The Interesting Reason Couples Should Hold Hands During A Fight

Fighting in a relationship is inevitable. We're not talking about the unhealthy, toxic, name-calling fights, but the ones that (hopefully) end in some understanding after an expressed difference of opinion. And get this — arguments are actually healthy. "Avoiding conflict does not work," Caitlin Cantor, a Philadelphia-based certified individual, couples, and sex therapist, told CNN. "If you can fight and learn how to get connected in your differences and learn more about each other via the fight, then that's really healthy."

To ensure productive discourse with your partner, there are a few things you'll want to keep in mind, like the way you approach the conversation and how well you listen during the argument (via Everyday Health). But what if we told you that holding your partner's hand during a fight can have some positive benefits? Understandably, the last thing you may want to do when arguing with your significant other is touch them. However, if you want to end the conversation on an uplifting and soothing note, you may want to look further into it.

Holding hands during an argument has calming benefits

If you aren't the touchy-feely type, and physical touch definitely isn't your love language, you may cringe at the idea of holding your partner's hand during a fight. However, studies show that holding hands during an argument can create a calming and positive effect both during and after the fight. A study conducted by the University of Amsterdam, which researched 100 couples, found that holding hands during a fight leads to calmer communication (via Sunny 99.1), and when the fight ended, both parties experienced heightened positivity.

Another study by the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that touching your partner can literally "sync" up your brainwaves and reduce pain (via Healthline). Although the pain in this specific study focused on physical pain, the correlation between touch and distress is quite remarkable and can be compared to mental and emotional distress as well.

"We live in an interesting time because we use technology as a communication tool most of the time, and physical contact has become rarer," Pavel Goldstein, the study's lead author, told Healthline. "This study shows the importance of touch and that [it's possible] we underestimate some benefits of physical contact." While fights feel icky in the moment, they can make both parties feel more connected by the end, especially if hand-holding is involved.

More benefits of holding hands with your loved one

Of course, you don't need to be fighting with your partner to hold hands. In fact, you should hold hands with your loved one often, as there are so many benefits to doing so. When humans are met with touch, the brain releases a hormone called oxytocin (via Dignity Health). You may have heard this hormone affectionately described as "the love drug," "cuddle hormone," or "love hormone," and there's a reason! Oxytocin is associated with all the fuzzy feelings your body may experience when in love, like trust, warmth, and happiness. So it's no surprise that engaging in the simple act of hand-holding will trigger a positive feeling within you.

Plus, did you know there's a term to describe a significant lack of physical touch? It's called skin hunger (via Psychology Today). Skin hunger can lead to various mental health issues, including depression and loneliness. Humans aren't meant to go long periods without touch, and simply holding hands can do wonders for mental and physical health. So regardless if you're hanging out on the couch or in the depths of a passionate argument, grab your partner's hand, and feel for yourself the soothing comfort that follows.