A few of you are new to dating. That can be tough to begin with, but when you haven’t had any guidance, it can be terrifying. Life isn’t the same now as it once was, anyone who denies that is just a liar… specifically in that there’s less personal reaction taking place in person than ever before. It makes it harder to navigate.
With that in mind, here are some tips, with examples, of how to initiate touching. I’m extremely traditional and old fashioned. Why? Because I have watched it work and helped tens of thousands of people use traditional methods to make their relationships work/ work again. If you don’t want traditional roles of male versus female, I welcome your back button into the conversation at this time. 😉
The fundamentals of touching are simple, but can be intimidating. Let’s get started:
++ First thing you must get into your head and THROW EVERYTHING ELSE AWAY, is that there is no “No, never” response for a woman for general touching so long as she’s dating you. Implicit within dating you at all is that she will welcome small, light touches at some point. If she pulls away the first few times, understand this rule of dating. It is IMPLICIT (that means implied by the action even if the words aren’t said) that she is interested in, at some point, overcoming her own internal fears and struggles to enjoy your company. This rule means to keep trying in small ways even if she is at first scared and anxious and awkward, herself.
++ Rule number two is that all touching should be gentle in the beginning. Whatever ‘rough play’ may come later–much later–initial touching is always gentle. For some of you, this goes without saying, but it must be said for some. Light touches are the way to start out. Some worry obsessively about “how much pressure”. So I’ll state it this way, the natural weight of your body is enough. If you let your thigh fall relaxed against her, or your hand drop naturally on her shoulder–that’s the right pressure.
++ In light of rule 2, mind your own anxiety doesn’t make your touch rough. In hand holding in particular, BEWARE that you aren’t tightening your grip! One guy liked to lace his fingers in with mine, and his hand was so strong I literally felt like he was pulverizing my fingers.
++ This is one of the main and most important rules… Obey her lead. Religiously; except for the rule number one caveat. If she pulls away, stop for that moment. If she untangles your fingers from hers, find a different way to hold her hand. Her body speaks, and so do her words. Listen to both.
++ Early touches start with common areas. These areas are pretty nearly universal. Let’s go through first level touches. Remember these touches are excuses to touch her, couched under pretense of other things–you’re not being sexist by doing them, you are finding ways to touch her while being natural about it as much as possible:
Touch her lightly on the back, around the level of the shoulder blades and slightly below. This touch should last perhaps 3 seconds. Do NOT focus on the time, this is just an informal guideline to give you an idea. This can be done, for example, while indicating something (“sit here, I’ll sit over there”), or when following her through a doorway (you should be at her side and indicating she can go first).
Touch her on the elbow or lower tricep. This can be used as above, but can be a slightly longer duration touch. This is a ‘come over here’ touch to maybe help her realize someone is trying to push past her, or if she’s close to a curb or about to step in something. It can be done to try to draw her back if you change your mind and want to go a different direction. It can be done to point out something you want her to look at “Isn’t this one nice?” If used to redirect her attention, keep this one to one second or so, but let your hand slide away along her skin.
If sitting beside her, always let your thigh rest against hers. Be careful that you don’t push. This is where it’s imperative to relax. This is a good touch for altering her feelings for you towards the sexual. It’s a touch that implies sexuality without being overtly sexual. It’s slightly underhanded, but very effective.
Tap the back of her hand or lay your hand over it for just a second or two. This can be used similarly-draw attention or redirect focus. It can be used to indicate her to others, “Susan (touch her hand to indicate her) likes those!” It can be used to ask for a conversational pause, “Wait wait! (touch on the back of the hand) That isn’t how it happened!”
This is a ‘please come back here’ touch; a very, very light touch wrapped slightly around her forearm. It is a conciliatory, slightly pleading touch backed up with the method of the touch being ever-so-slightly demanding. It has a combination of the request together with a masculine (and extremely mild) aggressiveness. This ‘discrepancy’ makes it very sexy and compelling. Again, without overt sexuality of any kind.
A note here. Always try to touch her in some way when she is turning away from you or upset with you. That being said, DO NOT GRAB her. These touches are never a GRAB. Ever. Not even later. Grabbing a woman makes her feel trapped, and that’s the last thing you EVER want associated with you in her head. So just don’t. Ever.
++ Now, let’s talk about responses. First, let’s go over the “wait” or “not yet” responses:
She will draw away from your touch. Since these are going to be short touches, if she draws away in that short period of time, it’s a ‘wait’ signal. You’re intentionally not giving her much time to react (except with the thigh touch), so any reaction within that tiny period of time is a strong ‘wait’.
She puts something between you after the touch. She takes a drink and the glass is put down between you. She shifts her coat to that arm, etc.
She turns away from you. This is not “leaning”. Leaning away from you is actually a desire to draw you in. Turning her body so that a shoulder or her back is more towards you says, “whoa buddy, easy there.”
Her posture ‘closes’ after the touch. She crosses her arms in front of her. She gets cold and presses her arms together. Her legs cross closely with foot pointing away from you.
Her level of eye contact decreases. She starts looking everywhere but at you. The exception to this is if she does the OPPOSITE of the previously mentioned. She looks away, but she fiddles with her hair, or turns towards you, or opens her body posture.
She hides her hand or fills it with something (picks up her fork) after you have touched it.
++ If nothing changes, this is neither invitation, nor rejection. It’s a good thing because it says your touch is okay and you should continue in order to produce the next thing, which is welcome:
++ Signs she welcomes your touch and is ready for escalation:
Leans either away with an ‘open’ body posture, or leans toward you. This is a desire for second level touching.
If you touch her hand, and she turns it upwards, or it moves towards you. It’s easy to mistake this sudden movement for a flinch, so look for other body signals such as opening up or moving objects out of the way from between you.
She removes obstacles to your touch. She shifts her coat to the other arm (which arm a coat is draped over is impartial until AFTER a touch, by the way). She takes a drink and puts it down away from between you. She ‘wanders’ out from behind a barrier such as a chair.
She smiles and blushes. I’m sure you knew that one yourself, but it can happen with an ‘apparent’ look of withdrawing. If she closes up, but smiles and/or giggles, this is “I’m so nervous, but yay, he touched me!” This is a ‘don’t push it this moment’, but now you know she’s very into you, so proceed with second level touches over time to get her past her own fears and insecurities.
She stays for long durations against your thigh. This indicates she’s afraid to lose the contact. People naturally shift their positions frequently to prevent the body from pressure discomforts. Not every time she moves away from your thigh press, is she trying to escape it. Her sitting against it long-term is a VERY good sign of very high attraction.
++ A timeframe for touching.
When you are first ‘rejected’ for a ‘right now touch’, that doesn’t mean to stop touching her ever. Remember, she’s dating you, so she’s not rejecting you permanently.
On the first date, a rejected touch means to stick to the level one touching, and to increase the time span before attempts. So double the time spans I’m going to tell you for first dates or dates after a MAJOR disagreement.
- After the first ‘not yet’ response, wait 15 minutes or so before trying again. Keep the first new touch light and around 1 second.
- After the first retry, give it between 5 and 10 minutes before trying again, a slightly longer touch.
- Keep up the 5-10 minute touches, until you get a neutral response. At this point, let go of ‘timing’ and focus on the natural progression of the conversation.
- Once ‘neutral’ is achieved is the right time to employ short-duration thigh presses. But this, I mean 15-20 seconds, up to a minute. This is a unique type of touch so it is on “its own table”.
This will, if employed at the beginning of each date, bring you to a point of ‘welcome touching’. Once you are welcome, you can begin second level touching along a similar pattern, but I’m not going to go into second level touching here. If there is demand for it, I can, but I think the majority of you are not so much uncertain of that as you are of “breaking the touch barrier” to begin with.
Anyway. Hope that helps some of you poor guys who are locked up in terror of touching your lady. Touch is THE SINGLE MOST POWERFUL TOOL you have for building rapport. Use it.