The Cuddle Scarcity

Hiding A friend recently complained that there is “no cuddling in dating,” and it sparked many, many thoughts which I will now throw at you. You’re welcome!

I think it’s definitely true that when you are doing the first and second date drills that there really isn’t must room for cuddling. You’re having coffee. You might be having lunch or dinner. You might be trying to figure out why your friends haven’t responded to your emergency “Godzilla is coming” signal telling them that you want to run for your life. What you aren’t doing is getting a snuggle in with anything by your pet who is patiently waiting for your return home (disclaimer: I am pet-less, so I only had a blankie).

It’s after this second date event that things get tricky in modern dating, particularly in places like Los Angeles. This is, of course, because somehow we’ve decided that the third date is often the sex date, and all the pressure is getting there. Don’t believe me? There are far more articles and blog pieces about sexual decisions after meeting someone than relationship decisions. Your spam email is about scoring, not about love or care.

And that’s where I think the cuddle deprivation issue arises. If the world around you, and your online date, is focused on the sex part, I think you end up missing a lot of the good stuff. Obviously, you can cuddle after sex, but if the goal is to “score” then often times the encounter is just a hook-up. And hook-ups just don’t seem to be about emotional satisfaction—that more often seems to be part of the building a relationship phase. And those are incredibly rare in a city like LA. We’re more about isolation than connection.

So, if you are someone who wants the cuddle factor, but you’re faced with people just looking to get off, what do you do? I’d love to tell you that I have the perfect answer. Alas, I don’t. I avoided dating for a very long time because I didn’t want to deal with the pickup artist that is so often found here. I waited to date until I was set up with someone who was more interested in knowing me rather than just doing me. But I know that this option really doesn’t appeal to everyone, or you fear that you might be waiting forever. My only advice to you is to not sell yourselves short, and make your needs known.

And if that doesn’t work, there are those services now that provide cuddle buddies, so…

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