The Match Lab

Why Physical Touch is a Common Love Language for Men


Research shows that physical touch is a more popular love language for men than it is for women.

Here’s why.

Why Physical Touch is a Common Love Language for Men

The physical touch love language is about more than just sexual intimacy.

It’s about any and all kinds of touch, including holding hands, cuddling, or even just a light pat on the back.

And it’s a love language favorite among men.

Men Are Conditioned to Be More Physically Expressive Than Verbally Expressive

From a young age, boys are often encouraged to engage in more physical activities and to express themselves through action rather than words.

This social conditioning can persist into adulthood, making physical touch a more comfortable and intuitive form of expression for men when compared to verbal communication.

Read: The Physical Touch Love Language Explained

Higher Testosterone Can Promote More Desire for Touch and Intimacy

Testosterone, which is a hormone higher in men, is linked to the drive for physical touch and intimacy.

Its presence can lead men to naturally seek out physical closeness as a way to connect with their partners and to express their affection and sexual interest.

Emotional Closeness is Easier Through Touch Instead of Words


For men, it’s easier to achieve emotional closeness through touch than through words.

Men tend to be less comfortable than women when it comes to emotionally rich, vulnerable communication that promotes intimacy.

Cuddling is more straightforward than verbal reassurances or lengthy discussions, providing a silent language of comfort and support.

Media Portrays Men to Be Physically Touchy

In a lot of media, men use touch as a key means of expressing care, protection, and love.

These portrayals can subtly reinforce the idea that physical touch is a more socially acceptable and expected way for men to show emotion.

Touch is a Socially Approved Opportunity for Men to Feel Intimate and Vulnerable

Men often have difficulty expressing their emotions in relationships because they’re conditioned to stay away from vulnerability.

In a relationship, touch becomes a space where men can reveal a more intimate and vulnerable side of themselves.

Through physical closeness, men may feel a unique sense of security that allows for a more profound connection, beyond the guard of typical masculine composure.

Read: 13 Signs Your Love Language is Physical Touch

Understanding Gender Preferences in Physical Touch

Men and women may express and interpret physical touch differently within a romantic context.

Women often value touch as part of a broader spectrum of communication within relationships.

For men, touch can be a more central way of connecting and may be given priority over other love languages.

This is not to suggest that all men are alike, but trends indicate that men are more likely to express and feel loved through physical touch.

The Significance of Touch for Men

For many men, physical touch is a direct and potent form of emotional communication.

Gestures like holding hands, hugging, and cuddling are just not forms of physical intimacy; they serve as critical indicators of affection and understanding in their relationships.

This preference for touch as a love language can stem from societal norms where men are typically encouraged to be more reserved with words, making touch an important tool for connection.

Read: 12 Things to Know About the Physical Touch Love Language

Physiological Effects of Physical Touch


Physical touch can trigger significant physiological changes in your body, notably involving the release of oxytocin, a critical hormone in stress reduction and romantic bonding.

For men, as well as women, this biochemical reaction involving oxytocin can lead to a calming sensation and contribute to reduced anxiety when engaging in physical touch.

Because women may be more likely to engage in physical touch in their friendships, whereas men are less likely, it may be that men feel deprived of touch and rely on it more in their romantic relationships.

That could explain why the physical touch love language is so much more common among men than women.

Practical Tips for the Physical Touch Love Language

In understanding the importance of physical touch as a love language for men, it’s practical to integrate simple, yet significant acts of physical affection into daily routines.

Daily Gestures of Affection

Embrace simple actions of physical touch to express affection consistently.

Start with a hug when you greet or part ways, ensuring that these gestures are a steady part of your daily interaction.

Holding hands during walks, or while seated next to each other, can reinforce connection and closeness without the need for words.

More examples:

  • Morning Ritual: Begin your day with a meaningful hug or a gentle kiss to convey love and appreciation.
  • Spontaneous Touch: A light touch on the arm or a pat on the back can be a comforting gesture that shows care throughout the day.

Prioritizing Physical Touch in Daily Life

To make physical touch a core part of your daily life, it’s important to actively create moments for more extended contact.

Cuddling during movie nights or while relaxing at home can greatly enhance intimacy and bonding.

Incorporate a massage into your routine; even a brief shoulder rub can signal support and affection.

Specific tips:

  • Allocate Time for Cuddling: Set aside time specifically for close, uninterrupted physical contact, like cuddling, to deepen your emotional connection.
  • Integrate Massage: While watching television or before bed, offer a foot or hand massage as a relaxing way to express caring and tenderness.

Regularly engaging in these physical touch practices can significantly strengthen your relationship and convey your love in a manner that resonates deeply for men who value this language of affection.

Read: The Physical Touch Love Language: 30 Examples & Fun Ideas

Communication and Misunderstandings

In relationships, particularly where physical touch is a preferred love language for one partner but not the other, clear communication is crucial, and misunderstandings can lead to feelings of neglect or rejection.

Importance of Communicating Preferences

Understanding the significance of physical touch in your relationship requires you to effectively express your preferences.

It’s essential to communicate that physical acts of affection like hand-holding or hugging may be integral ways you experience love.

By being open about your need for physical closeness, you can build a mutual awareness and prevent your partner from misconstruing your desire for touch as mere possessiveness or neediness.

Navigating Differences in Love Languages

When you and your partner have different love languages, navigating these differences requires patience and empathy.

If physical touch is your primary love language and not your partner’s, it may require explicit conversations to bridge the gap.

For your partner, being close in physical spaces, such as holding hands, may need to be consciously done rather than a spontaneous show of affection.

Read: What Are the 5 Love Languages & What Do They Mean?

Establishing Boundaries and Consent

When it comes to physical touch as a love language, establishing and respecting boundaries, along with gaining consent, are foundational for building trust and ensuring a comfortable connection.

Respecting Personal Comfort Levels

Every individual has a unique level of comfort when it comes to physical touch.

It’s important for you to recognize and respect these personal comfort levels.

This includes being aware of body language and nonverbal cues that may indicate your partner is uncomfortable with certain types of physical contact.

Communicating Boundaries in Physical Affection

Clearly communicating your boundaries regarding physical affection is vital. It’s not only about stating your limits but also about understanding and honoring your partner’s boundaries.

  • Be specific: Discuss what types of touch you find comforting and what makes you uncomfortable.
  • Regular check-ins: Over time, boundaries might shift, so keep the conversation open.
  • Mutual agreement: Ensure that both parties feel heard and their boundaries are mutually recognized and respected.

By consistently respecting boundaries and ensuring there is consent, you build a solid foundation of trust in your relationship, which is essential for any meaningful and loving connection.

Related articles:

13 Signs Your Love Language is Physical Touch

What Are the 5 Love Languages & What Do They Mean?

7 Signs They’re ‘The One’

19 Reasons to Define the Relationship After 2 Months of Dating

8 Reasons Why You Should Kiss on the Second Date

This is Your Love Language, According to Your Zodiac Sign

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