Time Magazine recently interviewed a 100-years old sex therapist who regrets our busy life, because we lose desire easily for our significant other. She also regrets we don’t touch and caress our significant other because we are too busy with our smartphone, even if we communicate through it.
I tend to leave my smartphone on mute or even off whenever I’m with a date or a lover. And I will be shocked if he pulls out his smartphone in front of me to answer a call or a message, especially if I talk to him. But I’ve noticed around me it’s not necessarily the case. I’ve been invited to many dinners where most people just stared at their smartphone and don’t talk to each other. I’ve seen couples who communicate through Facebook even if they are in the same place, very close to each other.
Even if you leave sweet messages to your significant other, it’s not really the same than touching him/her, stroking, caressing him/her and kissing him/her.
This is a bad example, but recently, one of my young coworkers was shocked by the behavior of one of coworkers who is married to a fellow coworker. Because she touched him in the back while he was talking to someone else. It is advised to avoid any public display of affection at the office, so I understand why my coworker was a bit shocked. In large company, it is even forbid to work with our significant other. In my previous company, couples were split in different locations to avoid any conflict of interest.
But I asked my coworker if she were shocked to see couples touching (gently) each other outside the office, and she said nobody does that around her. As if we have forgotten about that.
I guess it depends on people. And how we were raised when we were children. My parents still hold each other hand in public. To hold your significant other’s hand is the most accepted public display of affection. Yet, some couples don’t hold each other hand. Even some of my exes didn’t want to hold my hand in public. But it’s not a proof of any commitment. Some guys just hold your hand because it’s their first step to get closer to you.
As for touching your arm or your back, It’s not a big deal for men or any sign of commitment. Many of my (older) coworkers touch the arm of the women they want to say hello to. One of them is a notorious womanizer (sometimes, some of his exes come into our office and make a scandal).
Touching the face is another story. It’s difficult to do that with someone you just met. And it’s not a common public display of affection. Many people do that in private. And even in private, some people avoid this.
So far, at the many dinners where I was invited, I’ve seen none of those public displays of affection. At least at the beginning of the evening. After few drinks, some people lose their ways. But sometimes, alcohol makes people aggressive toward each other and can’t help fighting with each other.
It’s easy to put distance with our significant other. And generally, it simply starts with the physical distance.