What Physical Loneliness Looks Like

In my opinion, touch is one of the most intimate ways to express love to another. Of course, there are many dimensions and expressions of love, on emotional, spiritual, intellectual, and sexual levels. But at this stage of my life, touch is my favorite.

The only way to achieve physical intimacy as an adult is within the boundaries of a romantic relationship, or at least the simulation of one. No wonder so many people rush into unwise unions; how else are they supposed to feel the loving touch of another human being? Why can we not all love more overtly, without reserving such love for romance? Not that everyone should have sex with each other, but surely cuddling, kissing, hugging would be a way to build and strengthen bonds with one another as humans. To increase intimacy among mankind. With loneliness being a universal struggle, I believe all of us have a need to be nurtured in some way.

I once sat behind a couple at a public gathering, watching them interact with each other. She leaned on him, he scratched her back. Over, and over. Not just a quick pat, but a slow rubbing up and down to display affection. My blood boiled and fueled the tears of yearning hiding in my eyes. I don’t know what it’s like for someone to rub my back like that. But I want to.

Perhaps some would say I am desperate to be in a relationship. I do not altogether disagree with such allegations, nor do I fully agree either. I have fared quite well without a boyfriend, and do not believe I need one. However, what I do crave is physical contact. Not sex, necessarily, but some form of intimacy with other humans that conversation simply does not satisfy. I do not want to wait my entire life to seclude myself with one person; I want to make everyone feel loved. And it seems that reserving love for one person is a waste of the human heart.

When pondering “couple hood,” my mind immediately wanders to marriage. I think someday I do want to marry, but I have conflicting thoughts about it. Sometimes I think I can love others better by remaining single. But in a way I wish I could have sex with everyone. I know what it’s like to feel alone, isolated, desperate, helpless. And I don’t want other people to have to feel the way I have. Even if it’s just momentary relief, I want to give someone what has not been given me. I want to wrap my arms around them and love them, pretending that for once, everything is going to be okay. For them to experience my body and for me to experience theirs, to escape the world for a little while and go somewhere else. I want everyone to be able to feel that because the world is a broken place. I am broken. And I want to help other people put their pieces back together.

One thought on “What Physical Loneliness Looks Like

  1. I agree. There is a lot of physical intimacy but not enough emotional intimacy. And I think that it causes social awkwardness. Are the days when a casual meeting is just that. Nowadays it’s more common for a kind nod to be taken an invitation to tango. We are losing our ability to engage with others.

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