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Relationship Coach Explains What's Really Going on in 'Touchless Marriages'

Intimate relationships come with many complexities in styles of communication, whether it be verbal, body language, or even touch. The way we interpret and react to those communications, especially the non-verbal, add even more components to the mix.

In this clip, relationship coach @amandatwiggsjohns explains a growing pattern in modern marriages when it comes to physical contact. "There's an alarming trend in touchless marriages, and here is why this is happening." She then goes on to clarify how touch avoidance is defined in a relationship and why it's a concern to so many couples today. Her insight is very eye-opening!

Through time, we pick up on all our partner's rhythms and habitual behaviors. We know that if physical touch always seems to lead to sex, we start to think that any touch at all might be signaled as consent to sex, even when it's not. Then, either a real or perceived expectation comes into play, which can create an uneasy feeling they're not sure how to deal with.  

In the comments, it seems there are many people that can relate to this issue. One commenter, @sleepy_badger says, “And that’s why touch needs to be enough. Stop pressing for more and expecting more, enjoy the moment.” Another user, @mallynmo, adds, "yup. sometimes I need JUST physical intimacy, NOT sexual. but, that never works, so I just avoid all contact for a while." Commenter @fab_dad_bod, adds a slightly different perspective. "My wife and I never get within two feet of each other without some kind of touch. And it doesn’t set any expectation, it’s to show affection.” 

Needless to say, this is an issue many people are having problems with. So what can couples do when their rhythms for physical contact and sex doesn't always match up? How can someone say, "Hey, I'd love for you to hold me, but I'm not up for sex at the moment?" How can they say it in a way that doesn't cause their partner to feel rejected? At any rate, it's clear this is a conversation that needs to continue to be had.