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Xavy

Holding Hands in a Relationship

50 posts in this topic

As I wrote in another thread, my now ex girlfriend (who is sexual and romantic) recently broke up with me after 7 months together. I thought it was going well, but when she finally couldn't take it anymore she exploded and told me just how terrible our time together had been for her. It was quite a shock as if I hadn't been through exactly the same thing before. I guess you never get used to being dumped without warning.

Anyway, one of her complaints was that I never held her hand. Now, although that is true (except for that one time when she asked me to hold her hand and I did), to me, that is a meaningless gesture and I cannot understand why it was even worth mentioning in a break up conversation. What am I missing here, do sexual people attach some other meaning to holding hands that I am not aware of ?

She also said I never seemed excited to see her. I am not sure if I was supposed to do a back flip everytime we met, but the strange thing about that comment is that it is simply not true. I always enjoyed meeting up with her. I always enjoyed her company. Maybe I didn't do a backflip every time we met, but my mind certainly did a backflip every time I saw her.

Her complaints about my behavior in the relationship was endless, however, I want to confer rate on the holding hands issue Here ....... Is it just me, or is it a bit awkward to walk together hand in hand with someone ?

What am I supposed to feel when holding hands, because I don't feel anything at all ?

Can anyone explain the whole holding hands thing ?

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I don't think hand-holding has anything to do with being sexual or asexual; I assume it's just another form of physical contact/affection that some people like and some don't. The issue with not acting excited to see her is probably a similar one, although not involving touch. It's an expression of emotion directed towards the other person, and some people need plenty of that in a relationship in order to feel loved/wanted/connected/desired/whatever and others are much less inclined that way. There's nothing weird about the way you are, or about the way your ex was either. Different people, different needs and methods of communication.

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Thank you CBC.Radio.Girl. That does make a lot of sense.

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Personally, holding hands was kind of a big deal in my romantic (and asexual) relationship with my girlfriend, but not so much in my (also asexual) relationship with my partner. I really enjoy any kind of physical contact/affection, and different people like that to different degrees. It sounds like that was really important to your girlfriend.

One of the reasons why hand-holding was so important to my girlfriend (especially in public) was because it was a sign to her that I was proud to be seen with her. For us as a same-sex couple, feeling comfortable enough to hold her hand, and being willing to deal with the possible fallout from that meant a lot to her in terms of showing her how important she was to me. It might be that your girlfriend felt like you didn't love her enough because you didn't want to be seen holding her hand (which is not about you not loving her enough, at all, just about the different ways different people communicate attachment and affection).

Hopefully you'll find someone who's perspective on hand-holding and affection and love is a little bit more compatible with yours

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I'm sorry that you lost your girlfriend. It sounds, from how you talk about her, that she meant a great deal to you.

I know that when I've broken up with people I've mentioned things that feel related to what really made me want to leave the relationship as 'evidence'. It's almost to convince myself that I'm doing the right thing. Maybe this was like that. From where I sit it sounds like your girlfriend just didn't feel sexually appreciated by you and that this ways a big deal for her. Holding hands was just one of many ways that she didn't feel you showed her the kind of affection she needed.

It really sucks when someone you care about turns out to be incompatible with you after being together.

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I identify as "asexual" and I like to hold hands with my romantic partner. I actually like a lot of physical touch and affection in my romantic relationships and I don't think I'd be compatible with someone who wasn't physically affectionate regardless of sexual orientation.

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It is a sign of emotional connection, a proof that the two of you are walking "together" and not alone next to each other. I like walking arm in arm with others. It gives me a feeling of satisfaction and security. Security of being appreciated was probably something your gf lacked in the relationship, so it makes sense that she complained in this way.

Radio Girl is completely right though: Everyone expresses their feelings in different ways. There is not one correct way to treat another.

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I personally love holding hands. It's a sign of affection and I feel protected and safe when somebody holds my hand. There's nothing wrong with not liking it, though. Some people don't like showing affection in public (I don't like kissing or being kissed if there are other people around, for example, because I am shy) or just show affection in different ways.

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I don't hold hands. I feel awkward and kind of "forced" if I do so.

It's like sitting up straight- I have to consciously think about it.

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I don't hold hands. I feel awkward and kind of "forced" if I do so.

It's like sitting up straight- I have to consciously think about it.

This is pretty much how I feel. As I mentioned in my opening post, it Feels ackward and I get nothing from doing it.

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I would love it, but I've always been afraid of my hand getting sweaty or something. :unsure: It seems silly, hehe, but it's a self-esteem buster when that happens. If my hands would remain alright, I'd hold everybody's hand all the time. ^_^ haha

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I'm not an expert on the topic, having never been in an actual romantic relationship before. It sounds to me like it was a bunch of little things she let build up until she hurled it at you like a bomb of break-up, instead of communicating her issues to you in a mature way. Hand holding may or may not have been a big issue to her, it was just something she could pull from the pile of anger and hurt the time.

As for why hand-holding is important, the woman I love has told me that physical contact with other human beings is necessary. She and I used to hold hands all the time (when we're home, never in public. I can't stand PDA.) It's about the only touch I feel truly comfortable with, and for the most part, only with her. But I never thought it was a necessity until for certain reasons I have told her it needed to stop. She respected my wishes, but once it stopped I find I now miss that small gesture of affection.

But if that really was something important to her, she should have told you that much sooner, instead of getting angry and breaking up with you. I'm sorry you went through that, losing someone you care about is never fun, especially when you don't see it coming.

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I find adults walking around hand in hand look a bit childish. I haven't walked around holding hands with anyone since infant school. If people want to, that's fine by me, but it seems strange to make a big deal out of it in an adult relationship.

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Holding hands is not for everyone. I like holding hands, Though I tend more often to do the arms linked things then straight holding hands. My enjoyment comes from the fact I really like touch and being physically affectionate. Some people find this a requirement to feel emotional enjoyment in a relationship. It sort of sound like this might be what your ex wanted but just never conveyed well during your relationship.

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I don't have problems with hand holding but consider the following: if it's something not that meaningful to you and it is to another person, why wouldn't you consider doing it for them to make them feel better? Finding a middle ground, communication, and compromise are large things that people need to learn to survive and foster healthy relationships.

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For me, hand holding is neither a sexual nor romantic activity. In the past, it's been something I have found enjoyable at the time, though I do not require it to be happy in a relationship. If my theoretical partner finds it enjoyable and I too find it pleasant, then why not? Otherwise, it's not really a big deal, and I don't find it necessary. It is as simple as that for me; not particularly nuanced.

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I think the idea is nice. I've done it a long time ago and it was super cute.

The only issue is that stuff like that gets me really anxious. When I get anxious, I get sweaty hands. The idea of that makes me feel even more anxious.

I'd like to hold hands, but I can't. I'm like Rogue from the X-Men.

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Hand holding is just a sign of affection, think of a very light form of sensual contact. When I started dating my girlfriend it didn't really come naturally to me either. People on the ace spectrum and people off the ace spectrum often have different thoughts on what it means for a relationship to be going well. Allosexuals who have sexual attraction often expect that from a relationship, while Asexuals can be satisfied with a purely emotional relationship. In the same way aromantics might overlook sensual contact in their relationship because they don't see the purpose, where as their partner, who isn't aromatic, may be expecting that sort of contact. I had these issues with this in my relationship, the best advice I can give is to try to communicate with your partner frequently and do your best to accommodate them if they feel anything is missing from your relationship, as long as it's not something you're uncomfortable doing.

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I find adults walking around hand in hand look a bit childish. I haven't walked around holding hands with anyone since infant school. If people want to, that's fine by me, but it seems strange to make a big deal out of it in an adult relationship.

That might be regional or cultural thing, since where I grew up it was the exact opposite. I don't remember ever holding hands with other children, or seeing other children holding hands (unless they were siblings, and then there was usually a practical reason). Though I didn't really understand it at the time, in retrospect, that was probably why it was such a dramatic thing when people would start holding hands (as a romantic couple) during middle school.

Personally, I like holding hands with someone if we're sitting next to each other. Pretty much for the reasons already listed here; mainly for the physical connection. However, I can't stand holding hands with someone while walking. It's never, in my experience, physically comfortable. Walking speeds, moving through crowds, height differences, etc, etc.

I prefer to offer my arm or take theirs, since I do enjoy the physical connection (or I might be trying to keep track of someone in a crowded area). Doing this usually seems to solve the height issues, manoeuvrability, etc. Unfortunately, I've yet to find someone else who finds this comfortable. Not so much in the physical sense, but in the sense that they feel self-conscious walking around in what a way that is often perceived as very old-fashioned. So, in the end, we end up walking separately anyway.

I do tend to agree with Megami. Without placing any blame on either party, it does seem like maybe she let things build up instead of talking it out. Or perhaps she thought she had communicated her needs to you, but hadn't actually done so in a way that made it clear. Whatever the case may be, it's frustrating and distressing to suddenly find out that something which seemed to be fine was actually hurting someone you cared about. I'm sorry that there wasn't a better way for you two to resolve the issue.

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I don't have problems with hand holding but consider the following: if it's something not that meaningful to you and it is to another person, why wouldn't you consider doing it for them to make them feel better? Finding a middle ground, communication, and compromise are large things that people need to learn to survive and foster healthy relationships.

Good point, except in my case the problem was communicated to me too late for me to attempt to adjust. I agree that I could have done it to make the other person feel better, as weird and unnatural as it seemed to me.

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I don't mind hand-holding, but if the other person's hands are sweaty, that's really, really not cool by me. I find all biological fluids secreted by the body repulsive (except tears.. those, I can handle with no problem), and sweat is one of those things that I detest.. even my own, which is one reason I loathe hot weather. My own hands tend to be cool and dry, so someone whose hands are hot and sweaty will send me running for the Purell.

But if the person's hands are likewise cool and dry, I like holding hands. Its a way of saying to the other person "I am proud to be with you and I am glad to show other people that I am proud to be with you". If your relationship is one that mainstream society often looks down on, like mixed-race partnerships in some areas and same-sex relationships, holding your partner's hand can also be a statement of "I love you enough to risk abuse/derision for the sake of our relationship", which is a pretty strong indication that the person really cares and is actually quite noble, as I see it.

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Hehe, this is so me. :P The best thing would be hand holding in the winter time when you're wearing gloves... I've never felt so comfortable and at ease in my life! :lol:

I think the idea is nice. I've done it a long time ago and it was super cute.

The only issue is that stuff like that gets me really anxious. When I get anxious, I get sweaty hands. The idea of that makes me feel even more anxious.

I'd like to hold hands, but I can't. I'm like Rogue from the X-Men.

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I am sorry about what happened to you. I hesitate to place blame anywhere, but communication is usually the key, before it gets to the exploding point.

With regards to this:

What am I supposed to feel when holding hands, because I don't feel anything at all ?

Can anyone explain the whole holding hands thing ?

You aren't "supposed to" feel anything. You can't help what you feel or don't feel, and trying to feel something specific would just be frustrating.

Personally, I love holding hands, with everyone, not just with my partner. Mostly, it makes me feel safe. I feel both possessive and possessed at the same time. We are comfortable with each other, and comfortable being seen together. We belong to and with each other.

With that said, I would never expect something from someone that they weren't comfortable with, especially if I haven't ever mentioned it before! It doesn't hurt my feelings if someone doesn't want to hold my hand.

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I wanna hold hands... it just seems cute and special... it's a sign off trust and close ness... it's an assurance that the person and I are really there and really do care about each other

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I find adults walking around hand in hand look a bit childish. I haven't walked around holding hands with anyone since infant school. If people want to, that's fine by me, but it seems strange to make a big deal out of it in an adult relationship.

:( aw mt... *accepts you anyway*

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I hate to respond with the cliché 'well, then she wasn't the one for you' but if hand holding was such a big deal...

I personally don't think holding hands has any sexual aspect to it... But I can say, as a person who's just not big on physical affection in general, I don't like it. I wish I could give a better explanation, but I just... don't. There are alternatives that I don't mind. My boyfriend and I occasionally link arms like a fancy, old-timey couple, and that seems to be an acceptable compromise on both ends.

It sounds to me like your real problem was a lack of communication. Especially if your ex never brought this up as a problem before the two of you split. But I wish you the best of luck, and I hope this helped in some way.

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OMG no. No no no no no.

I can be very affectionate especially when the other person is really close to me but I never liked holding hands. One, they start getting sweaty right away, making it uncomfortable for everyone involved and two, I need my hands to "roam free" in general (I go grocery shopping with a backpack, for example).

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Huh. I don't remember hands getting sweaty, only hands already being sweaty to begin with. Then again I wouldn't hold hands in summer.

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Holding hands sound cool but its not really my cup of tea, I honestly dont mind if it would be for a few minutes but not all the time

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Can we bring back the etiquette of pretty lady gloves? xD

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