You might be a big spoon. You might like to have your legs entangled. You might be the kind who snuggles up for a while, but definitely does not like to touch when you actually go to sleep. While you might be wary to put too much stock into these kinds of things, what your cuddle position says about you could be more revealing than you think.
After all, cuddling is, indeed, a rather cozy form of body language, with tons of non-verbal cues at play, so the way you do it, and the way your co-cuddler is snuggling, might indicate things about personality, your mood, and even how you feel about one another.
Joe Navarro, M.A., a 25-year veteran of the National Security Division's Behavioral Analysis Program at the FBI, wrote in Psychology Today,
We do nothing without our brain and when it comes to nonverbal communications, there is interaction between the mind and the corporal self.
Because body language is intimately intertwined with our psyche (what is inside the brain) we can use our corporal behavior to decipher what is going on in our heads as far as comfort and discomfort, thoughts, feelings, and intentions.
A picture may paint a thousand words, but the way you touch someone could communicate even more, according to Rebekka Mikkola, a professional cuddle therapist, and founder of the London-based organization, Nordic Cuddle.
“Touch is a strong method for communicating a variety of emotions, depending on the type of touch we use," she tells Elite Daily.
So what does a person's body language during a nice, snuggly cuddle session reveal about who they are as a person?
According to psychologist and dating coach, Jennifer B. Rhodes, you can learn quite a lot about someone just from their cuddling style. She's quick to point out, though, that you shouldn't expect everyone to enjoy cuddling in general, and that it really is subjective to each individual.
People who are empaths, or are particularly sensitive to other people's energy, Rhodes tells Elite Daily, sometimes struggle with cuddling because they need more energetic space to themselves.
"It's often misinterpreted as a lack of interest or affection, but it is not meant that way," Rhodes explains. "A cuddling position with more space may feel safer for these highly sensitive individuals."
Respecting each other's boundaries, she adds, and having clarity around how you express affection, physical or otherwise, will help create more intimacy for the relationship in the future.
The way you like to cuddle can also communicate what you expect from a partner in the relationship, according to relationship expert and certified counselor, David Bennett.
The way you spoon, for example, may indicate how dominant or submissive you are in your relationships, he explains, especially if you always insist on being the big spoon or the little spoon. While many people switch between the two, he says, some simply stick to one, and some don't like either at all. (Personally, I am #TeamLittleSpoon all the way.)
"For those who like being the big spoon, it's possible you are motivated by the closeness and sexual tension that this position creates," Bennett tells Elite Daily, adding that, if you and a partner cuddle in public a lot, this communicates to the world that a) you two you are very comfortable with one another, and b) you're honestly just really into each other.
The reason why being that close to one another feels so good is actually more physical than you might realize, according to behavioral scientist and relationship coach, Clarissa Silva. She tells Elite Daily that, for those of us who really like cuddling, there's a key physiological response happening in the body that makes it feel so warm and safe.
"Cuddling increases oxytocin (the neurotransmitter that is linked to orgasms and heightened feelings of intimacy with your partner) and decreases cortisol (which helps us regulate stress)," Silva explains. "While we cuddle, oxytocin increases in your body and produces the feelings of feeling more attached to your partner."
Remember, though, not all cuddling positions are as they may appear, Silva says.
You might be able to tell a lot about a person by the way they cuddle, but a position that seems emotionally distant on the surface may actually represent something deeper about how the person feels about you, and your relationship, according to Silva.
"Butt-to-butt position, for example, seems like distance," Silva tells Elite Daily, "but it actually reveals that you are highly committed to one another, and that your bond is long-lasting. It can represent that you both are invested in one another while maintaining your independence."
As for Rebekka Mikkola's favorite cuddle position?
"Gravity cuddling," Mikkola says, which is a term she came up with. "This is where one person is laying on top of the other one. This is an easy and comfortable way to unwind and experience the warming body pressure of a human being.”
Hmm, I need to give that one a shot.