Does he really care if I kiss him goodnight? Is holding her hand in public that important? Does it matter if I show affection in my relationships? Affection is a physical and emotional expression of how you feel about a person. Intimate and familial relationships flourish when you are comfortable giving and receiving affection. Being affectionate can strengthen the quality of your relationships.
Affection Communicates Feelings
Giving and receiving affection communicates your emotions to those most important to you. Beginning at birth, touching forms positive attachments and facilitates trust, according to the article "The Power of Touch in a Young Child's Life," on OklahomaChildCare.org. Parental affection remains important even as you become more independent during adolescence. Appropriate physical affection during childhood can enhance your ability to express and return affection as an adult. Openly communicating can help you share your feelings and grow your relationships.
Affection Deepens Connections
Emotional connections are strengthened by regular affection. Physical affection, such as a hug between mother and son or romantic expressions with a girlfriend or boyfriend, can deepen the bond you feel. Verbal affection can express care and communicate emotional warmth when physical touch is not appropriate, says psychologist Carl Pickhardt in his article, "Adolescence and Physical Affection with Parents," on PsychologyToday.com. Make relationships better and stronger by moving slowly, taking the time to get to know someone and sharing your hopes and dreams before becoming physically intimate.
Affection Builds Stability
When relationships have healthy levels of affection, they are more likely to be stable. Stronger relationships can withstand conflict and are more likely to last. Allow yourself to develop a habit of showing affection. Be affectionate by thinking of others first or genuinely trying to please another person. Everyday actions can create a stable relationship, report psychologists Janice Driver and John Gottman in their article, "Daily Marital Interactions and Positive Affect During Marital Conﬂict Among Newlywed Couples," published in the Family Process Journal.
Affection Is Healthy
Modern researchers are studying the physiological impact of affection. Giving and receiving affection in a healthy relationship can increase levels of the hormone oxytocin, according the article "Hugs and Cuddles Have Long-Term Effects," published by the National Institutes of Health. Oxytocin makes you feel good and can prevent depression and other mental health issues. When released regularly, oxytocin facilitates lower stress levels, blood pressure reduction, mood improvement and physical healing, says the NIH.
- Psychology Today: Adolescence and Physical Affection with Parents
- Oklahoma Child Care: The Power of Touch in a Young Child's Life
- National Institutes of Health: Hugs and Cuddles Have Long-Term Effects
- Parent Further: Promoting Healthy Teen Relationships
- Family Process Journal: Daily Marital Interactions and Positive Affect During Marital Conﬂict Among Newlywed Couples
- Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images