It’s the simplest of PDAs. An image which signifies love, trust and affection. A basic act, which is surprisingly intimate.
We all shake people’s hands all the time, but holding hands is a very different matter.
But why should holding someone’s hand be so significant?
By handing over your hand, you’re letting someone lead you. And in turn, by taking someone’s hand, he or she is allowing you to lead them. A simple action we’ve used since we were children, but one which as adults we do with very few people.
These days the only times I hold hands with someone, are when I’m in a relationship, or either holding a child’s hand, or that of a drunken friend on a night out! (I’ll allow you to draw the parallels between the last two!)
And so, as a very responsible (!) single thirty-year old, with few children in my life able to walk yet, that means I rarely ever hold someone’s hand!
And yet it’s the one PDA I really like.
I noticed early on during my 30 Dates just how much I love traditional manners. Not just the basic niceties of conversation, but the chivalrous gestures. When a man walks on the road side of you, and instinctively changes sides if you cross the road. When a man not only holds the door for you, but takes your coat, and holds out your chair.
And so when a man takes my hand, I’m a stickler for making sure he is the one leading me.
Yes, I’m an independent, accomplished woman, who believes in equality. But equality doesn’t mean we all have to act exactly the same. Equality allows me to act how I choose. And in certain circumstances I choose to enjoy my femininity, and adopt the role of a girl in a relationship.
As an successful single woman, it’s rare that I hand the reigns over to someone else. I’ve never had a properly long-term relationship, and yet in the past thirty years, I’ve accomplished a fair bit on my own – from travelling around the world alone for three years, to getting a good degree and Masters, in the years after I was orphaned. And my family situation only helped to heighten my already independent and driven streak.
Yes, I’m fully aware I can choose my own path, and navigate myself in any given direction, all of my own accord, but sometimes it’s rather nice to let a man take the lead.
I like nothing more than going on a surprise date. To turn up, without a clue of what we’ll be doing, and simply leave it to the guy to decide. I’m obviously perfectly capable of organising a date myself, but there’s something rather refreshing about not having control of every single tiny aspect of my life. When you’re used to making every decision in your own life, it can be nice to hand over some of the small decisions to someone else.
A few months back, I caused an uproar with my friends on my personal Facebook page, thanks to a post I wrote for the Huffington Post, about the fact I believe a man should ask a woman out. And despite my friends’ comments, I still stand by it! In my experiences, as a forthright woman, every time I’ve made the first move, it’s gone wrong, and I would much prefer to have a guy ask me out, rather than having to instigate it.
It’s interesting, because a similar conversation came up over afternoon tea with the lovely girls from B*witched a few weeks ago. You can read my interview with Keavy Lynch here, and my full interview with Lindsay Armaou will be up on the Soulmates blog shortly, but during tea Lindsay said something which I agreed with.
“It’s about striking a balance. Women are so successful at work, but in the home environment, and in your personal life, it’s really nice to be feminine and to allow a guy to be masculine. It’s nice to embrace the fact that we’re different in so many ways. We’re different for a reason. It’s because it works, we compliment each other.”
Lindsay’s a self-made woman, with an extremely successful career, but she’s right, you don’t have to sacrifice femininity and try to adopt a male role in a relationship, just because at work we’ve worked so hard to remove the gender differences. There are certain parts of being a woman that are a lot of fun, and which we shouldn’t lose sight of, just because we were lucky enough to be born into a generation and country where equality and freedom of choice are things we take for granted.
Being feminine doesn’t mean being submissive. It means choosing the times when you’re happy to step back and let someone else take the lead. As well as choosing the times when it’s your turn to take the reigns. So enjoy the options life presents you with, and grasp the right hand with all your might 🙂
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx