When does it become critical that you be touched with love or affection? Does something happen to those of us out of relationships for extended periods of time due to divorce, loss of a spouse or physical separation?

Speaking for myself, as a widow of four years, some days it feels like I have a yearning to be touched with familiarity, love, affection or tenderness. My mind aches for the intimate brush of fingertips, a soft touch of lips upon mine. Is it selfish to want that again in my life –- to have something beyond a quick coupling or an unsatisfactory relationship?

I value myself more than the cursory affair might allow, so I have decided I want more in my life than a short-sighted tryst, a quick something that leads to nothing. Am I withholding my affections for a specific purpose? Another marriage? No, at this point I am merely looking for something satisfying in body and spirit that may turn into a long-term relationship.

I have purposely chosen to walk my path alone at this time, when I feel so acutely the lack of companionship in my life. The affection of friends and family count, but it is a different type of affection I crave, and will eventually have in my life. I practice patience, but some days I admit my patience is tested.

How long is too long to go without an affectionate human touch? It feels like an eon since the last time I was touched in this way. There’s always the fear that the wait may last forever. Will I regret waiting for the right one at the end of my life? What if he doesn’t show up?

Will I wish I had seized every moment that I had the chance for affection? I feel in my gut there is a grand plan, but perhaps I’m just fooling myself to keep from panicking. The thought of being alone for the next 30 years increases that rumbling of dismay. I deserve to find happiness – I had it once, shouldn’t I experience it again? There is no giving up; it is not within me to roll over and play dead.

I have a wonderful, rich life. I’d like to share it with someone else. Is it critical to be touched when you yearn for it so much that it makes your skin itch and tears come to your eyes? Is that when you know your time to wait is up? You can be proactive, but in the end all you can do is live, be present in life, and wait until that hand touches your shoulder and you turn knowingly into someone’s loving embrace.

Some days even 24 hours seems too long to go without a loving touch. How then would you classify 1500 days and counting?

For more writing from Elaine Williams, visit her website at http://www.ajourneywelltaken.com.

by Elaine Williams ©2008

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Abel Keogh

Abel is the author of the relationship guides Dating a Widower: Starting a Relationship with a Man Who's Starting Over and Marrying a Widower: What You Need to Know Before Tying the Knot as well as several other books. During the day, Abel works in corporate marketing for a technology company. His main responsibilities include making computers and software sound super sexy, coding websites, and herding cats. Abel and his wife live somewhere in the beautiful state of Utah and, as citizens of the Beehive State, are parents of the requisite five children.

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