The degree of physical closeness the two of you have unconsciously reveals how close you and your partner are in the relationship.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on December 7, 2020. It has since been updated.
Non-sexual touch is very important in a relationship. Whether your partner is just holding your hand while walking, grabbing you into an embrace right after coming home or before leaving, or even the way you two cozy up in bed or on a couch, cuddling has multiple benefits.
“If someone [you trust] holds your hand or hugs you or gives you a back massage before you have a stressful task like giving a speech, your heart rate slows, blood pressure lowers, and your stress hormones will decrease,” Tiffany Field, Ph.D., director of the Touch Research Institute at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami, told Healthline. “There’s also an increase in oxytocin, which is the love hormone that contributes to relaxation in couples.”
Every kind of touch also holds meaning to us. Something as simple as cuddling can reveal how close or distant you are as a couple. Here is what it means:
Relationship expert Jane Greer, Ph.D., and author of What About Me? tells Women's Health Mag, that couples that spoon while sleeping are on the same page. They are “merging their bodies together as one, so you may see them dressing alike or enjoying the same things, there’s a certain similarity” to them.
HuffPost adds that this indicates that one partner is more protective of their partner. “It’s a very vulnerable position that’s sexual, but says, ‘I trust you,’” said Patti Wood, a body language expert.
This shows that the person whose head is on the lap of their partner is being more vulnerable. They want to be cared for as this indicates, "I trust you to be gentle and caring with me." The person on whose lap they are lying down is assuming the caretaker role, according to Cosmopolitan. If this is something you have been doing lately, it could be because one of you is going through a rough patch. However, if this is how you are usually, your status quo is established.
This position is rarer than the spoon because it is more likely to happen when there are intense emotions between the couple. You probably had a heart-to-heart conversation or made love, or your relationship is just starting out. However, if a couple sleeps like this throughout their relationship it may not be a good thing. Elizabeth Flynn Campbell, a New York psychotherapist, tells HuffPost that “[the couple] could be overly enmeshed, too dependent on each other to sleep apart."
This is a protective sleeping stance which shows how one of you feels extremely safe and protected in the partner's arms, according to Greer who spoke to Women's Health Mag. “They feel their partner can help support them, both physically and emotionally," she said. The partner lying on the other partner's arm feels that their partner is supportive and can be trusted with anything.
This form of cuddling while walking together indicates that your partner is possessive about you and likes you and let others know that too. They are also being protective of you and wants you to know that. He is like a source of motivation and support for you, just like he lets you lean on him whenever you need to. Since you two are walking side by side, he's your equal in your journey.
The way he slings his arm over your shoulder shows that your relationship is passionate and playful. They want to share a laugh with you and consider you the most important part of their life. They love having you close to them as a friend and lover. Walking together like this, he wants to keep the rest of the world out of your relationship at the moment.