You may have already kissed that special someone, indulged in a couch makeout session, and even had sex; but the thrill of holding hands is as real and more important than any other type of physical intimacy.
But in today's dating era, holding hands feels more intimate than ever. And if you find yourself wanting to reach out and grab your date's hand, that could be a sign that this relationship is the real deal. Holding hands is a big deal. Tarah, 25, from Ontario, told Mic that it usually takes her two to three weeks of dating before she'll hold hands, even if they've already kissed or had sex. There's a certain energy exchange that you can feel from holding hands with someone, especially if you have feelings for the person," she said.
See, it feels intimate just watching it. Giphy Besides the desire for physical affection, the move can also define your relationship status. If you're not ready for the world to see you as a couple, you're likely avoiding any acts that signify to others you're truly "together.
Nick, 23, from Santa Monica, California, explained that holding hands represents a shift from "someone I'm dating" to "someone I plan on indefinitely dating. We're hardwired to feel an increase in pleasure and a decrease in anxiety when touching another person.
Physical touch releases oxytocin, a "cuddle hormone" that stimulates feelings of trust and bonding. Holding hands can even reduce pain: A study by the University of California found that women who were subjected to moderately painful heat stimuli experienced less discomfort while holding hands with their boyfriends. Tumblr One of the most powerful signals humans give each other of affection and interest is touch, said Pamela Regan, psychology professor at California State University, Los Angeles.
And it can be just as romantic as sex. The notion that holding hands is an act reserved for serious couples would have seemed bizarre not long ago. Indeed, the thought of holding hands on a date feels straight out of a black-and-white movie. But as casual sex has become widely accepted , it's possible we've assigned more meaning to the nonsexual act of holding hands.
If sex is no longer a guaranteed way to demonstrate serious feelings for another person, hand-holding can be. YouTube Sure, some people may still be physically repulsed by the idea of holding someone's hand. And deciding to publicly show the world that you and the guy or gal you've been seeing are a real couple can be scary. But if you'd like to feel more emotionally connected to your partner, holding hands can be a beautiful, romantically old-school gesture.
There is nothing sexual about it; rather it conveys pure connection and support," Ronit, 28, from Washington, D.