Words matter: holding and being held

There is a ritual I have that I truly appreciate: holding and being held. It is tricky in a largely online environment. Playing without permission often contributes to feeling separate from the ones that might be able to offer us the most calming cuddles. My spouse is in no position to offer me comfort at the moment. Fuck buddies give the hugs of a person on the same recreational soccer team. They make you aware that you vaguely smell, but they know they have to see you next week – so they slap you on the shoulder while simultaneously packing their bag and drinking the end of the water bottle without touching the mouth to the spout thingy. My friends hug with colsolation, but they cannot hold the way a lover can. Lovers want to hold my everything: outside shell, inside soul, past baggage, current mess, and future potential.

I like being truly held. It feels like unconditional acceptance. I like when my lovers let me hold them. It feels like a meaningful gift that is renewable resource. Holding only costs time, and it almost always fills me with warm affection. I feel useful, connected, and fulfilled.

Is there a difference between holding and being held when the relationship dynamic is primarily online?

My love who lives a world away knows how to hold me. He can sense the need in my word cadence. He knows something is scattered when I pause more than usual when typing. He notices changes in habits and word choice. He holds me with words often. It is very intimate, and I cannot fucking wait to attach actual feeling to that sentiment. Most local holding still happens online as meeting frequency and schedule is limited. This is an interesting phenomenon when touching isn’t available. The mental holding is care that I need.

“I will be available to catch you if you need to be held”

“I will hold you while you wait.”

“No need to do anything, just be here while I hold you.”

“Please, let me hold you.”

“I am glad you don’t need to be held, but I need to hold you.”

It rings so true even when all we want on this planet is to actually hold and actually be held in any moment of need. Wishing we could be available at the right moment, and in just wishing, we miss the moment itself and the care that is needed. Wishing we had something other than what is available…it makes us less effectively apply what is available.

Words matter, and they hold so very well when used with love.

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