Why Affection is Important:
- Lowers stress hormones, good for your health
- Increases oxytocin that increases bonding
- Can lead to a richer sex life
- Raises Self-Esteam: those who are more confident in opening themselves to their partners and have healthy self-esteem are more likely to express elements of affection. In one study, Those with lower self-esteem expressed less affection and they also “experienced less positive emotional, cognitive, and physiological reactions when doing so. People with low self-esteem also underestimated the benefits of affection.
- Boosts relationship satisfaction.
- A recent study2 explored how loved teens felt by their parents on a daily basis. Results showed no matter the closeness of the parent and child or the conflict at hand, the more the parents showed affection on that day, the more teens reported feeling loved. Before, during, or after the conflict, teens need warmth from their parents.
- Another research study3 looked at adult couples and their cortisol levels during a conflict. Scientists videotaped their positive behaviors (including humor and affection) and negative behaviors (including frustration, scorn, and defensiveness) during the conflicted interactions.
- Those who experienced more positive behaviors during the disagreements showed a healthier pattern in cortisol. Among the positive behaviors, affection was the most influential of all the positive behaviors on cortisol variations.
Kinds of Affection:
- Holding hands
- Patting someone’s back
- Wrapping your arm around another’s shoulder or waist
- Sending cards and gifts - Reassuring someone when they are down
- Discussing the positives in the relationship
- Offering to be there if someone is depressed
- Cracking a joke if you and a loved one are in a disagreement
WHEN TOO MUCH AFFECTION IS BAD:
- Someone might be overly touchy-feely because they want sexual intercourse.
- Daters may misuse affection because they’re manipulating you, i.e. pretending their intentions are forever, when they’re only focused on one night.
- The supreme kind of manipulation is when someone showers you with excessive affection, gifts, and attention, all of which can be signs of the more dangerous act of love bombing.
For more information check out Very Well Mind.