If one hasn’t bonded intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually with another, yet acts physically out of a desire to be physical, lust has control.
In romantic relationships, the goal is to communicate in a loving, giving manner—to be affectionate.
Affection is defined as “tender and loving feelings” or a “stirring of loving emotions,” and it stems from a desire to affect someone’s heart, mind, or soul.
Desmond Morris compiled a list of stages of marital intimacy.
We’ve adapted it somewhat to illustrate the many physical ways to show someone you care.
A healthy romantic relationship should be based on a friendship, with physical acts being the “icing on the cake.” A cake isn’t made with icing in the dough; it would never rise.
You must first make the cake (relationship) with the essential ingredients of flour (great conversation), sugar (fun together), eggs (similar moral values, spiritual agreement), and brown sugar (respect, honor).
The sequence of growth for the friendship intimacies is not as important as the fact that they should develop before the physical.
Appropriate physical affection at each stage of a romantic relationship will be different for each couple.
Affection says to another, “I care for you so much that I’ve run out of words to say and want to show you” or “I want to give you a physical experience that touches and blesses you intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.” Affection is the outward expression of something that is occurring within the couple internally; this something is more than physical attraction.