It’s that time of year when people start hunting for the perfect holiday gift for their significant other. Despite all of the effort and thought that goes into this process, many people will end up buying expensive material objects that provide only temporary happiness, are quickly forgotten, and end up collecting dust somewhere. You can avoid this outcome--and potentially improve your relationship at the same time--by giving your partner something much more personal this year: touch.
As I have previously written, touch is one of the keys to a happy and healthy long-term relationship because it reduces stress and promotes intimacy. Unfortunately, many couples find that, as their relationship progresses, they aren’t touching each other nearly as much as they used to. This can make you feel more distant from your partner both physically and psychologically and potentially contribute to relationship problems. However, adding more touch back into your love life can not only help resolve these issues, but prevent future problems from arising.
For this reason, my top holiday gift recommendation is to learn how to massage your partner with your own hands. Not only is it an easy and natural way to increase touch, but it’s also a fun way to warm each other up on those cold winter nights and to find relaxation from holiday stress.
For learning massage technique, I recommend Melt: Massage for Couples. Our friends at Melt are offering lifetime memberships to their online streaming video tutorials that will teach you how to massage in the comfort of your own home. Best of all, Melt is currently on sale for readers of Sex and Psychology for a limited time by purchasing through this link.
I’ve introduced Melt on the site before, and it was a huge hit! This time around they're offering printable gift vouchers for the holidays to make your shopping easy.
However, I recommend going the extra step by packaging your Melt voucher with some massage accessories (e.g., scented candles, massage oil, etc.--whatever you think your partner will like). This will add to the experience and make for an even more thoughtful gift.
Keep in mind that Melt's videos are PG and appropriate for all adults; however, you can make your massages as romantic or sensual as you'd like behind closed doors. Turn up the steam or just keep it light and fun.
Lastly, don’t just take my word for it when it comes to the benefits of learning how to give a good massage—the science supports it too: in a recent worldwide internet survey of 100,000 participants, researchers found that, among those people who reported being the happiest in their relationships, 74% said that they give each other back rubs .
Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology ? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (facebook.com/psychologyofsex), Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit (reddit.com/r/psychologyofsex) to receive updates.
 Northrup, C., Schwartz, P., & Witte, J. (2014). The normal bar: The surprising secrets of happy couples and what they reveal about creating a new normal in your relationship. New York: Harmony.
Image Credit: Denis Merkas
You Might Also Like: