Today’s blog post in the love month series comes from fellow writer/blogger Toi Thomas. Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Toi! You can follow Toi here: https://linktr.ee/toithomas.
The past two or so years people have struggled to express and feel love. Many have felt confined by the limitation of COVID restrictions and struggled to embrace alternatives provided by advancements in technology. These advancements were once revered for the convenience they afforded us, but when faced with talking in person or talking over a screen, many resist. I don’t think anyone will argue against the human need for physical interaction, but the question begins to arise- does love have to be physical? I’m not talking about intimacy or intercourse; I’m talking about touch. Something as simple as a handshake or a hug. Is it enough to tell someone that you love them or miss them or do those words fall flat until joined with an embrace?
I am not a single person living alone and trying to connect with the outside world through technology, and my heart aches for all those experiencing that circumstance. I share my life with a partner, my husband and best friend. I am blessed. I am fortunate to be able to have him by my side to hold my hand or embrace him whenever I want, even on long work days when we don’t get to see each other all day until seven or 8:00 pm. There are plenty of people who would give anything to be in our position. Though we struggle when we can’t socialize the way we’d want (mostly him, I’m more introverted), we’ve had it easy in comparison to all those living alone. Through it all, we’ve had each other.
I’d like to tell myself that if my husband and I were separated, physically, for some reason, that I’d be able to manage without his physical presence. We’d talk and text and have video chats to keep from being lonely. I know many couples say they are best friends, but we really are. I’d be devastated if I couldn’t communicate with my husband about a trending topic I thought he’d find interesting. I’d miss him sending me small trinkets with no real value other than the fact he thought I’d find them amusing. But as time passed, I too think I’d miss his touch. I’d miss the sensation of my cold toes rubbing against his blazing hot feet.
I don’t think love has to be physical, but I do believe it helps. It’s easier to love someone when you can look into their eyes without any digital distance, when you can reach over and touch their hand, when you can cause them to jump off the couch in terror at the contact of frosty toes. But even without these things, love is still there. Maybe you won’t see the person as often, speak to them as often, or know everything that’s going on with them, but love is lasting with or without the aid of technology.
I am grateful for the opportunity to have video chats with my niece whenever she has geeky stuff to share with me. I’m blessed to be able to share my screen with my sister when helping her navigate the world of blogging. I’m elated at the idea of texting my mom and dad to discuss plans for my house instead of having to drive across a state line. And if it came down to it, I could go real old school and use a pen and piece of paper to write someone a letter, but I know I’ll be sticking to email for now. As far as I’m concerned, I know love will always find a way. If love managed to survive for millennia before the advent of the telephone, then it will last throughout this trying time as well. For 2022, my aim is to continue showing and receiving love in anyway I can.
A self-proclaimed techie and foodie, Toi Thomas was born in Texas but considers Virginia to be home. She enjoys reading, cooking, painting, geek culture, collecting vinyl records, and spending time with her family. Currently working as a behavioral clinician, Toi and her husband, Eric, share their home with a tortoise named Betty and a Redbone Coonhound named Margie.
Toi writes clean, adult multi-genre fiction ranging from science fiction to romance (as Glorie Townson), nonfiction, and writes and illustrates children’s picture books. Toi Thomas is also the founder of Lit Carnivale and the creator of Carnie the Bookworm.
This is a great article, Toi. I’m happy you have someone to share you life and love with during the pandemic. It’s been difficult to be separated from extended family and friends, and though I’m an introvert too, it has begun to feel confining to not be able to have a quick lunch or cup of coffee with a friend because we always have to think about Covid. Hugs to you!
I’m so grateful you did. I can relate to this, and I’m sure others can, too.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share these words with you.