How To Have A Healthy Relationship? Just Hold Hands

Last updated 4 Jan 2019 . 1 min read

just hold hands just hold hands

Last week I met some friends for coffee. We were catching up on life and pulling each other’s legs when the topic came around to one of my friends’ potential love interest. Another friend was teasing her mercilessly about how she had seen them walking together, holding hands.

At this point, a third friend burst out,

“This is it, guys! This means they’re officially dating. Holding hands is the ultimate sealing the deal. Sex and all is fine. But NO ONE holds hands these days. It really means something. And I’m not even being sarcastic. This is legit. Holding hands is sacred.”

I have no idea if it was intentional but my friend had said something really insightful. It stayed with me. I couldn't stop thinking about how in modern dating, holding hands has become the highest level of intimacy.

You may have already kissed someone, made out with them, and maybe even had sex. But there is a certain thrill of holding hands that is real and more important than any other kind of physical intimacy. In the modern world, the dynamics of dating and relationships are changing. As more and more people separate the physical from the emotional, holding hands is a major indication that you want to be with this person even in a non-sexual way. If you find yourself wanting to reach out and hold his hand, it is a major sign that the relationship is a real deal. It is major.

There's a certain exchange of energy one feels from holding hands with someone, especially if you have feelings for that person. It's a sign of affection, a sign wanting to be close to a person.

This isn’t just true for new relationships. No matter whether it is a budding romance or a long-term relationship, the importance of holding hands stays.

And I’m not saying this, science is!

Holding hands with your partner has scientific benefits that help keep your relationship healthy. Here's how:

#1. All in the hormones

Holding hands releases a hormone called oxytocin, commonly known as the ‘cuddle hormone’ that makes people feel happier. This is why we feel an increase in pleasure and a decrease in anxiety when touching another person. Oxytocin boosts empathy and communication between partners, which is a proven factor for happy and long-lasting relationships. Holding hands with your partner creates a bond that will impact the quality of your relationship significantly. Holding hands is muscle memory for couples in happy relationships. It is a habit developed by their nervous systems to produce oxytocin and make them feel happier and more loved.


#2. Reduces pain

A University of California study found that women who were subjected to moderately painful stimuli experienced less discomfort while holding hands with their boyfriends. You see? Holding hands can even reduce pain! Humans have the natural reflex to tighten their muscles when hit with pain, isn’t it nice to have someone to hold on to then? Childbirth is one of the most painful experiences a woman goes through physically - typically the husband is in the room holding her hand as she goes through labour. Grasping your partner’s hand is a reflex, it is much easier to endure pain arm in arm with your love.

#3. Stress Buster

Holding hands reduces the level of a stress hormone called cortisol in your body. The largest concentration of nerve endings is in the palms and fingertips. In times of high stress, a light touch on our hand can help ease us both physically and mentally. The skin tends to be more sensitive when cortisol is in our bloodstream so the touch has a larger impact. The next time you’re having a hard day, get together with your partner say goodbye to the stress.

(Did you knew, Holding Hands could Bring Back The Spark In Your Relationship!)

#4. Good for the heart

And we don’t just mean this in the emotional sense! Holding hands with your significant other lowers your blood pressure, and thus reduces the risk of heart disease. When we intertwine fingers with our love, we don't just easing stress and improve our relationships – we also provide a comfort to the heart.

#5. Wards-off fear

Holding your love’s hand in a horror movie is a cliché for a reason! The human brain responds to a sudden stimulus of fear using adrenaline. This is what makes you jump out of your chair. Adrenaline gets our blood pumping and releases cortisol in the body. At such times it is our natural instinct to hold hands with someone we trust. People instantly grab their partner’s hand to fight off nerves.

#6. Makes you feel safe

Remember as children how our parents always held our hands when we crossed the street or walked on a crowded road? This simple hand holding is a huge source of safety and comfort for young children. In fact, it works both ways - parents feel safer knowing their children are within their grasp too. Simple handholding makes insecurity disappear. It is such a huge part of our lives since our childhood that we feel we can conquer obstacles holding someone’s hands.


Not only does hand holding have all these benefits but the way you hold hands can tell a lot about your relationship.

Here are some different ways of holding hands and what they mean:

#1. Holding fingers

In this type of hand holding, the partner holds onto just a few fingers instead of your whole hand. It is often used when he is leading you somewhere, for example. If you two hold hands like this often it means that you are both very independent. You like to reach out and be in a relationship with each other but at the same time, you’re strong and confident enough to be by yourself as well. You are spirited individuals who like to maintain their individuality and have your own passions in life. You like being together, but you also enjoy your me-time. Even if you have your own independence and spirited natures, you still like to be with each other at the end the day.

#2. Passive hand holding

When one of the partners is cupping the other’s hand firmly within their own but the gesture is relaxed it is called a passive hold. This means that neither of you is clingy. Neither of you is a big fan of public displays of affection. But that doesn't mean that you don’t love each other! Just that you prefer to keep it private. You have a tender relationship. The world just doesn’t get to see it much.

#3. Downward palms

This is the most common type of hand holding. Here, one person has their palm facing downwards. It is usually the man because of gender roles. The one with the downward palm is considered to be more dominant and protective of the other partner. He may hold your hand like this when you’re crossing at an intersection or are on a busy road, especially at night, where he feels the natural urge to protect you and keep you safe.

#4. Relaxed hand holding

A casual, relaxed hold is an indicator that you are confident in your relationship and know that your partner is completely on your side. It is an ideal hold for stroking the back of their hand with the thumb which is a sign of passion and gentle love. It also shows that you’re both emotionally stable. You’re at the point in your relationship where you have nothing to show to anyone. You know that you are always going to be there for each other.

#5. Interlocked hand holding

Holding hands by interlocking all of their fingers together, shows an extremely high level of intimacy and a deep connection with each other. Such couples are very attracted to each other, in the physical sense and beyond -  they are attracted to each another emotionally and intellectually as well. They want to be as connected as possible and hence, the intertwining of fingers. Partners who hold hands like this are very comfortable with each other. They can be vulnerable and honest in each other’s company. It demonstrates a lot of trust in the partner and the belief that they have your best interests at heart.

#6. Protective hand holding

A typical wedding album handhold, here the woman’s hand is just perched on top of her partner’s hand. It may look tiny and delicate but it actually is extremely positive. It is an indicator of mutual protectiveness and respect. It denotes a healthy relationship, adoration, trust and a deep love for one another. Basically, you two are crazy about each other and the world can tell!

#7. Intertwined hand over the shoulder

Here, one of the partners, usually the man, puts his hand over the other’s shoulder where she holds it. This is more than just a hand hold, it is pulling your partner closer. It’s almost a snuggle. Even if it looks casual, this gesture is extremely loving and protective. It is a sign of a loving, intimate bond. It spells out a  desire to be close to your soulmate. The couple shows pride in their relationship and they know they’ll protect and defend each other to no end.

So what are you waiting for? Go on, hold his hand!


Palak Kapadia

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