Home Love & Relationship The Many Meanings of Holding Hands

The Many Meanings of Holding Hands


When you love someone, it is natural to want to hold their hand. One of the most common reasons for holding hands is because you care about someone and want to be close to them. Like most gestures, the type of hand holding can mean something more significant about your relationship. If you are holding hands with someone who is just a friend, it may also show how your friend feels and if there is a bigger potential for your relationship to each other.

1. The Finger Grab

This is the type of hand holding where your partner holds onto just a few fingers. He may be leading you somewhere and is just grasping at the tips of your fingers. This type of hand gesture often means that you are both extremely independent people. While you like to reach out to each other and be in a relationship, you are both confident enough to be on your own as well. You are spirited individuals who each have your own passions in life. You like being together, but you are just as confident and capable as a single person as well.

Often, this type of hand holding shows that you like to maintain your individuality. You may both enjoy your alone time and like pursuing your own interests. Despite your independence and spirited natures, you still like to end the day together in a strong, healthy relationship.

2. The Passive Grasp

When you have this type of handhold, it looks like you are cupping your partner’s hand firmly within your own. This handhold also works in reverse. While you have the hand firmly cupped, the gesture is still relaxed.

When you frequently use this type of hand holding, it means that neither of you is needy or clingy. Your relationship has set up boundaries, and both of you accept these ground rules. You love each other and have a tender relationship. Despite your gentler, sweeter side, you are not particularly found of public displays of affection. You like to be tender and loving in the bedroom, but you do not do any showy displays of affection when you are around other people.

3. The Downward Palm


In this hand holding, one person has their palm facing downward. This is actually one of the most common types of hand holding. Typically, it is interpreted as one person being more dominant and the other being more passive. The person who has their palm facing down is considered the more dominant member of the relationship and may seek to protect their partner. Because of gender roles and stereotypes, the dominant person is typically the man. He may use this hand-holding style when you are in a busy area or crossing a dangerous intersection. If you are walking around at night, he may subconsciously use this hand hold because he wants to keep you safe and protect you.

4. The Wrist Hold

When you see this type of hand holding, it may appear extremely aggressive. It involves one partner looping their wrist around the other partner’s wrist. In some cases, the wrist hold may actually be a sign of aggression. In most cases, it is not though. The wrist hold involves intertwining your hands so that the bottom halves of your and your partner’s arms are interlocked. This handhold may seem needy or aggressive, but it generally is not. It shows that both partners need to be around each other and feel physically close. Because of this, it is generally thought of as an extremely passionate, intimate hand-holding technique.

5. The Over the Shoulder

This position involves you interlocking your fingers over one of your shoulders. This is more than just a hand hold though. You are literally pulling (or being pulled) closer to your partner and snuggling near them. This makes this casual gesture extremely loving and protective. It shows a loving, intimate bond and a desire to be closer to your partner. The person who has their arm wrapped around the other is showing that they are proud of their relationship and they will defend their partner to the very end.

6. The Relaxed Hold

This handhold shows that you are confident in your relationship and know that your partner is completely on your side. It consists of you just holding your partner’s hand in a very relaxed manner. If you or your partner strokes the other’s hand, it shows a hidden passion and gentle love. The relaxed nature of the hand hold also indicates that you are both confident in the relationship and are emotionally stable. You are at the point in your relationship where you have nothing to prove and know that you are always going to be there for each other.

7. Interlocked Fingers

Some couples hold hands by interlocking all of their fingers together. This level of intimacy shows that the couple has a deep connection to each other. While they are physically attracted to each other, their bond goes beyond just looks. They are attracted to one another emotionally, physically and intellectually. They want to be close to each other and hold hands in a way where all of their fingers are connected. This demonstrates a complete comfort with each other. You are fine with being vulnerable, open and honest with your partner because you trust that they have your best interests at heart.

8. The One-Finger Hold

At first glance, this type of hand hold does not appear particularly close or intimate. You are only holding one of your partner’s fingers gently in your own finger. While it may appear especially relaxed, this type of hand hold signifies good things. You are relaxed enough with your partner to not worry about appearances. In addition, this handhold is playful, relaxed and rather romantic. It shows that, even though you can’t hold hands completely right now, you are still trying to reach out to your partner and be as close to them as possible.

9. The Protective Hand Hold

This is the kind of handhold that you typically see in wedding photographs. Basically, the woman’s hand is just perched on her partner’s hand. On top of his hand, her hand looks tiny and delicate. This relaxed handhold is extremely positive. It shows a mutual protectiveness about each other and a respectful bond. This handhold also shows a healthy relationship, adoration, trust and a deep love for one another.

10. The Double-Hand Wrap

In this handhold, he wraps both of his hands around yours. Researchers know that human touch can produce oxytocin in the brain. This chemical is responsible for that warm, fuzzy feeling you feel when you are in love. By holding your hand in both of his, he is increasing the bond between you. This type of handhold demonstrates that he wants more skin-to-skin contact with you. He is trying to show how much he loves you and the type of deep, lasting bond that he wants.

11. The Hand Brush

This is not exactly a handhold. Instead, it consists of your partner brushing your hand against you as you walk next to each other. Occasionally, your hands accidentally or not accidentally bump into each other. You are not exactly holding hands, but it shows that you might be developing a relationship together in the future. It may also be a brush off by a friend that shows that you are in the friend zone. Unfortunately, the hand brush could mean either thing, so the only way to find out for sure is to keep the friendship going and see if he makes another move.

12. The Firm Grip

A firm grip can happen in any type of hand holding. If he is holding your hand firmly, it can mean several different things. At the start of the relationship, it shows a desire to have dominance over you and to take control. If your hand feels like he is crushing it, it shows that he is exerting dominance. In other cases, it is just a sign of reassurance. If he squeezes your hand slightly, it is a way for him to show that he is there for you and wants to support you. Depending on the situation, a firm grip can be a good thing or a bad thing.

13. The Flimsy Grip

Again, this type of grip can exist in any handhold. Often, this type of handhold just means that you are in a public place where he feels uncomfortable being more obvious in showing his affection. It is a way to show that you are his partner without being too dominant about it. While a flimsy grip does not show a super strong connection, it is a sweet way for you to show that you are there and want to be around him.

14. The Non-Hold

If he skips hand holding entirely and goes for the butt grab, then you better watch out. Other physical gestures like the butt grab tend to show that he is only in the relationship for the physical benefits. As long as you are interested in this type of relationship as well, it is not a problem. If you want a closer bond though, then you better skip out on the relationship.


  1. Why Israel president was holding the thumb of India PM Modi and lift up the hands and PM Modi is covering the fingers of Israel President I don’t understand what is the meaning

    • There may be a variety of reasons why the two would shake hands in that particular way. Monitor the actions of each individual and government. This will help you understand the meaning behind their hand shake. Have a great day, Arogya!

  2. i have a question if your hand is facing normal put the hand of the other person (palm and all)is facing away from me. I think i already know but i might’ve done something that they do not know about(though i feel this lurking feeling that they have the potential to find out and i really don’t want that now)

    • If you are concerned that your partner knows about something that you have done, then you may want to speak with your partner about your thoughts and feelings. If they do not know, then determine if you believe it is appropriate for you to continue nourishing this relationship without sharing the truth with them. Determine what you want for your future and take appropriate action. Have a great day, Anon!


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