People who are not in relationships do not always have access to the physical contact that others do.
We have pets who show us unconditional affection, but we should also get that from other humans. We’re becoming more and more solitary. We’re in contact with lots of people through work, or via facebook and such, but actual time with someone, particularly one with whom we can share some level of physicality, is diminishing.
From birth, we’re shown affection and are communicated with by touch. We’re bathed and cuddled and coddled. We’re soothed with rocking and a rub on the back as a crying baby, held close by our parents, and in many cases, breastfed as a bonding method with our mum in addition to nutrition.
Different levels of touch have different meanings and messages. A firm hand shake builds rapport and respect. A high five shows mateship and camaraderie. On a sporting field, a pat on the back (or the bum!) shows a job well done. A supportive hand on the hand of someone who’s upset can go a long way to making them feel better. A pinch on the bum can be a cheeky sign of flirtation from someone who likes us.
Physical contact shows acceptance, support and provides validation of your place in the world.
But what if you don’t play sport and you’re not in a relationship? Then, it seems that for the most part, you just miss out on all of that.
Being single can be miserable if you’re someone who craves physical contact. The cuddles, hugs, nights on the couch with a head on someone’s shoulder, hand holding, or a hand on the knee no longer happen. And, you can’t just get that from anyone. People around you don’t always like contact, or maybe you’re not friendly with them in such a way that allows for it. Perhaps you don’t want to cross a line, or give the wrong impression. So you go without.
Or, you seek it and sometimes, that means you have sex with people just so you can get that affection. Time and again I hear about experiences of casual sex which involve a brief session, followed by cuddles and chats that go for two or three times the length of the shag!
“Netflix and Chill” has became such a thing these days. That’s because people need physical contact, whether it’s sexual or ‘just’ affection.
But why Netflix and Chill? Because sometimes we think that we can’t get the affection without the shag. Alas, for the most part, we’re right. Frequently, there are offers of cuddles from people online, but is a cuddle from a stranger the answer?
Who doesn’t love a good spoon, or waking up with someone and having morning cuddles or sex? It’s so easy to get attached to someone because of the body lovin’ you’re getting from them. It can make them seem like a much better relationship prospect than they really are, and it’s because you’re high on endorphins! So the more cuddles you get from them, the longer you keep them around, because they’re your source of the drug you need, that chemical that tells you you’re still a person, still walking this earth, and you have a place on it, even if you’re not presently in a relationship, which can be the sort of validation a lot of people crave.
If you live on your own, you’re even less likely to get the physical contact you need. If you don’t have friends nearby, or you have friends or family who aren’t as affectionate as you are, and you don’t play a group sport or participate in group of club activities, it can be months or years since you last felt someone’s arms around you.
Have you ever looked at someone and said, or thought, “she’s so grumpy, gees she needs a shag.” Well maybe she, or he, does, but had it ever occurred to you that they just might need a cuddle?
Studies have shown that people who receive enough physical contact (for them) are healthier due to lower blood pressure and stress, happier because they feel good, and are sometimes able to communicate by touch when words are not their forte.
While coupled up people are getting warm and cosy, they’re maintaining a level of health and contentedness that singledons have to work so much harder to achieve.
So, I implore you; look around you and if:-
- you know your friend is single, and they’re a cuddly person, give them a hug some time. Don’t hold back your cuddles, they might need them more than you do, but you’ll both appreciate it.
- you’re not sure if your friend needs affection, or even likes it, why not just ask, “do you need a hug?” If they say yes, and you’re willing to give it, just do it! But, be aware that not everyone needs physical contact. Some people don’t, and some are actually opposed, so if they say no, accept it.
- you suspect your friend is shagging people or having Netflix and Chill nights just to get the affection they need, then save them from themselves and be more affectionate toward them. For their sake, save them from shagging some rando, just because they need a hug!
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Leave your comments below, about your physical needs as a single person.
And if you’re sick of being alone, and making crappy choices just so that you can get the physical contact you need, let’s talk about that in a skype or facetime consultation.
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