples in the past have died out.
It’s as if little things which bring two people together have gone out of style and most just proceed to sleeping together, without any physical preparation.
One of those habits is hand holding. A few years ago, it was unimaginable for a couple to walk next to each other without holding their partner’s hand in theirs or without hugging each other.
Nevertheless, this public display of affection is rarely seen nowadays.
In fact, most couples aren’t certain about the future of their relationship, don’t want to label things, or are seeing other people so they probably don’t want to be classified as boyfriend and girlfriend by anyone they encounter.
So, instead of working on their connection every minute they spend together, they leave intimacy for the bedroom only and spend most of the time outside of it behaving like complete strangers.
Surprisingly, the same goes for couples who have been together for ages: They don’t run away from exclusivity, but instead, are convinced that they’re too old or too mature for PDA and that holding hands is inappropriate for their age.
Well, if this is something you can relate to, what you probably don’t know is how powerful hand holding actually is and how it can reveal a lot about your relationship.
And you’re likely not familiar with all of its scientifically proven benefits for your mental, emotional, and physical health – not to mention your romance.
That is why we’re here – to open your eyes and tell you everything you need to know about this ancient couples’ ritual that has stuck around up to today. To reveal to you the magic of holding hands.
10 Types Of Holding Hands
1. Pinky fingers loosely intertwined
Remember when we were kids and when pinky promise meant literally everything? You could have sworn to your dearest ones, but not until you’d interlock your pinky fingers would the other person believe you.
Well, not much has actually changed in your adulthood, even though you might not be aware of it.
When you and your partner’s pinky fingers are loosely intertwined, this move still conveys a strong message of trust and bond.
They’re showing you that they’re there for you and not going anywhere. That you can rely on them, no matter what, and that you can trust them with your life.
At first sight, this type of hand hold doesn’t appear to be so significant, but actually, it is quite romantic and cute, especially for new couples.
When you’re just getting to know someone, you’re testing how far you can go and you’re waiting for their feedback.
Well, even though this hand hold is also used by people in long term relationships, it is actually more typical for those who are trying to make a first connection.
You don’t want to firmly grip your loved one just yet, but you want to tell them and the rest of the world they’re yours.
2. Accidental flirty touch
How many times have your hands accidentally touched someone else’s in a flirty way? For example, you’re sitting or just passing by one another and somehow, your hands end up touching theirs?
Let me tell you that nothing is accidental here. It is actually one of the body language signals of strong chemistry between two people.
You and the object of your affection are so intensely attracted to each other that you are not even aware of your desire for physical contact.
However, your bodies definitely are and they attract each other like magnets.
If this is happening for the first time with your friend, a coworker, or someone you have no romantic connection with whatsoever, it’s about time to reexamine your feelings and see whether there is something more going on between you two.
On the other hand, if this is someone you’re into, congratulations, because this simple act is a clear sign that they feel the same way about you, and a green light for you to make a move and do something about your emotions.
At first, this kind of touch can seem awkward and it’s possible that both of you may instinctively step back, afraid of what you just felt. Nevertheless, after a while, it becomes your trademark-something you two do every time you meet.
Even though this accidental touch is not an actual hand-hold, it’s still quite powerful. It tells the other person everything you’re scared or overly shy to verbalize – that you like them and want to bond with them in the future.
3. All fingers tightly intertwined
This type of hand hold is usually reserved for couples only. It is a clear message for the entire world, that says, “This person is mine and I have no intention of letting them go.”
Besides, this is also a sign that your partner is more than proud to have you as theirs.
They want the entire world to know that you’re the only one they love, they have your back, and you two are a couple.
When someone holds your hand in this manner, trust me on one thing: They’re not fooling around. They’re not playing you; they want something serious with you.
4. Hands wrapped around one another
In this case, the other person is definitely trying to acquire a deeper connection with you. When they go for a full skin touch, they have the desire for the two of you to become one.
You’re now a team and nothing and nobody can stand in your way. You’re stronger together and you’ll never let each other down.
This type of hand hold shows that the other person cares for you deeply. They wouldn’t abandon you during hard times and are there to protect you from everything bad life might throw at you.
They’re actually using their body language to reassure you that you’re safe around them because they’ll be your shield against every storm.
They are ready to be your guardian angel and your savior, which is extremely precious and rare.
5. Tight grip
There are two possible meanings behind a tight grip; it depends on the situation you’re currently in.
First and foremost, this can be seen as a sign of your partner’s desire for dominance.
If they’re pushing your hand down, they probably want to indicate that you’re beneath them and the submissive one in this relationship.
It might be that they’re insecure about you and your feelings towards them, so they’re trying to reassure you, themselves, and the rest of the world that you’re theirs.
To put things simply, they’re subconsciously trying to mark their territory and claim possession.
On the other hand, in moments of physical or emotional pain, this firm grip can also be a signal that someone is there for you.
They’re showing you the strength of their compassion and empathy and are making sure you know they don’t have any intention of leaving you hanging.
So, how exactly can you recognize your loved one’s intentions when they hold your hand with a tight grip? Well, it all depends on how this hand hold makes you feel.
Do you feel safe and sound and like nothing can harm you? Or do you feel like they’re trying to put you down and hold you back with this gesture?
Either way, what’s important is to follow your intuition and to listen to your heart (pay attention to your physical heart rate) because that is where you’ll find all the answers you need.
6. Light grip
On the opposite side of this tight grip is a lighter grip. This is where your hands are basically in the exact same position like in the previous type, but the difference is in the intensity of the hold.
This type of hand holding is usually reserved for public places and it’s a kind of a background activity: You two are talking with somebody or are doing something else, but still want to touch each other.
Even though the light grip doesn’t appear to be a sign of strong connection, it is actually quite significant.
It shows that no matter who you’re with, where you are, and how busy you are, you always need each other’s touch and presence.
7. Hands spooning
I’m sure you’re familiar with the term spooning. It is a cuddling or sleeping position in which you and your loved one lie next to each other, butt-to-back, side-by-side.
Well, there is something called hands spooning as well. It is a situation in which your partner’s hand literally spoons yours (or the other way around).
If you’re wondering what this symbolizes, let me tell you that is actually a form of cuddling in public.
Your partner clearly wants to hold you in their arms, hug you, and be as close to you as possible, but you’re not in private so this is the next best thing to do.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never appropriate to be all over each other outside the bedroom.
So, if you have the desire to cuddle, just engage in this hand spooning and all of a sudden, you’ll feel much more connected to your significant other.
8. Holding fingers
When your partner is holding all or most of your fingers in their hand, they’re probably trying to make a point or get some sense into you.
They want to tell you something or give you news you might not like but are looking for the best way to do so.
Nevertheless, despite this hand hold being gentle and caring, it is also something you have to be careful about.
Maybe they’re trying to persuade into accepting or agreeing on something you normally wouldn’t, as this is the type of hand holding manipulators often use to change their victim’s mind and convince them of something they want you to believe.
9. Wrist grip
This is another controlling technique your partner might use and it can also be seen as a trailer to physical violence.
It is quite possible that this is your partner’s way of regaining control over you and telling you they’re in charge.
However, it’s completely different if this wrist grip takes place during sex.
Here, dominant and submissive positions can just be a part of role playing and don’t have to necessarily relate much to real life.
10. Over-the-shoulder hand holding
Out of all types of hand holding, this is the most protective one.
It’s usually the man putting his arm over the woman’s shoulder and their hands end up interlocked somewhere on her body.
Over-the-shoulder hand holding shows possession and pride of the person next to you.
Meaning Of No Hand Holding
Let’s be honest. Even though this form of touch is not the only measurement of a happy love life, when you see a couple holding hands, you immediately know that they’re an item and assume they care for each other.
Nevertheless, your relationship might offer a completely different scenario.
In today’s dating world, it’s not uncommon for a romantic couple to not show any PDA. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with this if you both agree on it.
However, a problem occurs if you need your partner’s touch while they couldn’t care less about providing it to you outside the bedroom.
You can’t help but wonder what the problem is and why they refuse to hold hands with you.
I won’t lie to you. This can be a red flag you should pay more attention to.
First and foremost, it is quite weird that your significant other doesn’t have the need to touch you. Their body and skin don’t crave for your presence and that’s something to be worried about.
There’s a possibility that they don’t care enough for you or are emotionally unavailable. Maybe they’re scared of letting their guard down or need more time to completely relax in front of you.
If this is something you can relate to, the best thing you can do is to try and initiate physical contact, without waiting for them to make the first move.
Then observe their reaction carefully: Are they relieved that you took their hand so they didn’t have to do it, or did they back out?
Another reason behind this behavior might be the fact that they’re not one hundred percent faithful.
Could it be that your partner is hiding you from the world because they want to leave the impression of being single, so they could hit on other people?
Might you be the one he is cheating on their spouse with, without you even being aware of it, so they need to make sure nobody assumes you two are a couple?
Either way, the best thing in this situation is to be honest and tell your significant other what’s bothering you.
Maybe you’re just making a fuss about nothing and they’re not even aware that you two have different cravings when it comes to physical touch outside the sheets.
The Science Behind The Profound Power Of Holding Hands
Lately, scientists have been exploring the phenomena of interpersonal synchronization, in which people have a habit of mirroring their loved ones.
Pavel Goldstein, a pain researcher, conducted an experiment that included 32 couples and had the goal of exploring the real benefits of physical touch, one of which include hand holding.
Pavel Goldstein investigated the changes that occur in brain waves of these couples when they’re just near each other and especially when they touch one another.
And the results conclusively claim that the power of empathetic touch is enormous.
Out of all forms of physical touch, according to the director of the Touch Research Institute Dr. Tiffany Field, , hand holding is the most beneficial.
In her new study, Dr. Tiffany Field reminds us that our skin covers our entire body, but is also a sensitive organ that needs constant stimulation.
6 Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Hand Holding
1. Love hormone
Researchers prove that human touch triggers brain waves that are responsible for the feeling of happiness.
Simply put, every time you hold hands, your brain releases oxytocin (the hormone of love), which plays a significant role in all of your social interactions and relationships, including romantic ones.
In fact, every physical touch by your loved ones – and not just hand holding – releases oxytocin, lowers your blood pressure, makes you feel loved, wanted, and better in general.
2. Reduces stress hormones
Another health benefit of hand holding is the fact that it lowers the levels of stress hormones in your body.
When you hold hands, the brain waves that release stress into your body get a lot calmer and, just like that, your anxiety becomes much more bearable.
3. Boosts intimacy
One of the most important scientifically proven benefits of this type of interpersonal synchronization is without doubt the bond between you and your romantic partner when you hold hands.
Many think that intimacy is only reserved for the bedroom and when they hear the words physical touch, they think it only refers to sex.
However, intimacy is much more than this. It’s built through every tiny aspect of your relationship.
Sometimes, it will be enough for you and your partner to look each other deeply in the eyes and hold hands, without having to even kiss or cuddle in some other way, for your connection to be deepened.
Hand holding brings you closer to each other and it makes your relationship way stronger. It builds trust and helps you two unite in ways you couldn’t even dream of.
4. Pain management
When little babies are in pain, one of the best therapies has proven to be a simple act of their mother’s physical touch. Well, that doesn’t change much as we grow older.
Pain is still highly manageable by human touch, as it reduces the activity of brain waves that release pain signals.
Even if hand holding doesn’t make you feel physically better, it will definitely make you feel more at ease.
You know that you aren’t alone and have someone next to you, who won’t abandon you in the hardest of times.
5. Helps you with fear
A famous holding hands quote says: “Holding hands is a promise that, just for a moment, the two of you don’t have to face the world alone.”
Therefore, it is clear: Hand-holding chases fear and insecurities away.
It helps you feel safe and like you’re home. Just a simple touch by another human being can change your entire perspective on things.
Sometimes, you might feel helpless and just someone else’s presence – let alone their hand in yours – gives you hope that everything will be alright and turn out for the best.
When you’re holding hands with someone you love, you feel more powerful and stronger. You two are united and fearless, and there is nothing you can’t accomplish together.
6. Good for your health
Knowing the science behind the power of holding hands, it is more than clear this form of interpersonal synchronization is beneficial for your health in more ways than one.
Besides releasing oxytocin, which makes you feel happier and more content, this simple touch also has a good effect on your brain waves, decreases your blood pressure and heart rate, and makes a positive impact on your mental and emotional well-being.
So, what exactly are you waiting for? Grab your husband or wife’s hand and start practicing it regularly!