“Only one?” you might ask. Well, no – there is not just one thing that will lead to greater security, but this is one that I want to focus on today – and it’s relatively easy. “Affection.”
No, I am not talking about sex. While that certainly has the power to be bonding, sex is an event that takes place under the broader umbrella of affection. Affection is an atmosphere that is created by simple, no agenda connection.
A study from the University of Texas, Austin reports that “Giving and receiving affection is associated with feelings of pleasure, acceptance, happiness or contentment, and a sense of being loved or cared for.” While affection may wane over time, it is no surprise that couples who maintain higher levels of affection tend to be happier, experience lower levels of the stress hormone oxytocin, and have an overall sense of well-being.
Giving affection to one’s partner can stimulate reciprocation (always a good thing), but it requires two things of us. First, time. It is easy to be so busy rushing around that we fail to take needed time to do something as simple as holding hands while we watch TV. Second, we have to take action. Talking about affection won’t do much good unless we express it.
While you may be out of the habit of expressing much affection, I encourage you to be intentional in this area. You are likely to feel better and doing so can increase security in your marriage – not to mention, it can be fun!