The Hardest Part About Being Single Is Not Being Able To Cuddle Someone

by Sheena Sharma

It was a sticky August day in the city. I was in more than a summer haze, though. I was in a romance haze. I was in love, and nothing electrifies an already-ablaze city more than love.

My man and I were snuggling on his living room couch. "Breaking Bad" blared in the background. Screams and machine guns drowned out his barely audible snores and my feelings of contentedness. But even the loudest noise couldn’t shake my peace.

Curled in his arms, I drifted in and out of sleep. I felt that he knew the things I wasn't saying out loud. I knew that our chances were low at making this work.

But these moments were what mattered. Body heat formed a bond between us that brought the rest of the world to its knees.

I was safe. I could have lain with him on that grainy, clawed-up couch for eternity.

I’ve been single for some time now, and I don’t hate it. It isn’t a travesty. Chronic singledom isn’t the worst thing that has plagued women of my generation, and yet it’s still hard as hell (for me, at least).

That's not because I don’t feel validated, and it's not because I don’t feel whole when I'm not in a relationship.

It's because I miss one part in particular: being touched.

Consistent sex is great. Dinner dates are wonderful. But I can easily fill those voids. More than I miss sex or fancy restaurants, I miss cuddling on the reg.

I miss resting side-by-side and feeling my loved one's warm breath on my skin. I miss feeling that the world took a long moment to slow down just for me. And, most of all, I miss the feeling that somehow everything would turn out okay as long as we held each other.

Society wrongfully accuses the single woman of being weak for wanting to cuddle. Well, I want to cuddle, and I am not ashamed of my admission -- despite society’s attempts to trivialize the independent woman’s needs.

There is gap between a woman’s needs and a woman's desires. She often wants a man, but she certainly doesn’t need one. And she doesn’t need a man, but she does need to be touched. This is not because she's "weak"; it's because she's human. All people want physical contact.

Even the most independent people needs the particular kind of closeness that physical intimacy brings. Craving intimacy means being part of the human race. Touching is healing. Cuddling calms chaos.

Yes, we can bare our souls to good friends and eat hearty meals with our families. But those don't come close to... well, to getting close.

When my cuddle buddy went away, I missed him more than I thought I would.

It can't be natural, I thought, to go this long without being held, caressed or cradled in a special way.

And that’s because it isn’t natural.

I can live without that daily "good morning" text; it’s the cuddling I can’t live without.

Sometimes, there’s nothing more exciting than just lying around.

Simpler is better. We’ve been trained to treat life as an ever-moving wheel -- a train that should stop for nothing and no one.

I'm here to say that it shouldn’t stop for just anyone. But it should pause when we find the right person.

Cuddling means finding the good in the mundane. Cuddling bedazzles the boring and the activities we save for rainy days.

It prioritizes an emotional connection. Measly pillow talk leads to a revelation-infused gallop into the past, present and future.

Cuddling is a breath of fresh air.

Welcoming someone into bed means welcoming that person into your heart. You're exposed, vulnerable, unchained, and completely naked -- in every sense of the word.

You aren’t stripped only of clothing; you're stripped of the barriers that used to shield you.

If you aren't cuddling, you're not acknowledging your vulnerability. You're saying that you need to stand tall, strong and fearless all the time.

You spend your days holding your breath. When nighttime falls, you can finally exhale -- into the arms of your partner.

You’ve replaced human touch with blankets and body pillows.

Snuggies and teddies and pillows, oh my! All of a sudden, you can no longer sleep without having something touch every part of your body.

You're enveloped in a blanket with a body pillow nestled between your legs, and you have two life-size stuffed animals sandwiching you. (And maybe a real, live pet, too.)

You wish you could remember what life was like before you knew the pleasure of wrapping yourself in someone's embrace.

Self-soothing has stopped working.

We've got to get better at loving themselves. We need to find comfort on our own, pick ourselves up when we're down, and keep it together when we want to fall apart. But self-love can do only so much.

Once we become good at loving ourselves, we're ready for someone else to join the party. And this is OKAY. Basking in a cuddle here and there doesn't mean you don't love yourself.

Our planet is full of life, but it isn't self-sufficient. It needs heat from the sun, and it can't sustain itself without that warmth -- that hug.