Does Anyone Actually Like Holding Hands? An Investigation
02.07.18

One of my best friends and her new boyfriend held hands for the entirety of my four-hour holiday party in December, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I was, to put it succinctly, perplexed — however, my reaction was a classic case of projection in that my feelings had absolutely nothing to do with them and absolutely everything to do with me.

Every time someone reaches to clasp my hand in theirs, be it a friend or boyfriend, I am immediately overcome with a feelings cocktail of 45% delight and 55% stress. I am delighted they want to hold my hand, and I am delighted by the feeling of this person’s hand in mine and mine in theirs, but I am stressed about the etiquette. What if my hand gets clammy? How do I shift the position of my hand without disturbing the equilibrium of this precarious entrapment? Given the fact that at some point we will have to part claws, which one of us should initiate the separation? If grades are being handed out for the act of hand-holding, how can I guarantee myself an A+?

Ultimately, I’m not sure whether hand-holding is a dreamy nightmare or a nightmarish dream. All I know is I love it and hate it simultaneously and would rather not deal with it at all but would also be devastated if my hands were suddenly relegated to the lesser company of spoons and toothbrushes forevermore.

Curious if I was alone in this tornado of inner turmoil, I posed the following question to the internet: “Does anyone actually like holding hands?” The responses came by the bucketful, all of which I consumed with a voraciousness previously reserved for newly released Harry Potter installments and pasted them into a document that soon reached 18 pages (a hand-holding treatise, if you will).

I read it again — once, twice, three times. Digested as a whole, the hundreds of responses lodged a fully unexpected lump in my throat. For as much as the prospect of interlaced fingers has caused me stress, I never stopped to consider its simple, extraordinary power as humanity’s connective tissue — not the kind we’re born with that binds all our organs together, but the kind we create ourselves that binds us, as people, together.

I divided the responses up by category for your viewing pleasure. Have a scroll and let me know what you think in the comments. I’ll be waiting with both hands outstretched, plus a bottle of Purell.

For some, hand-holding is the height of intimacy

1. “I think holding hands is one of the MOST intimate things you can do! On the scale of intimacy, I think it might be more intimate than sex to me. I better be kissing someone regularly before we start holding hands! I feel very strongly about this.”

2. “For me, holding hands is the litmus test of my feelings for someone else. If I want to hold your hand it means I want to be intimate with you — not just physically, but I trust you and want to get to know you better emotionally.”

3. “I feel like it’s a very intimate sign of affection. My friends and I even had a joke that it’s a sign that someone is more than a hookup if you’re willing to hold his hand!”

4. “Yes of course, but only if you LOVE the person — not like, but love. That’s how you know you’re in love.”

5. “Hand-holding is really intimate, maybe more intimate than kissing. I briefly dated a guy years ago and the kissing was fine, but his hands were always cold and unwelcoming. I had to break up with him (I didn’t mention the hand thing when I did it),”

Clamminess is a common source of stress

1. “I have extremely sweaty palms, but I love holding hands. I find it really reassuring and comforting, but it’s always way awkward to tell someone not to freak out about how sweaty my hands are (it is a pretty good filter to figure out if a person is shitty or not based on their reaction to my sweating).”

2. “I love the idea of holding hands (cute intimacy) but have paranoia that my hands are clammy, which they usually are, and the anxiety about this makes them clammy if they weren’t already.”

3. “It can say so many things and it’s unbelievably comforting, though you gotta look out for clammy hands. They do not a good hand-hold make — unless you’re super-emotional and someone holds your hands through the cold sweats — that is true love.”

4. “I love the thought of holding hands and actually holding hands, but I have a clammy hand problem, so I don’t unless I am really dating a guy and the sweaty hands won’t freak him out. And if they do freak him out, it makes me contemplate the relationship. If he can’t handle clammy hands, what else can’t he handle?!”

5. “I have incredibly sweaty hands and feet and so I’m rarely able to enjoy the act without feeling incredibly self-conscious about my clamminess! Obviously, my significant other cares about me enough that he can make a joke and not make a huge deal about it, but it still makes me feel so gross!”

A LOT of people consider hand-holding compatibility a barometer for relationship health

1. “There are people that I want to have fantastic adventures with, but at the end of the day, the person that I know that I will end up with is the person that I can also see myself talking about my Diva Cup with. It’s the person who will hold my hand in a way that makes the both of us feel comfortable, and it’s the person who will hold my hand whether or not I’m wearing makeup in public. “

2. “Feeling comfortable holding someone’s hand really is an indicator for me if that person will be staying in my life, if we match and if they are able to pull me out of my own thoughts into the real world.”

3. “I once got in a very big fight with my ex about this. He would always try and hold my hand and whenever he did, I would feel very uncomfortable. And because I was uncomfortable, I would try and make the whole thing a joke. I would sway our hands back and forth like we were in kindergarten, I would make weird noises, and it made him so angry! Oh well. When I started dating my current boyfriend, we were walking somewhere together and I mistakenly thought he was reaching to hold my hand. I gave my hand to him and he said, ‘Actually I really don’t like holding hands. Is that okay?’ I was relieved!”

Size differences can cause problems

1. “[Holding hands is] okay…I’m taller than my husband, so we have to awkwardly stand farther apart so I’m not bending over to hold his hand.”

2. “I feel like I need to shrink half an inch to make this work. Or I need shorter arms…or to be taller. In heels on a date, it’s all good with my boyfriend. But normally, it’s just too cumbersome.”

3. “I love holding my fiance’s hand because it’s so big! We also have to hold hands like kindergarteners because his fingers are too big to interlace them with mine. He crushes my fingers.”

Alternative methods abound

1. “Strong advocate for linking arms over holding hands. Intimacy is in the elbow creases.”

2. “Nah. Piggyback or arm around shoulder.”

3. “Not as much as I like footsie.”

4. “Not much for hand-holding. But very into locking arms. It’s my ultimate sign of affection and comfort. Whether it’s a friend, a significant other or my dad, it’s my way of feeling close without getting mom’s spaghetti palms.”

5. “I would SO rather someone put their hand on my leg or arm around me than hold my hand!!”

It doesn’t always have to be a romantic gesture

1. “I like holding hands with my sister! It makes me feel like she’s five and I’m ten again.”

2. “My best friend’s grandma would squeeze and hold my hands and it felt like she was transferring all her good energy to me and/or reading my soul.”

3. “I wish hand-holding was more common among friends! It’s not in my social circle, but I think it would do a lot of good to have platonic touching be a more regular part of people’s lives.”

4. “Holding hands with female friends is such a power move. I find that women friends who hold hands can have more open and intimate relationships.”

5. “I still hold hands with my mom at 24 and will never stop. Would rather hold hands running errands at Trader Joe’s than on a date.”

Hand-holding while walking around in public can be annoying

1. “Holding hands is nice when you’re cozied up or seated. However, when walking, it’s acceptable for 30 seconds max (if at all), then it’s like, ‘Okay I need my hand back now so I can walk like a normal human.'”

2. “The only time I don’t like it is walking down the street because NO ONE walks at the same pace/height without it being awkward for one of the pair.”

3. “Not when I am walking because honestly it doesn’t make any practical sense. You have to adjust your pace and you become a sidewalk clogger, which is the worst type of person to be!! But I like holding hands with a significant other while in a stationary position.”

Counterpoint: Hand-holding while walking around in public can be helpful

1. “When walking through a crowd, my boyfriend and I always hold hands so we don’t lose each other — people always move away when we do!”

2. “Um…holding hands only feels right in public or while walking places. Holding hands at home feels like high school and can get very uncomfortable. And sweaty.”

3. “I like holding hands with my boyfriend in public, especially in large crowds because it gives me a sense of security. In any other situation, it’s just not something I’m interested in.”

And sometimes, it means a great deal more

1. “Gay guy here. I used to think holding hands with girls was so awkward and sweaty, but ever since I came out, I LOVE holding hands with guys in public. There is something so exhilarating about being so open and honest after not doing so for most of my life. Sure, it’s definitely still sweaty, but the truthfulness makes it feel soooo worth it. Plus, if the other guy is willing to hold my hand in public, it means I’m worth the possible discrimination we might face. It’s really something.”

2. “For couples, it’s such a simple gesture of love that many people in relationships (especially queer couples) don’t get to enjoy in safety.”

3. “I’m in an interracial relationship and have been with the man I love for almost 15 years! I was the first woman (besides his mom, of course) my husband ever allowed to hold his hand! … I could feel how uncomfortable it made him — people seeing us together, making judgments. He even avoided my hand sometimes until we were somewhere less public. It hurt, but I understood why he did that. We had to go through a lot to prove to our own families that our relationship wasn’t just ‘a phase.’ Showing our affection for each other in the beginning felt so taboo, we were so young. But with each long hug, kiss and walk while holding hands, it made us so much stronger.”

4. “Perhaps I am an anomaly, but I really do appreciate holding hands. As a member of the LGBT community, publicly holding hands feels almost political, even still — especially in conservative Indiana, where I live. Our hand-holding is a token of awareness, of our undeniable presence and validity in this world. A sweet and small piece of intimacy. A symbol of connectivity. A reminder to the passersby that we are here, our love is real, that I am proud of her and she is proud of me.”

Photo by Arthur Elgort/Conde Nast via Getty Images.

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  • Adrianna

    We still hold hands six years later – in public, in private. We both remember where we were walking around the first time my boyfriend sheepishly took my hand. Our hands fit perfectly, and our height difference also works.

    We’ve had the occasional stranger aw at us. I think it’s a sweet and innocent form of PDA. I once noticed three couples sitting across from us on the F train/subway slowly also start to lean against each other and hold hands.

  • Ha! Don’t know whether it is wise to tell you this, but I am pushing towards the half-century, sport VGH (= visibly gray hair) and hold my husband’s hand in public. All the time. He seems to like it too – we simply never stopped doing it and are now well-versed in interrupting it for all the right reasons, it is no big deal.

  • Abby

    I don’t mind holding hands in general, but it’s impossible with my husband. He’s 5’2, I’m 5’6, and he’s got short arms that make me have to basically lean all the way over to hold his hand and walk at the same time. We also have very disparate walking speeds. It’s tough all around.

  • shannon

    4 years in & still hold hands, more in private than in public. but i think it definitely is more of an intimacy thing. i notice him reaching for my hands more & more during sexy time too. we don’t hold hands in public much, but never really did, except in crowds because we don’t want to lose each other!

  • I love holding my boyfriend’s hands… especially during winter because my hands are ALWAYS deathly cold (even in summer, actually), and I use his hands to warm mine up. 😛 Selfish but hey, he doesn’t mind!

    Charmaine Ng
    Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • Allison Russo

    Harling you live inside my head

    • Harling Ross

      it’s so nice up there

  • Cassandra

    I think it depends on the person. I like holding hands with my boyfriend– we’re almost the same height so it’s much less awkward than trying to swing an arm over a shoulder. Actually while walking to the subway at the end of our first date he slide his hand into mine, which was a risky move that paid off. Also, his hands are always super warm and mine are cold like a pile of icicles so that’s extra incentive in the winter.

  • I love holding hands! It’s a sweet and easy way to be intimate. After the first night I slept over at my boyfriend’s house, I met him in his kitchen and sat down while his roommate was making breakfast. He reached out his arm to hold my hand and it was the moment I knew this guy was a keeper. I’ll never forget it.

  • Appreciate the queer inclusion! Another reason I love being queer: my girlfriend’s hand fits perfectly in mine (and we make great spoons). Also, holding hands mittens style (especially when wearing gloves/mittens) is so sweet.

    • Harling Ross

      isn’t it cool how human bodies fit together so nicely ? like puzzle pieces!

      • The ‘puzzle piece’ analogy was exactly how my mother gave me the sex talk! lol

      • Exactly! Makes me think Plato was onto something with the original, super-queer idea of the “other half” …

  • Filo

    Holding hands has always been something that comes naturally to me with the right people. I feel like it helps you connect in a way, but it’s never something I do consciously. Especially when you’re walking at the same pace, aimlessly.

    Same with linking arms. Or arm touching in general. I think it’s unexpected and it kind of breaks down walls. This past weekend I met an Irish guy and we were walking around after dark and I kind of linked my arm to his and then I apologized because it seemed almost like an out of body experience but he was like ‘no please go for it.’ As long as you’re free to slip your hand off anytime without offence I guess it’s fine.

    But also, the other day, this friend of a friend came in to a party with a tight grip on her bf. Like he couldn’t even greet people and seemed like a puppy on a leash. It felt like it came from a place of anxiousness or possession. Which I hate to judge but I thought to myself I wouldn’t like that.

  • Emily

    Holding hands rules! HOWEVER when you’re under 5′ and your significant other is over 6′ you get a lot of “Are you having fun with your dad?” comments which can be a little unnerving

  • Rockrenee

    Linking arms is for me! Have never been a holding hands kinda person…
    Rock Renee Blog

  • Ellie

    I’m newly single but as someone with anxiety I found holding hands was really comforting and allowed me to communicate how I was feeling to my partner (if I was cutting off my ex’s circulation he knew I needed to leave ASAP!!)

  • I feel like I’m a special case because my current relationship began long distance. We were friends and then moved across an ocean and fell in love. The first time I picked him up from th the airport was our first kiss and immediately after we walked to the car holding hands. It was like “duh”. For me it’s a celebration of being together. We get out of the car and reach for a hand. We get in the car and reach for a hand. While waiting for food at a restaurant. It’s the best. But so is he.

  • Bmo

    I’ve never been a fan of hand holding. I find it annoying that I suddenly don’t have access to one of my hands. And there is no good way to just stop holding hands without it seeming weird.

    • Martine

      Yea. If you need your hand, use it. Then put your fingers around his hand again if you want to.

  • I only like holding hands when sitting down. I cannot stand holding hands while walking/moving around.

  • Eliza

    I love holding hands. I had an ex who refused to hold my hand basically ever, and it always hurt my feelings. It should have been a HUGE red flag for me. I just need the attention! My guy now is always holding my hand – even if it’s not a full 5 finger entanglement – and it always makes me feel better/happier/more loved. It’s funny how this small little thing, I realize now, is kind of a deal breaker for me?? Hold my hand or be banished!!!

  • Cay

    I agree that it feels like a super intimate thing. In the most serious relationship I’ve had, I remember waking up in the middle of the night to us holding hands, and it was weirdly the most intimate moment of my life, more than other things that you would think come before it.

    I definitely stress out about the clammy hand thing when it’s someone new, though (I remember being 16 and putting antiperspirant on my palms before going on a movie date hahahahaha).

  • Jessica

    I LOVE holding hands. My bf is not a big hand holder which is actually kind of nice because I don’t take it for granted now and really appreciate the feeling when we do hold hands. It gives me a feeling of connection (possibly need in a nice way?) with another human that I don’t feel with any other types of affection. Maybe it is something to do with the actual act of holding, like you are holding a thing because you want it.

    Sometimes I hold hands/link arms when I’m out walking around town with my mum. When I do that in public now, she gets the happiest look on her face like I’m still her little daughter and there is nothing better than knowing I have made my mum look so happy.

  • Sonia

    “Intimacy is in the elbow creases.”

  • Helen

    I truly adore hand holding, it feels like an unspoken “I’m here, we’re safe”. My ex refused to hold hands both in public and private but I would always chance my luck only to be shattered by each rejection. When single it’s simple intimacy like hand holding that I yearn for more than anything else.

  • Cynthia Schoonover

    I love holding hands with my husband, particularly when we are walking someplace together. Even after 40 years of marriage.

    • Martine

      I like holding hands with mine too. Not like all night long or anything, but when we walk from the car to a store, or cross the street together. I have to admit I have never given any of these concerns any thought in my entire life.

  • Malvika Mehta

    Holding hands is the absolute best. For nearly 20 years (since playschool), I was friends with the guy I am seeing and on New Year’s Eve, out of the blue, he just held my hand and I knew I was in love. In a second. We stay half way across the world from each other and I left the day after we held hands, but it to this day, that small gesture meant EVERYTHING.

  • Emily M

    I do not enjoy holding hands, but I very much enjoy how one person up there put it…”intimacy is in the elbow creases.” Linked arms > held hands.

  • I love holding hands! The first time my bf did it I was a little weirded out but no one had ever done that before and to this day he always initiates it. I think it’s cute. It’s definitely intimate and a way of proudly proclaiming to the world “hey! we’re in love!” Height differences can make it awkward though. This is funny, I’ve never thought deeply about this lol

  • Beth S

    Regarding disentangling hands: when my husband needs his hand back he does a gentle little double pat with his thumb on the back of my hand, squeezes my hand, and then lets go. It’s like a little “until next time!” from one paw to another. I always thought it was nice.

  • Marion A.

    I think the value a person places on it is huge. One of my main love langues is physical touch so I love holding hands!

  • I’m single now but I love holding hands with a guy. I don’t think about it as a very intimate gesture, because even during a first date I may hold hands after a while, when it’s clear for both of us that the date is going well and for sure there will be a second one.

    I love couple that, even after many years together, still hold each other hands, like David and Victoria Beckham or Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany. I find it so romantic!

    I never liked to hold my friends’ hands, even when I was a teenager, unless we were in a crowdy place and we could lose each other’s sight, for example in a crowdy club or during a party.

  • oliviafortune

    I don’t dislike holding hands, but I love holding hands over the dinner table. This usually accompanies big news or maybe a nice meal.

  • Kubla

    Holding hands is a great way to be together in social context, to strengthen each other and to signal to all that we are together.

  • Gillian Samuel

    The last minute of Australian movie Breaker Morant when the two men walk towards the chairs where they are to be executed by firing squad says everything about what this public gesture means.

  • Holding hands is nice, but I prefer linking arms most of the time. I’m closer to my husband that way and we move more as a unit. When you’re holding hands, you’re all floppy and separated. LOL

    Eva | http://www.shessobright.com

  • Lindsay D

    My ex would hold my hand lying next to me till I fell asleep EVERY night. New bf spoons and holds it. I think Its a security thing I love it. I’m always sweating whateverrrrrr just means they love me more because they pretend it’s not gross

  • Mariam

    omg i actually remember leafing through a vogue circa 1998 and just gazing at maggie rizer’s crazy perfect features in this zany shoot. ammiright? ps. totally love holding my not so romantic husband’s hand and especially love it when he does it unexpectedly – very romantic 😉

  • pterridactyl

    My parents are big hand holders. They’ve been married for 30+ years and they still hold hands in public. It had always been a measure of a solid relationship for me and something I’d never really experienced for myself. I’d always felt ex-boyfriends who held my hand were doing it because they thought they should, rather than because they wanted to. When I started dating my current boyfriend he held my hand in the car on the way home after our second date. I knew at that moment something was different with him. We hold hands everywhere and through everything, the good and the bad. It’s a daily reminder we’re solid as a rock and can get through anything.

  • All these (close to eight) years we’ve been hand-holders. He gets super sweaty hands and we always laugh about me still insisting on holding his hand. Holding hands when walking to get groceries, strolling around, waiting for dinner, in the middle of our dinner at home, falling asleep…

    Linked arms is nice too. It somehow has a particular old-fashioned vibe. Like on New Year’s Eve when it was super cold and slippery outside and I, for once, wanted to put my 10 cm stilettos on, linked arms provided much needed support on our way to one of those old-fashioned restaurants with large Viennese coffee house-style windows and art deco wallpaper.

  • Modupe Oloruntoba

    I think I like holding someone’s hand much less than ~i like the idea that they *want* to hold mine.

  • Tess

    I like sticking my hand in his pocket on cold NY days. Extra cozy.

  • Holding hands means so much to me. First of all, it feels intimate because my brain keeps thinking about how much my boyfriend and I love to be close to each other, but it’s also a sign of affection and even pride. It shows a weird kind of certainty that we’re both proud of being with the other and we’re not afraid to show it to everyone else (pretending as if they care, when in reality, they obviously don’t).

  • Aydan

    holding hands while laying in bed!!!!! that’s my cup of tea. Something so incredibly comfortable and special to grab someone hand and just hold on!!!

  • Liz B

    I love holding my husband’s hand but something in the feeling of safety in it and being that milli-step behind him makes me shrink a little psychologically (and feel a little wimpy). Sometimes I gotta drop the hand and step forth as my best self. I don’t know why its the only thing that makes me mentally not feel his equal. We also have a mutual agreement that when in any situation where we are feeling uncomortable then we will do a non-interlinked style hand hold as a little cry for help. I guess we have attached both of our vulnerability to hand holding which has created the wimpy “help me” association.

  • jeanythejean

    When we can’t decide who gets to be the little spoon, I love falling asleep holding my boyfriends hand. I feel like it’s just the right amount of physical contact

  • Autumn

    My boyfriend always wants to hold my hand when we’re walking in public. I think it’s a protective thing which I appreciate (and because I have tendencies to wander off unannounced).

    Also, it’s common in India for men to hold hands in a platonic way in public which I think is adorable

    • elpug

      omg i wander too!

  • Nadja

    Holding hands is like a small, portable cuddle! What’s not to love!?

  • Emma

    My favourite person to hold hands with is my mum – I think it’s such a non-verbal yet clear sign of love and affection. And my mum’s hands are so uniquely HERS that it makes me feel safe and loved and cared for.

  • Heather Chambers

    I miss holding hands with my husband while out walking. It was one of my favorite things, and I just took it for granted.
    He’s been using forearm crutches for the last few years, so unless its a really good day and he only needs one, his hands are always full now. 🙁

  • Christine Dyson

    We are blessed to be able to hold hands. When my late husband was working in Iran in 2007, he told me that for young couples to hold hands in public was regarded as unseemly and immodest, they were brave to do so, it was a small but important sign that things were becoming slightly more liberal. Young women were dressing in pastel blazers and the young woman who worked on reception at the hotel wore one to work but only for that day because the religious police had a word with her… She went back to black the next day. I associate holding hands with feeling safe and loved in quite an innocent way.

  • Justina Kenyon

    “I think it would do a lot of good to have platonic touching be a more regular part of people’s lives.”
    I totally agree with this. Touch is so important and I don’t think most of us get enough.

  • elpug

    I love holding hands – its so nice when my bf and I are sitting on the couch next to each other and one of us reaches for the others hand. It takes the moment from regular old tv watching to “i’m noticing your presence”. It’s also great in the grocery store when my boyfriend pulls me away from the candy aisle. It’s not just intimate, it has functionality, too!

  • I hate arm linking!! I come from a very modest southern family. I live in New York now. A lot of men I’ve dated (a midwestern intellectual and an artsy irish guy come first to mind) think this is standard; but the action feels so performative to me. I go along with it because I don’t want to hurt their feelings (whoops, looks worse written down), but my family would find it hilarious….maybe even embarrassing. To be honest, it feels far outside my class. Makes me cringe a bit every time.

  • Kate

    I often hug one of my husbands arms, two handed, when we’re walking somewhere. It feels very natural but possibly looks a little extreme. He says he likes it.

  • Clairebear

    Absolutely no to holding hands in public. It makes you twice as wide on a sidewalk or shopping aisle and impossible to pass, and therefore a nuisance to everyone in and along your path. Unless you are likely to run into traffic or need physical assistance with walking, there is no for hand holding.

    I have it severely engrained into me that I must walk as far to the right as possible so others may pass me, and this is impossible if I have to hold hands.

    I don’t like how possessive it feels, like I need to prove to everyone around me that I am in a relationship.

  • Shaelyn

    I’m so excited you used something I said on insta in this article. You are my favorite man repeller writer so I’m swooning!!!!

  • jen

    I like the hand kiss followed by a short hand holding session.

  • Am I the only one who thinks holding hands in public is actually a sign of a lack of intimacy? If you’re truly close to your partner, you shouldn’t feel the need to have a physical connection whilst walking down the street… merely being in the presence of one another should be more than adequate.

    • I assure you this is not the fact. One can feel every connection available to 2 loving souls walking down the street without as much as looking at each other, let alone touching. And one can decide to additionally do it physically because what the heck. Since I very much expect my husband to treat me well in every other aspect, holding my hands proves nothing on itself. It is a luxury we both happen to appreciate.

      • Haha maybe I just find it annoying… I do however very much enjoy linking arms with my husband 🙂

        • And I don’t because I am too clumsy not to disturb a normal rhythm necessary for walking on 🙂 (aka yes, I tend to take over the lead when dancing and then … mangle it all? :-D)

  • Jo

    My husband’s love language is physical touch so we hold hands a lot even 10 years in now. He’ll reach for my hand across the table at a restaurant while we’re looking at the menu or waiting for our food. He’ll put his hand out while we’re lounging on the couch. Even in the blazing heat of summer or when one of us has clammy hands, we’ll then have just our pinky fingers hooked.

  • Sid

    I LOVEEEEE holding hands! It’s my little way of staying connected with my partner. No matter where we are, how we’re walking, where we are walking to, we are holding hands or fingers! I need a lot of attention and my partner isn’t much of a talker, so this is our way to show attention and affection. I love the security I feel when I know that the hand I’m holding is attached to a sweet, tender lover. Also, echoing the call for more hand holding with friends. I don’t have any platonic friends that I am super intimate with any more. Putting a call out to the universe that I get some sweet friends to walk, hand-in-hand, to get ice cream, coffee, or a drink!

  • Just like Beth S., my husband and I give each other a little hand squeeze when we want to let go. It’s lovable and gentle and no one feels awkward. Along with holding hands, sometimes we link arms at the elbow while we walk. It feels very loving.

  • Eliana

    I remember first hearing that in lots of foreign countries, holding hands is a very common form of affection, particularly between straight men. That blew my mind with delight because, wow!, what are we missing here in our own country that we don’t do that??? By coincidence, I just watched this video below which felt related in tone to your post:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxsnKwmW0dk

  • june2

    I hear hand holding is a very common public display of affection/affinity in foreign countries, even among straight men and that blows my mind with delight! Wish we were more loving that way here! On the same note, I *just* watched this video today, which struck me as profound and it is totally relevant to your post!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxsnKwmW0dk

  • june2

    I hear hand holding is a very common public display of
    affection/affinity in foreign countries, even among straight men and
    that blows my mind with delight! Wish we were more loving that way
    here! On the same note, I *just* watched this video today, which struck
    me as profound and it is totally relevant to your post!

    *this form is not allowing me to link to youtube but you can look it up:
    Dan Palotta on TED: The Dream We Haven’t Dared to Dream

  • I love holding hands in public in front of my friends and family. It shows that we are open about showing our love for each other. It also show my boo isn’t afraid to share with the world his affection for me. <333

  • Meghann

    My ex would hold my hand just to pull me around. He was always leading us through crowds, across streets, etc…it never felt very intimate, more like an act of dominance. It ended up being a pretty accurate representation of our relationship. I think the way someone holds your hand says a lot about who they are and what kind of relationship they’re looking for!

  • Gia

    My boyfriend and I aren’t big hand holders. Is that weird? We’ve been together like 3 years but have never been big hand holders unless we’re like walking home drunk or are moving through a crowd. I think we both just feel weird holding hands in public because we don’t feel like we need to prove our relationship to other people. Plus his hands are always clammy haha so sometimes he will just reach for my hand to see how I react