People with partners have an individual with whom they can get their touch needs met. If there are issues with this, they can work it out between themselves. Singles do not have this luxury.
Touch needs vary from person to person. Some people do not like to be touched at all; such as people with severe autism. Other people love to touch constantly. We have all met that person who, while speaking, is touching our forearm or hand or shoulder and having no respect for our needs. And somewhere in between is a healthy need for touch.
When people engage in healthy positive touch, the brain releases dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that causes a feeling of well-being and happiness. Some people compare it to feeling high. Human beings have been categorized as social animals and therefore need touch as part of their emotional and mental health. So how do singles get their touch needs met?
Well, first they have to know the basic "don'ts". Don't touch strangers. Don't touch children who are not in your care. Don't touch people who have already told you, "Don't touch me!" These touches could very likely result in you getting beat up, locked up or both. It would seem that these rules are rudimentary, common sense. But it's amazing how many people either don't get it, don't care or have serious mental and/or emotional disabilities.
Now that you've mastered that, here are some suggested "do's":
- Do shake hands with new people you meet. Granted it's brief but it meets a touch need. It also sends a message that you are open and respectful and lets you learn a thing or two about the new person. Example: cold, clammy hands equals either ill or nervous.
- Do give hugs to your loved ones upon meeting or departure. Unless, as stated above, they told you not to. A hug demonstrates warmth, compassion and a feeling of being happy to be in the company of the other person.
- Do take dance classes. This is a socially acceptable environment where you are required to do some touching. You might make friends or meet a future partner along the way. Thus increasing your opportunities for touch.
- Do get massages. The clearly defined boundaries and amount of touch will work wonders with your well-being. If you cannot afford professional massages, talk to your good friends and arrange an exchange. Take care to set and respect parameters so that both people gain benefits.
- Do have a touchable pet. Gold fish aren't generally recommended as they are the autistics of the animal kingdom. Even though petting a dog or having a cat curl up next to you are not quite the same as human touch but they do raise your dopamine levels and help you feel more compassionate and better about life.
- Do Date. If you do not feel ready or do not want to date at all, that's ok. You still have the other five suggestions. But if you are ready to date, there are many beautiful opportunities for touch. You can hold hands while taking a walk. You can snuggle up in a movie theatre. You can melt into a warm and sensual kiss good night.
Touch is an important element of being a healthy human being. If you are compassionate and respectful, you will find many ways to get your touch needs met. We have learned that the more we care about ourselves, the more we are able to care about others.