It’s a simple thing really — two people keeping their bodies close to one another. It’s a closeness that often leads to sweat and dead arms. And of course there’s the added pressure of not being able to move, in fear of disturbing your partner. Yet despite this, cuddling can be the most magical thing in the world.
Let’s start from the beginning, with the embrace. You fumble around, interlocking arms, hands, legs, and entire bodies, until you’ve outlined one another in a uniquely human shape. Both of you pause for a few moments, waiting to feel if this is the correct position for the night. There is no settling when it comes to cuddling, because there are so many possibilities. The limitless positions, some of which change only slightly from one to the next, excite the imagination, and make it nearly irresistible to try something new.
The movements are subtle. Your head may go from resting against the back of their head, the scent of their hair lulling you to sleep, to the top of their back, the arch providing the perfect space for affectionate nuzzling. Or your hand might change from resting on top of theirs, to an interlock, a silent declaration of the desire to be nowhere else except that bed. Each movement and every shift allow you to explore levels of intimacy and comfort that can’t be reached elsewhere.
But it goes beyond that. Cuddling is an act of taking solace in someone else. Nighttime is a time when the world shuts down, leaving only lonely insomniacs, and overworked night owls at work. When you cuddle it’s not about keeping warm or touching one another. It’s about not facing the night, or the dark, alone.
Face it, we’ve all struggled with sleeping at one point or another. When you lay down alone the only person you have to think about is yourself. You’re left to think about everything — the good, the bad, and the worst. During the day we’re busy, and surrounded by distractions to keep us from this introspective self-analysis.
Cuddling is the distraction that we need at night. It allows us to focus not on ourselves, our flaws, or our regrets, but rather on another person and enjoying all the warmth and love their body has to offer. As you fill in the spaces between your bodies, you push away the negative thoughts, leaving no room for anything other than a blissful feeling of completeness. There’s no other way to describe cuddling other than: it just feels right.
That’s why we crave cuddling so deeply when we don’t have it. We all want peace in the night, and to feel like we’re not so alone in the world. It’s not selfish to want to use someone’s company to escape from the demons and trials you’d face if you were sleeping alone. And it’s not sappy to want to be close with someone without an intent to do anything other than hug each other either. It’s beautiful is what it is — and I haven’t even gotten to the best part.
Opening your eyes in the morning, the grogginess and haze are heavy. But that moment when it all starts to clear, and you realize that you’re still holding one another, is unlike anything else. There is no rest like the rest you get when you fall asleep in a cuddle. It’s such a small thing, yet it feels so monumental and romantic. Their body becomes as comfortable as the bed, and any idea of getting up is quickly eradicated from your mind. You feel like you could spend the entire day just laying there. It’s a feeling that everyone should experience.
The nights I spend alone are hard, like I assume they are for most people. But I won’t complain. I’m one of the lucky ones — one of the people who has held someone close, and been held close in return. I’m one of the people who has fallen asleep with someone, and woken up in their protective and warm embrace. I can’t complain, and I won’t.