Maybe you already recognize the words to the song “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera. I think they are brilliant. It’s probably because I’m a Toucher. Part of loving me means appropriate touching. It’s what feeds my love.
If you wanna be with me, Baby there’s a price to pay
I’m a genie in a bottle, You gotta rub me the right way
I think that’s why I’m anti-massage. I don’t like strangers touching me. Not at all. I see it as creepy. I’ve disappointed my friends by not liking their presents of massage gift certificates. I’ve tried a massage or two, but it put me on edge. I’m not putting massage therapists down, I’m just saying that you’re not for me. My sister loves her weekly massages, but she’s not a touch person at all.
But getting touched by someone I love? Ah, that’s another story. I thrive with hugs, holding hands, and cuddling. When my children were young and cuddly, I was all over that! Son #1 was my biggest cuddle bunny. He grew out of it eventually but I still remember curling up with him on the couch for long periods of time, not doing anything but chatting and just hanging out together.
Touch is the fertilizer for my emotional garden.
Here’s where my asparagus patch comes in… I’ve let my garden go to hell this year. The deer and the rabbits ate everything to the ground last spring and I don’t have the funds to build my deer-proof fence just yet. I decided to let the vegetable beds rest this year as I focused on different parts of the yard. So while I’ve been pruning tree branches, eradicating poison ivy, cleaning up downed trees, and mowing, mowing, mowing, my garden beds have been overrun by some serious weeds.
The asparagus bed looks like it did when we first bought the house: forlorn, overgrown, and struggling to survive. Grass is the bane of asparagus plants as the grass roots choke out the asparagus roots. My beds are filled with crabgrass and Creeping Charlie.
I hate Creeping Charlie.
I realized that marriage, and any relationship for that matter, is like a garden bed. It takes active participation to keep both of them healthy and thriving. Without my efforts, my asparagus bed would slowly disappear into the unchecked grass that threatens to steal all of the natural resources like water, nutrients and light. But just as every relationship takes two, I understand that my asparagus would also die without things I can’t control for very long: water and light. Mother Nature is my partner in getting my asparagus healthy, strong, and productive. Without her participation, I would be spinning my wheels. Like trying to grow vegetables in a desert or planting an apple tree in a cave.
It’s just not going to work.
Relationships take effort from two people as well. I can do all that I can to make someone like me, but if they don’t, then all of my work is for naught. And if someone praises me constantly but never touches me, then my love will never grow but most likely shrivel and die off.
And while I’m a Toucher through and through, I also realize that it takes more than touching to form a meaningful relationship that survives the long haul. Once touching is fulfilled, then the next item on my Needs List steps up to the plate: Time Together. Like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, I’ll work through the 5 Love Languages from most needed to least needed until I find the right combination of participation from a meaningful partner.
Rub me the right way…I’ll grant you your wishes.