Our senses provide a plethora of input.

When you’re in love, seeing your spouse – even a picture of the one you love – brings a smile to your lips. We buy our spouses smelly stuff like cologne or perfume or lotion to delight the senses. We feed each other strawberries dipped in chocolate, and whisper sweet words, but our ability to feel our spouse – the sense of touch – can work like magic.

Give it some thought…

Our sight is found in one body part – the eyes. And hearing, taste, and smell are each also only found in one body part. But our sense of touch – the ability to feel – is found everywhere, on every square inch of a healthy body.

A study done in 2011 at John Hopkins University showed how specialized neurons in the skin feel different movements and vibrations. It’s complex. David Ginty, Ph.D., professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins says “Touch is not yes or no; it’s very rich…”.

I’m sure you’re not surprised. You know how rich the sense of touch is.

You’ve run your fingers through your spouse’s hair, or tickled them, or traced their eyebrows with a gentle finger. You’ve wrapped your arms around your spouse and hugged them till they squeaked and blown bubbles on their bare tummy. You’ve made love.

Touch is like colors – many hued.

Every nerve ending in our skin has the ability to feel. With another study in 2006, participants were able to decode emotions from a single touch on the forearm, all while blindfolded. They were able detect anger, fear, love, gratitude and sympathy from a simple touch.

One touch.

Do you grab every opportunity to touch the one you love?

Perhaps touch – or the lack thereof – is cultural.

A thought provoking study was done by Sidney Jourard (1926-1974), a pioneer in the fields of body-awareness and self-disclosure. This psychologist went to cafés/restaurants in a few cities around the world and watched couples interact. While he was there, he counted how many times those couples touched each other.

In Paris – couples touched each other an average of 115 times in an hour. Couples in Mexico City topped Paris by 70 – those couples touched each other an average of 185 times. In London couples didn’t touch each other at all, and in a city in Florida, the average was just twice.

Couples in America touched each other an average of 2 times in an hour.

How about you?

How often, when you’re sitting with your spouse, do you touch each other?

You know that old saying, “Reach out and touch someone.” …

Perhaps tonight – is the night!

Encouragement is more than words.

Sometimes a pat on the back,

a shoulder rub,

a kiss and a hug

is the perfect way to add some heart into your relationship.