If you’ve just started seeing someone, your days are about being touched. But if you’re single, or the opposite: you have been together with a partner for years, being physical is less natural. That’s while the desire to be touched is deeply human.
In Dutch it’s called ‘huidhonger’ (literally: hunger of the skin): the desire to be touched. Baby’s have it very clearly: you see them calming down as soon as they’re in contact with their mother’s skin. As we get older, the need is not as urgent, but all through our lives, we need physical contact with other human beings. But how to complement a lack of cuddles?
Get a pet
Of course, new pets (especially the ones on four paws) can’t be purchased spontaneously. But if you’re in for taking care of a dog or cat, and you have the time to do it, a whole lot of love will enter your life (unless, of course, you pick a grumpy one). Not enough time? Borrow your friend’s dog every once in a while or volunteer in a foster home.
Ask for cuddles
Maybe some of your friends and family already cuddle you when you meet up, but there’s nothing wrong with asking for it. ‘Hey, I’m struggling a bit, can I get a hug?’
You may not have thought of this one, but it really works. Salsa, tango, rock ‘n’ roll, lindy hop, classical dance – whatever floats your boat. Dancing in itself makes you happy, and it’s a good way to do a physical thing with other people that’s not too intimate. The same goes for team sports, by the way.
It’s not the same as a cuddle, it’s not as informal, but it’s important, too. There’s a whole spectrum – from caressing yourself to sex in a relationship. Find out what suits you. And if you’re not feeling like it at all – hey, that’s fine too.
A massage, every once in a while, is like a gift from you to you. After half an hour or a whole hour in the salon, you feel like another person. There are numerous kinds – Thai, holistic, energetic massages. (If the idea of a massage doesn’t appeal to you, you can try a more accessible kind: ask your hairdresser to thoroughly wash your hair).
Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Eye for Ebony