When you’re dating someone, there are many moments that can feel absolutely amazing and special. especially those moments that seem so very grand! For me, though, there’s nothing that makes me feel more special than one tiny, innocent gesture: holding hands. There’s an innocence, yet deep desire and affection all tied into that gesture and it’s pretty powerful.
Yes, I know it’s simple. Maybe too simple. But for me, it’s the most special thing in the world and maybe one of the most personal. And, other than my first kiss, there are very few moments that have meant as much to me as those moments I’ve had my hand held. In fact, there are two very distinct moments in my life that have made me feel very special… Starting with having my hand held.
The very first time ever, I was away on a summer high school retreat for community service. It was the last night on the trip and like all high school sleepaway camps, we had a dance. I had been especially excited because I had a crush on a boy named Jim from a school in upstate New York, more than one hundred miles away from my school in New York City. We had spent a lot of the trip together and I was hoping he’d ask me to dance. Well, eventually he did and as luck would have it, it was a slow boy band song — 98 Degrees, I believe — perfect for slow dancing in the late 90s. I slowly stepped up to him and he took my hand, leading me on to the dance floor. The girls around me smiled and gasped and butterflies filled my tummy. It was the perfect moment and ultimately led to my first real slow dance with a boy.
The second time ever, I was 24 and in the early stages of seeing Charles. I was already crazy about him but was trying very hard to keep my feelings under control.
On a special date night, I had concert tickets to one of my favorite R & B artists and we went to the show. It was a great one but the night was young and so we decided to go dancing at a popular dance club downtown. The music was great, the crowd lively and we had a great time dancing… So much so I wasn’t ready for it to end.
The tension between us was electric and in the middle of a song, he stepped away and reached for my hand, leading me out of the club. His grip was firm and I immediately felt safe as he led me outside.
As we stood out in front of the club, on a fairly deserted street, he leaned over and he kissed me, sealing that moment and our relationship the rest of that summer.
Both moments were magic but I realize I felt special because in each of those moments, by the guy holding my hand, it was a simple, proud moment that represented a public display of affection. It was as though he was saying, with all the confidence in the world, “I’m proud to be with you,” and “I want you to feel comfortable/safe/relaxed with me.” It was inviting, warm and personal to feel the size and strength of his hand grasp my own hand. It was a way to let the world know that he wanted to be with me and that we were together.
Yes, small gesture, but quite grand, too. And for me, when I’m with someone and it means something, that won’t ever get old.