A few years ago, I joined my college's honor society and shortly after my induction, we participated in our town's “Relay for Life” walk. I was still relatively new to the group and hadn't had a chance to make any friends, so I brought Jay along as a buffer for any social awkwardness.
We arrived early that cold morning and walked up to register. After being pointed in the direction we needed to go, Jeremy instinctively grabbed my hand as we weaved through the walking path in search of my group's booth.
I spotted my old teacher first; he was the advisor of our honor society and the only one I actually knew at the time. We walked up and said our hellos, me introducing Jay as my teacher shook the hand he wasn't holding.
It was then that he noticed our clasped hands. He got that look...that look most people get when they spot such an innocent display of affection. He got the attention of another older member of the group and they started conspiratorially commenting: 'young love, the honey moon phase, puppy love' with fluttered eyelashes and exaggerated gestures.
Blushing, I told them of our then 6 year relationship, how we were well past the honeymoon stage. My teacher reacted with a pleasantly surprised smile, commenting on how he and his wife hadn't held hands in years, his joking partner commenting the same. I just shrugged my shoulders, but I was a little saddened by that.
When does that happen? At what point do those little pieces of intimacy just stop?Relationships don't fails due to lack of hand holding, but it's still a nice moment to share. I remember a time when holding someone's hands was enough to create butterflies and blushes and sweaty palms.
Even now at nine years, Jay and I still holds hands, still kiss before coming and going, still say I love you—with feeling—multiple times a day. By no means do the excited jitters that once accompanied such actions still happen all the time, but Jay's hand in mine still provides a connection I cherish as our relationship continues to grow. Those little things are a sense of comfort for me. If I am heading towards a situation I'm unsure of, I can grab his hand and a sense of calm replaces all anxiety. The simple touch letting me know that he's there, and he'll be right there the entire time.
I'm not saying that Jay and I have a perfect relationship because we still hold hands. Our relationship is far from it and no amount of hand holding is going to solve all our issues. But, what I'm trying to say is don't take those little comforts for granted. Those things are important.
Go home tonight, or tomorrow, or right now, and grab your partner's hand and just remember what it was like that first time, when your relationship was new and such a simple gesture told you all you needed to know in that moment. And then take comfort in the fact that that hand is there when ever you need something to hold on to.
Then take that comfort often.