I've learned something a bit shocking in these last almost 5 months of being in a healthy relationship. For years my strongest love language was essentially "stolen" from me. I'm a 12 out of 12 on touch being the best way to communicate love to me. You see, among the many problems The Ex and I had, I think this may have been the biggest ... and I'm not even sure I knew it at the time.
The Ex hated touching unless it was in direct relation to having sex. When I tried to hug him, he said I was taking him hostage and he would make me let him go. He never hugged me ... unless he was initiating sex. There was no cuddling on the couch, or sitting extra close to each other in a booth, or even holding hands really. As we spent more time together, I began to associate touch with sexual advance and started shying away from casual touch.
Long, fairly painful, story short: I avoided touch for years because I'd come to see it as the start of sex every time I had more than a passing interaction with someone. And I didn't want sex, but that is another story.
I know this affected, and probably hurt, many people in my life. And I'm sorry for the pain I may have cause them, but in many ways this was the first real boundary I understood and enforced in my life. There's a reason I've been in therapy for the last four years.
Getting a dog was a fantastic choice for so may reasons. Unbeknownst to me at the time, it was also one of my first steps towards accepting touch again. Nothing like 15 lbs of pure love trying to curl up inside your dress to remind you not all touch leads to sex. She was the first one in years who had, and still has, carte blanche to touch me whenever she needs.
|My sweet girl's rescue pic.|
The boyfriend (RNBF) also has preference for touch as a love language (oh, hi, honey...💜). These last few months I've enjoyed relearning how nice it can be to lay all tangled up with someone on the couch for hours without having to worry that it will have to end in the bedroom. Not saying it doesn't end there often, but not every time. That is one of the best things about dating him. Knowing it's okay when we spent time together simply being close.