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What is the symbolic meaning of holding hands?

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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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