When I was in early elementary, every day I came home from school, I would immediately tear off all of my clothes (down to my underwear) and latch on to whichever parent was relaxing in the living room.
My parents nicknamed me ‘cuddle bug’ for the majority of my childhood, and deservedly so. I have always been a touchy-feely person, and I get a lot out of physical affection.
Yesterday, a close friend of mine asked me for ideas on how to get their physical touch needs met outside of a relationship (as they are currently single) and I realized I had a lot more to say on the matter than I would have assumed.
So, in this article, I am going to dive into seven ways that you can get your physical touch needs met, regardless of whether or not you have an intimate partner with whom to meet those needs.
But first, I think it’s important to talk about how NOT to get your physical touch needs met.
3 Ways You Shouldn’t Go About Filling Up Your Love Bucket
When you’re feeling under-touched and you want some snuggles, it’s understandable that the more chronically-single would want to go dumpster diving for love. But before you walk too far down an unhealthy path, it’s good to be reminded of where you probably shouldn’t be searching for shnugs.
1. Sleeping with people who are emotionally unavailable
If you start having sex with people who are emotionally unavailable/very recently out of a relationship just to get your touch needs met, you certainly wouldn’t be the first person in human history to do so.
The old advice of “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new” (which is total bullshit) is out there for a reason… and people love to numb out by engaging with someone new before they’re actually ready to do so.
Don’t have sex with people when what you actually want is cuddling and/or physical affection.
You can’t get enough of that which doesn’t satisfy you. Compulsive sex won’t fill up your love tank if you aren’t honouring yourself in the attainment of it. In fact, it will drain you, and you will eventually feel sad, hurt, resentful, or a combination of those three things.
2. Sleeping with/having cuddle sessions with married people
I have also met people who have gone down the path of cuddling/sleeping with people who were in committed relationships.
Nothing to say here other than don’t go there. Your integrity is worth more than enabling other people to break their contracts with themselves (and others).
3. Cuddling with recent exes
I’m not suggesting you don’t cuddle/share physical affection with exes who you have fully healed with and you have transitioned into friends (most of my closest female friends are ex-girlfriends), but if your ex is a recent one, cuddling with them could bring up emotional residue for one or both of you.
In short, it’s just too complicated. Let the wound heal all the way before you go down this path.
With those three things out of the way, here are the seven healthiest ways you can get your physical touch needs met outside of a romantic partnership.
7 Ways To Get Your Cuddles In When You’re Single
Do any or all of the following seven things on a regular basis, and the gaping hole of loneliness will patch itself up in no time!
1. Get massages regularly
One of the most effective, thorough, and predictable ways you can get your physical touch needs met is by getting a professional massage.
Body massages, foot massages, or chair massages are all good options, with varying affordability and availability depending on where you live.
Personally, when I’m single and looking to fill up my physical touch quota, I aim to get a foot massage approximately once per week.
2. Get regular haircuts at places that wash your hair and include a scalp massage at the end
You can also get haircuts/blowouts/hair treatments that include getting your hair washed, along with a scalp massage.
Getting your head and hair played with this much is also a more intimate area of your body then say, just an average handshake or the perfunctory hug that you would get from meeting up with a friend… so bonus points if you love someone running their fingers through your hair.
3. Ask your friend to be your cuddle buddy
Everyone has physical touch needs, your friends included.
Do you have a friend that you feel extra comfortable with, and you have an inkling that they might be down to be your cuddle buddy?
Simply tell them “Hey! I’d love to cuddle with you sometime. Would that be something that sparks your interest? Let me know and we can talk details and get something in the calendar.”
Do your friends have pets? Amazing! Cuddle with them too.
For a deep dive post that I wrote on this point, check out How To Ask Someone To Be Your Cuddle Buddy.
4. Hug your friends and family members more often when you see them
One of the most efficient ways that you can get in more micro-moments of physical touch in your single life is by ensuring that you hug your friends and family members when you greet them and when you part ways.
Physical touch bonds people together, so you might as well get in more hugs with people who you already love and feel close to.
5. Touch yourself more often
One of the most reliable (and perpetually available) forms of physical touch that you can receive is from yourself.
Invest in the sensuality of your life. Take baths regularly. Have soft blankets and throw pillows in your environment. Wear clothes that you enjoy the fabrics of. Engage in slow, conscious masturbation and self-massage. Bust out the coconut oil and set aside an hour to explore and nurture your physical body.
As always, do what most resonates with you. The options are endless.
6. Hire a professional cuddler
Depending on how large of a city you live in, there’s a very good chance that there are professional cuddlers in your area that you can hire to get your physical touch needs met.
There are independent cuddle providers you can find online, either through their own websites, or through websites like CuddleUp.
The concept of paying someone to cuddle you might seem a bit strange… but once you’re enveloped in their arms, you’ll most likely sink in to the experience and enjoy it for what it is.
Note: The rates for cuddling vary from person to person, but it’s not uncommon to pay anywhere from $40-100 per hour for a professional cuddler.
7. Attend (or host) a cuddle party
If you really want to thoroughly top up your physical touch needs in a big way, attending (or hosting) a cuddle party is also an option.
Do some research as to what your city offers but websites like CuddleParty act as directories for where to find cuddle parties hosted by professional cuddle facilitators.
If no such cuddle parties exist in your city, start one!
Invite over your five favourite people, and tell them to each bring a friend and be the host of a cuddle party. If this sounds ridiculous and overly woo-woo/west-coast to you, remember that resistance holds insights. Your judgements may hold the key for a valuable growth edge for you.
Establish cuddle consent rules, put on some soft music, lay out a bunch of mattresses, pillows, and blankets, and get cuddling.
Getting Your Physical Touch Needs Met
So that’s it. Put some energy into this area of your life, and you can get your physical touch needs met faster than you thought possible.
Hire masseuses, hairstylists, and cuddlers. Ask friends and acquaintances to cuddle. And invest in the ways that you touch, nurture, and hold yourself in your daily life.
And… if for whatever reason none of these things are currently available to you… then the antidote to a lack of physical affection is to upgrade your total volume of honest communication. In other words, speak vulnerable truths to your friends and family members more often. When you can’t get your physical touch needs met, get your emotional intimacy needs met by communicating with more totality and regularity.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you enjoyed this article, you will also love checking out:
– How To Ask Someone To Be Your Cuddle Buddy
– How To Make Friends As An Adult (7 Steps)
– What If You End Up Alone Forever?
– Inside The Male Mind (video series for lovers of men)
– Supercharge Your Sex Life (video series for men)