The Many Meanings of Holding Hands - EverydayKnow.com (2022)

When you love someone, it is natural to want to hold their hand. One of the most common reasons for holding hands is because you care about someone and want to be close to them. Like most gestures, the type of hand holding can mean something more significant about your relationship. If you are holding hands with someone who is just a friend, it may also show how your friend feels and if there is a bigger potential for your relationship to each other.

1. The Finger Grab

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This is the type of hand holding where your partner holds onto just a few fingers. He may be leading you somewhere and is just grasping at the tips of your fingers. This type of hand gesture often means that you are both extremely independent people. While you like to reach out to each other and be in a relationship, you are both confident enough to be on your own as well. You are spirited individuals who each have your own passions in life. You like being together, but you are just as confident and capable as a single person as well.

Often, this type of hand holding shows that you like to maintain your individuality. You may both enjoy your alone time and like pursuing your own interests. Despite your independence and spirited natures, you still like to end the day together in a strong, healthy relationship.

2. The Passive Grasp

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When you have this type of handhold, it looks like you are cupping your partner’s hand firmly within your own. This handhold also works in reverse. While you have the hand firmly cupped, the gesture is still relaxed.

When you frequently use this type of hand holding, it means that neither of you is needy or clingy. Your relationship has set up boundaries, and both of you accept these ground rules. You love each other and have a tender relationship. Despite your gentler, sweeter side, you are not particularly found of public displays of affection. You like to be tender and loving in the bedroom, but you do not do any showy displays of affection when you are around other people.

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3. The Downward Palm

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In this hand holding, one person has their palm facing downward. This is actually one of the most common types of hand holding. Typically, it is interpreted as one person being more dominant and the other being more passive. The person who has their palm facing down is considered the more dominant member of the relationship and may seek to protect their partner. Because of gender roles and stereotypes, the dominant person is typically the man. He may use this hand-holding style when you are in a busy area or crossing a dangerous intersection. If you are walking around at night, he may subconsciously use this hand hold because he wants to keep you safe and protect you.

4. The Wrist Hold

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When you see this type of hand holding, it may appear extremely aggressive. It involves one partner looping their wrist around the other partner’s wrist. In some cases, the wrist hold may actually be a sign of aggression. In most cases, it is not though. The wrist hold involves intertwining your hands so that the bottom halves of your and your partner’s arms are interlocked. This handhold may seem needy or aggressive, but it generally is not. It shows that both partners need to be around each other and feel physically close. Because of this, it is generally thought of as an extremely passionate, intimate hand-holding technique.

5. The Over the Shoulder

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This position involves you interlocking your fingers over one of your shoulders. This is more than just a hand hold though. You are literally pulling (or being pulled) closer to your partner and snuggling near them. This makes this casual gesture extremely loving and protective. It shows a loving, intimate bond and a desire to be closer to your partner. The person who has their arm wrapped around the other is showing that they are proud of their relationship and they will defend their partner to the very end.

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6. The Relaxed Hold

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This handhold shows that you are confident in your relationship and know that your partner is completely on your side. It consists of you just holding your partner’s hand in a very relaxed manner. If you or your partner strokes the other’s hand, it shows a hidden passion and gentle love. The relaxed nature of the hand hold also indicates that you are both confident in the relationship and are emotionally stable. You are at the point in your relationship where you have nothing to prove and know that you are always going to be there for each other.

7. Interlocked Fingers

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Some couples hold hands by interlocking all of their fingers together. This level of intimacy shows that the couple has a deep connection to each other. While they are physically attracted to each other, their bond goes beyond just looks. They are attracted to one another emotionally, physically and intellectually. They want to be close to each other and hold hands in a way where all of their fingers are connected. This demonstrates a complete comfort with each other. You are fine with being vulnerable, open and honest with your partner because you trust that they have your best interests at heart.

8. The One-Finger Hold

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At first glance, this type of hand hold does not appear particularly close or intimate. You are only holding one of your partner’s fingers gently in your own finger. While it may appear especially relaxed, this type of hand hold signifies good things. You are relaxed enough with your partner to not worry about appearances. In addition, this handhold is playful, relaxed and rather romantic. It shows that, even though you can’t hold hands completely right now, you are still trying to reach out to your partner and be as close to them as possible.

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9. The Protective Hand Hold

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This is the kind of handhold that you typically see in wedding photographs. Basically, the woman’s hand is just perched on her partner’s hand. On top of his hand, her hand looks tiny and delicate. This relaxed handhold is extremely positive. It shows a mutual protectiveness about each other and a respectful bond. This handhold also shows a healthy relationship, adoration, trust and a deep love for one another.

10. The Double-Hand Wrap

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In this handhold, he wraps both of his hands around yours. Researchers know that human touch can produce oxytocin in the brain. This chemical is responsible for that warm, fuzzy feeling you feel when you are in love. By holding your hand in both of his, he is increasing the bond between you. This type of handhold demonstrates that he wants more skin-to-skin contact with you. He is trying to show how much he loves you and the type of deep, lasting bond that he wants.

11. The Hand Brush

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This is not exactly a handhold. Instead, it consists of your partner brushing your hand against you as you walk next to each other. Occasionally, your hands accidentally or not accidentally bump into each other. You are not exactly holding hands, but it shows that you might be developing a relationship together in the future. It may also be a brush off by a friend that shows that you are in the friend zone. Unfortunately, the hand brush could mean either thing, so the only way to find out for sure is to keep the friendship going and see if he makes another move.

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12. The Firm Grip

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A firm grip can happen in any type of hand holding. If he is holding your hand firmly, it can mean several different things. At the start of the relationship, it shows a desire to have dominance over you and to take control. If your hand feels like he is crushing it, it shows that he is exerting dominance. In other cases, it is just a sign of reassurance. If he squeezes your hand slightly, it is a way for him to show that he is there for you and wants to support you. Depending on the situation, a firm grip can be a good thing or a bad thing.

13. The Flimsy Grip

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Again, this type of grip can exist in any handhold. Often, this type of handhold just means that you are in a public place where he feels uncomfortable being more obvious in showing his affection. It is a way to show that you are his partner without being too dominant about it. While a flimsy grip does not show a super strong connection, it is a sweet way for you to show that you are there and want to be around him.

14. The Non-Hold

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If he skips hand holding entirely and goes for the butt grab, then you better watch out. Other physical gestures like the butt grab tend to show that he is only in the relationship for the physical benefits. As long as you are interested in this type of relationship as well, it is not a problem. If you want a closer bond though, then you better skip out on the relationship.

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FAQs

What do the different ways of holding hands mean? ›

Holding hands can express affection, comfort, warmth, pain release, safety, psychological closeness, and empathy. To many, hand holding can mean the world, while others may not be so keen to hold hands. Couples holding hands can reflect formality, familiarity, superiority, and even submissiveness.

What is the symbolism of holding hands? ›

Holding hands is a way of showing our affection

Joanna Konstantopoulou, a psychologist and founder of Health Psychology Clinic, says hand holding also acts as a symbolic sign from a social perspective. "It symbolises passion and a strong connection between two people who deeply care about each other," she says.

What holding hands means in a relationship? ›

“Holding hands invokes a positive feeling about one another, so you both feel sexy and wanted. It's almost like foreplay." Cue all the feels: Just like massage, kissing, and hugging, “research shows that touch, like holding hands, releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that gives you that feel-good buzz,” says Coleman.

Is holding hands a form of intimacy? ›

Hand-holding is also known to produce high amounts of the so-called “cuddle hormone” oxytocin, which makes us feel more content and bonded to our significant others. Hand holding is linked to emotional intimacy while sex can be purely physical.

What does interlocking fingers mean to a guy? ›

Interlocked fingers: When couples interlock their fingers, it shows a deeper connection, and that the person is more vulnerable and emotionally and physically connected at that moment. Non-interlocked fingers suggest a more casual relationship.

What holding hands means to a guy? ›

A guy might be holding your hand when those emotions are surging through his body. He probably feels afresh in the relationship, and holding your hands might be his way of communicating this. Also, another holding hands meaning could be he wants to feel closer to you.

When a girl holds your hand what does it mean? ›

If she is holding your hand it means . She likes you to be with you. She is feeling secure with you. She has started trust and believe on you. For some girl this behaviour is normal to hold hand in public.

What does it mean when a girl holds your hand and interlocks fingers? ›

Holding hands while interlocking fingers denotes an innate closeness. When a couple holds hands with their fingers entwined and palms facing forward, that's a sign they have "a very intimate connection," body language expert Traci Brown told Elite Daily.

Is holding hands flirting? ›

Of course someone who tries to hold your hand is into you. It's on the bolder side of flirting, but it still definitely counts. They ask you out. It can seem like a “no duh,” but for many people, being asked out directly is so rare that it can feel confusing when it actually happens.

Is holding hands more intimate than hugging? ›

We often view sex as the height of physical intimacy, so it seems counterintuitive that the innocent act of holding hands could be so emotionally charged. But in today's dating era, holding hands feels more intimate than ever.

What does it mean when a guy holds your hand and you're not dating? ›

It can be considered as one of the most common gestures to let someone know that you're there for them. Guys generally do not engage in holding hands as much as girls do. If a guy does usually reach out for your hand, it could signify less of a platonic relationship and more romantic.

What does it mean when someone squeezes your hand 3 times? ›

She'd take our hands and give them three gentle squeezes to say “I love you,” and then we'd give her four squeezes back, signaling “I love you, too.” Fast forward to becoming a parent myself and these three and four squeezes are now a “secret language” that we share with our own girls.

How do u know if a boy likes u? ›

How to Tell If a Guy Likes You
  • He is touching you.
  • He remembers small details about you.
  • You two are social media friends.
  • He gives you eye contact.
  • He makes an effort in the conversations you have.
  • He's using “alpha” body language.
  • He asks if you have a boyfriend.
  • He gets jealous when you talk to other guys.
Mar 10, 2021

What does it mean when a guy touches you alot? ›

Any person that likes you will want to touch you all the time, and not in a intrusive way, but more of a sensual one. And when a guy touches you a lot, it's usually pretty evident that he's really into you. If you feel the same way, then go ahead and touch them back.

What are some ways to tell if a girl is comfortable with you touching her? ›

She touches you

Linking her arms to yours, lightly touching your leg when sitting, or even quickly touching your hair—these are really good signs she's comfortable with you and feels safe around you. Even the slightest of touch is a signal that she is physically attracted to you.

Does a girl like me if she touches me a lot? ›

Small touches and gestures are a good sign that a woman likes you. If she playfully pats your arm or rubs against you while you are sitting down, it means she wants to be closer to you. She also might want to hug you or be open to an invitation to be hugged. Please pay attention to how frequently she touches you.

What does it mean when a girl holds your arm? ›

03/7When a woman hits your arm

Is she scared or is she feeling happy and energetic? If it's the latter, then the woman is well into you, by trying to hold your arm. This may suggest that she likes you and your company. She might even flirt with you to let you know that she's interested.

What does it mean if your thumb is on top when holding hands? ›

When people clasp their hands, almost all have a strong preference; either the right thumb is on top (R) or the left thumb is on top (L). Hand-clasping is sometimes used to illustrate basic genetics; the myth is that hand-clasping is controlled by one gene with two alleles, and the allele for L is dominant.

What does it mean when a girl holds your hand and interlocks fingers? ›

Holding hands while interlocking fingers denotes an innate closeness. When a couple holds hands with their fingers entwined and palms facing forward, that's a sign they have "a very intimate connection," body language expert Traci Brown told Elite Daily.

When a girl holds your hand what does it mean? ›

If she is holding your hand it means . She likes you to be with you. She is feeling secure with you. She has started trust and believe on you. For some girl this behaviour is normal to hold hand in public.

Is holding hands more intimate than hugging? ›

We often view sex as the height of physical intimacy, so it seems counterintuitive that the innocent act of holding hands could be so emotionally charged. But in today's dating era, holding hands feels more intimate than ever.

What does it mean when a guy scratches your palm while holding hands? ›

It means they want to rape you. Use extreme caution.

Is holding hands flirting? ›

Of course someone who tries to hold your hand is into you. It's on the bolder side of flirting, but it still definitely counts. They ask you out. It can seem like a “no duh,” but for many people, being asked out directly is so rare that it can feel confusing when it actually happens.

What are some ways to tell if a girl is comfortable with you touching her? ›

She touches you

Linking her arms to yours, lightly touching your leg when sitting, or even quickly touching your hair—these are really good signs she's comfortable with you and feels safe around you. Even the slightest of touch is a signal that she is physically attracted to you.

Does a girl like me if she touches me a lot? ›

Small touches and gestures are a good sign that a woman likes you. If she playfully pats your arm or rubs against you while you are sitting down, it means she wants to be closer to you. She also might want to hug you or be open to an invitation to be hugged. Please pay attention to how frequently she touches you.

What does it mean when a girl lets you touch her hand? ›

Note that this applies to even “accidental” touch. If you're walking next to her and you bump into her a little bit and she starts walking closer to you, that's a sign of attraction. If you touch her on the hands, the arms or her upper back and she seems to like it, that's a clear sign of attraction.

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