The Meaning of Handholding

August 1, 2010 |  by

I was feeling down the other day, when a friend came by and just…held my hand. The effect was immediate. It was like she was saying, with sincerity: “Whatever you’re feeling, it’s ok. I accept you. I’m with you.”

That’s pretty powerful. And it’s what makes handholding so special (and intimate). For lovers, there’s a promise in handholding that’s different than kissing, different than sex. When we hold hands with the one we love, we’re saying: I accept you. I’m with you.

It works for everyone, of course. When a mother holds her child’s hand, she’s saying: “I’m with you.” In the business world, the handshake is a watered-down form of handholding: “I’m with you (in this deal).” In truth, a meeting of hands is a symbolic act that always says: “I’m with you.” The intimacy of that vow, the purity of it – that just depends on whose hands are meeting.

But nothing quite compares to a lover’s: I am with you.



  1. I once had someone refuse to hold my hand.

    That was over 15 years ago.

    It still hurts.

  2. My son is 16 and my daughter is 10…I still hold their hand, and they hold mine. :)

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