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On Holding Hands

September 28th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

There is no public display of affection more intimate between two people than hand holding.

A woman and I can get caught having sex in a public place. We can make out on a street corner for all the world to see. We can hug so closely it looks like we’re dry-humping each others brains out. I can put my arm around her, grab her ass. She can lock her arm into mine, lick my neck. We can do anything we want to one another in front of people, or in places where people can see us, and none of it necessarily means we’re in a relationship. Sure it may be implied, but most of the acts I just mentioned prove my woman and I are nothing more than two lustful freaks who can’t find a room, or maybe don’t care to find one.

But holding hands? In public? That’s like Valentine’s Day — for couples only.

The truth is, holding hands is the ultimate semblance that two people are not only together, but happily so. Couples kiss mad, hug mad, have sex mad, but hold hands mad? Oh no, they don’t do that.

Holding hands is what we do with the person we like the most at the moment we’re happiest with them. To hold hands with my woman in private is to say, I’m here and I’m glad you’re here too. To hold her hand in public is to say to anyone who sees us, She’s with me, I’m with her, and yes, we’re getting along just fine.

I’ve believed this to be true since childhood.

When I was growing up, my Mom and Pop fought a lot with each other. In my house, screaming and yelling was the way we communicated and though there were a lot of good times, laughter always seemed to share a room with drama or tension. But when I think about those 11 years they were together, the times I look back and smile about the most were the times when the two of them were holding hands.

To this day, I remember all the drives in our family caravan; my sister and I in the back seat, Mom riding shotgun, and Pop handling the wheel. Everyone’s eyes on the road in front of us. And maybe it happened as we were all talking and laughing, mostly it happened when a song came on the radio or the car was quiet, but whenever it happened, it went a little something like this:

Mom, or Pop, in their respective seats, eyes straight ahead, not looking at one another. Mom, or Pop’s, forearm planted on their arm rest for support. Mom, or Pop’s, palm opens in the small space between the van’s two front seats. And then, Mom, or Pop, does the same thing with their forearm and places their hand into the other.

I’m here and I’m glad you’re here too.

Sometimes they would do this in public.

She’s with me, I’m with her, and yes, we’re getting along just fine.

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  • Intrigued

    This was my favorite so far.

  • Ava

    I loved it! I will say that this is my very first time posting but I could really identify with your topic. I have had the luxury of watching my parents grow together in marriage and I can say that it is really something to work towards. The fact that they have fought, hated each other in the process, and can still “hold hands” is awe-inspiring to me. There is a saying, “The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands.” I think your post captured that concept, and I am still in the process of finding someone who I can learn to do that with! lol But all in all, well said Jozen! Keep it up!

  • Tiersa McQueen

    Wonderful! I wish my husband read your blog.

  • Danielle D

    If you put all this together for a book or something (you should really think about that too) please focus on this chapter. OMG! You have explained this so well and it is so truth…

  • CocoaDiva

    I love this one Jozen! I think I will cite to you in an upcoming post.

  • Egypt

    I really enjoyed reading this post. I think you described this PDA so perfectly! You described it in a way that both male and females can relate too.

  • mr. nichols

    Good stuff man.

  • BoomShots

    I have to confess that I did not realize the full impact of holding a woman’s hand while strolling down the street until my 30’s. For most of my early dating life it seemed so juvenile an expression. The sort of things you did as tween with a girl you liked because tere was not much more than that actually going on.

    While I never consciously held hands with the love of my life…that lack of consciousness was represenattive of most of that relationship. One of those things that you blindly fell into, maintained with minimal effort and don’t realize how important it is to you until you lose it.

    Was not until much later, I am strolling down Flatbush Avenue in a snowstorm holding the hand of my latesr interest on our way to dinner. She whispers in my ear that she feels so wonderful to have me hold her hand in public. Now I hold women’s hands all the time. I don’t give a damn what others really think to tell the truth, I just know she feels great because I am addressing to the world that we are together.

    Fellas, hold your lady’s hand walking down the middle of Main Street. I really brings a smile to her face and she wil thank you for it. Although you may want to make sure she is your only lady because it definitely sends a message.

  • Marisa

    those are the prettiest words that anyone could put on paper and it makes me want to hold my man’s hand more in public and in private.

  • Leah

    This is an incredibly poignant and spot-on post. I enter this as evidence to support your case: While I was reading this, the thought of someone holding my hand IN PUBLIC(!) made me extremely uncomfortable. Dang.

  • Leah

    It’s that deep!

  • briana

    this was my favorite so far as well.
    i love it when the sweet side of jozen comes out.

  • me-me

    i used to be against all forms of PDA for myself. i love seeing others hugging, kissing and showing love, but for me–it made my skin crawl. I realized a long time ago that i had a problem with “intimacy”. that’s how i kept my emotions in check.. i can’t let him “claim me”. i admit my eyes wandered… and wandered. the thought of hugging and hand holding would give me the creeps.

    then i ran across a man that i’ve come to realize that i may love.. okay fine, i love. i find myself walking closer to him, giving him opportunities to hold me in any form. while driving-holding hands.. at the movies..holding hands.. it is one of the most comforting things out there.. next to that kiss your mom gives you after she gives you a good, southern whippin.

    i realized the thing i was afraid of most of all was being open…

  • Mochamomof3

    This post is so sweet and TRUE! I knew I’d crossed over in any realtionship when dude grabbed my hand in public 😉


    I’m sooooo anti hand holding you’d have thought it was a bee sting. Something about it is emasculating in a sort of way I just can’t cosign untill I’m also at my kids soccer game. Until then lets just walk a little closer together (but with me at least half a foot in front)

  • Nadine

    I’m not a hand-holding type… I’m more of a locked arms type of person. This post was really beautiful to me. Simple, but fantastic. I think I may change my ways. 🙂

  • blackie collins

    i like this post a lot. for many reasons, but one in particular.

  • Anonomost

    I completely agree. I’m a dude. Holding hands, kissing me on the mouth, and spooning is for wifey only. PERIOD. That’s waaaay more intimate to me, b/c sex can be pleasure obtained via lust, those other things are an expression of love. And well quite frankly, “we don’t love them hoes”

  • 19E20

    Good stuff as always yo…

  • speldva

    This was the best one I have read so far… this is sooo true. I will be passing this along.

  • Rachel

    Yes make sure she is your one and only. The day I saw my ex (I thought we were just on a break – LOL) walking down the street hand in hand with some woman, I knew it was over between us. I just knew they were in a serious relationship and I couldn’t put my finger on it. But it was the holding hands!

    This is a really sweet post! So happy that you were able to witness your parent’s special moments – we don’t always pay attention to them.

  • dwj

    You hit the nail on the head. The best moments with my husband are the quiet moments when he holds my hand and kisses me on my forehead. It really is that moment that makes you feel like you’re just happy to be there in that moment, with that one person. You explained it beautifully and I hope you get moments like that too when you get married 🙂

  • Kandeezie

    Good stuff. As usual.

  • SoulSunshine

    This is my posting but I’ve been reading for a minute…lemme first say I LOVE your writing. This has got to be my favorite thus far…I think I let out a sigh and smiled when I read it. Beautifully written.

  • me-me

    i think today’s mindset about what’s “too much” is so interesting…

    you wouldn’t kiss a woman on the mouth that wasn’t “wifey”.. but you’d sleep with her and run the risk of having a baby with a woman (possibly crazy, carrying an std, etc) who you weren’t planning to “wife”.


  • Laurie Renfro

    I am visually impaired and, occasionally, someone will grab my hand in an effort to help me. I find this hand-holding very intimate and sometimes feel compelled to pull back. It is interesting how very much the depth and meaning of hand-holding is taken for granted.

  • Shevonda

    WOW!!! I love this! I don’t think anyone’s ever explained hand holding in such a way! The way you explained it turns something that I always thought of as a simple gesture into something so sacred and special. Thanks for this post! So glad I stumbled upon your blog! 🙂

  • theblackwhole

    Enjoyed this piece b’cuz it’z soooooo TRUE. We definitely don’t hold handz when We mad @ a woman…so when U do hold handz in public or private, it’s a lil’ extra-special ‘cuz EV’RYthang @ dat moment iz proper.

    = )

    P.S. In a different vein…We appreciated yer piece on Derrion Albert on, 2.

  • Pingback: Entry #103 – Da Skinny On PDA n’ Handholdin’ = ) « Theblackwhole’s Weblog()

  • marriedbutsingle

    I like this one. I wish I had known how important it was to hold hands in my marriage. Even if I had gotten the indicator that because he wouldn’t hold my hand in public, could have possibly meant that he really wasn’t dedicated to me, I would have not been so eager to jump into a now failed marriage. Thank you for that revelation, it was very beneficial.

  • beej53


    the black whole directed me here (thanx tbw) your article here on hand holding is spot on. married 35 years now and still feel closest to the wife with a simple hug or holding hands. we all have disagreements throughout life and in our marriages but afterwards the simple act of a hand offered says i still love you and everythings going to be alright.

    thanx jazon

  • Pingback: Men and PDA | The P.O.S.H. Life()

  • Smile

    Terrific post.

  • Yogee

    Loving this one.

  • flyonadime

    Beautiful and so on point!

  • Gina

    That was a sweet post. My husband and I have been attending a marriage seminar at church for the last 3 weeks so lately I have become acutely attuned to the unspoken body language in our marriage. You summed it up perfectly about how I feel when I take his hand….”She’s with me, I’m with her, and yes, we’re getting along just fine.”

  • hathi

    it’s such a beautiful piece, love it. This is the first time i’m reading your work and it’s amazing. will be coming back to read more posts!

  • MilfMan
  • abbey

    I LOVE this post. The whole meaning of holding hands with someone whether private or in public you’ve managed to put into words. This post brought me to tears because it brought back a memory I have of my aunt and uncle. Sometime last year when I was walking behind them going into a resturant for lunch, I noticed that they were holding hands (in the parking lot!). It brought a smile to my face and loved the feeling I got the moment I saw this. I hardly ever see them doing this because they live so far away from me (they: San Jose me: Los Angeles). These are happy tears because I know that my aunt and uncle truly loved each other. My aunt passed away just before the year ended (Oct) and I’m so grateful that I was able to see the love and happiness they shared with each other through the simple gesture of holding hands….

  • Anonymous

     That’s so sweet, and yes, there’s a great deal of intimacy involved in the simple act. 

  • Anonymous

     That’s so sweet, and yes, there’s a great deal of intimacy involved in the simple act. 

  • Mahathi Vojjala

    I read this in 2009 when you first wrote it and I still love this article! It’s beautifully written and very very sweet.