What Is the Symbolic Meaning of Holding Hands?


Quick Answer

The symbolic meaning of holding hands is the connection between two people and the feeling of safety while in the company of a loved one. According to the New York Times, holding hands denotes affection, protection and comfort.

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Full Answer

According to Stephanie Rosenbloom of the New York Times, hand-holding is used in a variety of relationships. Young children and their parents, romantic couples and adults and their aging parents all tend to hold hands. With each unique relationship, hand-holding means something different. Couples hold hands as a sign of deep connection, and also as a display of their relationship. Young children hold their parents' hands out of affection and a need for protection. Older children may hold their aging parents' hands for balance and support, and to show they are there for them. Each instance of hand-holding, however, has one thing in common: a strong connection between the participants. People rarely hold hands with strangers. Instead, they hold hands with people they love, whether it is a lover, a child or a parent. Physical contact is a large part of human relationships, providing comfort and a feeling of closeness, so holding hands is a simple, symbolic way of showing fond feelings towards loved ones.

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