Showing Affection to Improve Your Relationship and Your Health by Brianna Williams

affectionate couple

Did you know that being affectionate in your relationship can influence your health? Research tells us that people in romantic relationships who show affection can show greater health benefits. For instance, one study found that couples who kissed each other more showed lower levels of cholesterol and perceived stress, and those couples who kissed each other more often reported greater relationship satisfaction.

We often think that showing affection is just a physical behavior, but it can actually be both physical and verbal behaviors that show your partner you care for them. Your partner will appreciate hearing you appreciate or compliment them, which in time can increase how verbally affectionate and emotionally close you are with each other. So it may not be surprising to you that receiving affection from your partner makes you more satisfied in your relationship. What new research shows though is that receiving affection makes you a healthier person, but what is really cool is research shows giving affection to your partner can affect your health in a positive way too! Because there are many health and relationship benefits to showing affection to your partner, here are some tips to increase the physical and verbal affection in your relationship:

  •  Don’t forget to give them a kiss. Not only can this be an exciting moment for the both of you, but it’s also a way to connect with your partner.


  •  Hold their hand. This is a classic PDA move! Holding their hand can be a good way to comfort and feel more connected with your partner. It’s also another great way of increasing physical affection among you both.


  • Give your partner compliments. This could be appreciating them for things they do for you or telling them what you love about them. Maybe you find them attractive, or think they’re funny, or you can say, “I love it when you ___.” Complimenting sounds simple, but it’s something we often forget to do.

compliment your partner

Being verbally and physically affectionate to your partner is not only good for your relationship; it’s also good for your and their physical health! As it is the beginning of the new year, make a commitment to one another to be more affectionate. It can only help you grow as individuals and as a couple!


Floyd, K., Boren, J. P., Hannawa, A. F., Hesse, C., McEwan, B., & Veksler, A. E. (2009). Kissing in marital and cohabiting relationships: Effects on blood lipids, stress, and relationship satisfaction. Western Journal of Communication73(2), 113-133.

Floyd, K., Hess, J. A., Miczo, L. A., Halone, K. K., Mikkelson, A. C., & Tusing, K. J. (2005). Human affection exchange: VIII: Further evidence of the benefits of expressed affection. Communication Quarterly, 53, 285-303.

Pauley, P. M., Hesse, C., & Mikkelson, A. C. (2014). Trait affection predicts married couples’ use of relational maintenance behaviors. Journal of Family Communication14(2), 167-187.

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