Is Cuddling A Sign of Love? – 12 Secret Body Language Signs To Understand (2024)

What does it mean when a lover cuddles you? Is cuddling a sign of love?  How important is cuddling in a relationship?  

You’ll discover the answers to this group of questions and more in this ultimate science-backed guide to cuddling.

In my role as a life coach, I am regularly helping clients with queries surrounding dating and relationships. 

So, I’m excited to answer all the important questions about cuddling here for you now.   

Let’s dive right into it.

Is Cuddling A Sign of Love
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

1. Is Cuddling A Good Sign? 

Let’s get this out of the way first. Yes, cuddling is a good sign.

There are very few situations when cuddling means someone doesn’t like you.

2. Why Is Cuddling So Nice?

Body-to-body contact releases a hormone called oxytocin, which makes us feel really good.

The main difference between oxytocin and other feel-good neurotransmitters – like serotonin and dopamine – is its association with pair bonding.

Studies have indicated that it improves the bond between mother and child, as well as romantic partners.

So, when we cuddle someone, we don’t just get the initial feel-good factor. We may also develop a stronger long-term bond for that person. This is why ‘oxytocin’ has been nicknamed the ‘love hormone’.

This feel-good sensation occurs regardless of the person; male, female, acquaintance or stranger. 

There are more basic answers to the question of ‘why is cuddling so nice?’. For example, it can make us feel warm, safe, protected, admired and even aroused, especially in the arms of someone we care for. 

3. Does Cuddling Make You Fall In Love?

‘Love hormone’ or not; it’s ridiculous to suggest that cuddling is the magic spell to make anyone develop romantic feelings for you.

But, it’s not so far-fetched to suggest that it could boost their mood and deepen existing feelings.

Just like any other feel-good hormone, oxytocin is exceedingly moreish! It’s not outlandish to suggest one could become addicted to how that rush of oxytocin makes them feel.

Once again though, it’ll take more than a few hugs to lead to someone wanting to be intimate with you, or to fall in love.   

4. Should You Cuddle On The First Date?

The topic of how far a couple should go on the first date is debated fiercely in some circles, and a definitive answer doesn’t appear to have been agreed upon. That’s because it’s highly dependent on the individuals and what they’re comfortable with.

However, as we’ve established, physical contact can go a long way to making your date feel stronger emotions around you.

So, if one is feeling a good vibe on a first date, it would therefore be a good strategy to engage in as much physicality as the other person is comfortable with.

The major hurdle here is that too much touching too soon can potentially ruin a date in a single moment.  

That’s why it’s recommended to start slow, read your date’s reactions and adjust accordingly. 

Perhaps you’ll go to give your hug as soon as you meet for the date. If they embrace you fully, you’re probably all good to hold hands on the way to the venue, and maybe playfully rub her arms and legs on the date itself. The key is to read their body language at all times. If they embrace your touches, you can take that as a green light to try something a bit bolder. If they tense up, STOP. That’s a clear sign you’re progressing faster than your date is comfortable with.

If they tense up, it might not necessarily be that they’re uncomfortable with you. Some people are less comfortable with touch and intimacy in general. 

Anyway, you can use this strategy to sense when your date is ready to be kissed and/or invited back to your place for something more.    

5. Cuddling With Someone You’re Not Dating. Is It OK?

This question is usually asked in one of two contexts;

  • Cuddling after sex when you’re not dating that person. Is it OK?
  • Cuddling someone else in general when you’re in a relationship Is it OK?

So, let’s answer both of these questions: 

Cuddling After Sex When You’re Not Dating

Perhaps you’re a traditional man or woman who thinks you should save full physical intimacy for people you’re officially dating. That’s completely fine! 

Still, the fact remains that ‘Should we cuddle after a hook-up?’ is a commonly-asked question in this modern world of casual dating.

After a quick web search, I found various sites about healthy ‘friends with benefits’ relationships which recommend no cuddling after sex. The main arguments for this rule is that it helps to prevent your partner from developing strong feelings for you. It also prevents you from sending the wrong message about your intentions.  

Considering what we’ve already covered about hugging and oxytocin, it’s hard to logically argue against either of these points!

But on an emotional level, it’s surely not the most disastrous idea? In fact, it’s arguably the only appropriate way to finish an act widely known as ‘love-making’?  

Cuddling Someone Else When You’re In A Relationship

To determine whether this is OK, you really need to answer the question of ‘What constitutes cheating?’

This is another question without a unanimous answer, because it again depends on the individuals in the relationship.

The best answer to ‘what is cheating?’ is surely: anything you’d be upset with your partner about if they did it. Some don’t see hugging as an intimate action. Others might. 

You can use this answer to determine whether it’s OK to hug people outside of your relationship. 

6. What Does Cuddling Mean To Guys?

There’s no single answer to this question. It could mean: 

  • he sees you as a good friend;
  • that’s how he says hello or goodbye to people; 
  • he’s horny and wants to touch you;
  • he thinks cuddling will make your horny;
  • he likes cuddles.

Yes, men are this simple-minded sometimes! They don’t tend to overthink every single move they make with the opposite sex. Not all men, anyway.

It could also mean that he wants to be your boyfriend.

So, you’ll have to weigh up all of his behaviour to get an accurate sense of his feelings. Or better yet, ask him! 

7. Cuddling After Making Love Meaning. What Does It Mean? 

Again, there’s no answer set in stone.

It could mean they want to be emotionally closer to you, and eventually get into a relationship. 

But, it could also mean:

  • they’re cold;
  • they like cuddles;
  • it felt weird not to.  

Remember, not everyone is reading articles about post-sex cuddles and what it means for the relationship.

You should also know that oxytocin is released after orgasm, potentially making someone more likely than usual to desire a cuddle.  

8. Do Guys Cuddle If They Don’t Like You?

It’s rare.

Perhaps he’ll cuddle you if it’s seen as the socially acceptable thing to do, and less awkward than not cuddling. 

Maybe he’ll cuddle you because he just wants to sleep with you and he thinks doing so will lead to sex. 

Generally though, you can consider a cuddle as an act of affection. 

9. Cuddling And Its Role In Love Languages

The five love languages explain how individuals like to give and receive love.

They are:

  • Words of affirmation.
  • Quality time.
  • Acts of service.
  • Gifts.
  • Touch.

Your partner might be fluent in one love language and have no desire to engage with another.

If someone you’re dating isn’t a touchy-feely person, it may be that they have a different love language. 

This is a talk that all partners should have. They should know each other’s love languages, so they can help each other feel loved and appreciated at all times.  

Related: Do Guys Cuddle With Just Any Girl? 15 Surprising Truths

10. Why Is Cuddling Important In Relationships?

As we now know, touch is the primary method that many people prefer to give and receive love.

Without cuddling in their relationship, a lot of men and women might therefore feel unloved, even if their partner may seem to connect with them in other ways.

There are several pieces of research, which link cuddling with more satisfying relationships too. 

In ‘The Normal Bar’, a book which investigated the science behind successful relationships, only 6% of non-frequent cuddlers polled were found to have a good sex life.  

Meanwhile, research published in the National Library Of Medicine, found a positive correlation between the length of post-sex snuggles and overall relationship satisfaction.

There are supposed health benefits to regular cuddles too. It has been linked with weight loss, lower blood pressure and stronger immune systems. There are similar health benefits related to sex. These health benefits will make you happier overall, as well as physically fitter.  

11. What Do Different Cuddling Positions Mean?

It is suggested that the positions in which men and women cuddle each other might reveal something about their relationship dynamics.

For example, this guide suggests:

  • Couples who spoon have similar tastes and are highly compatible;
  • Couples who cuddle face-to-face are passionate;
  • When one partner lays with their head on the other’s chest, that’s a sign of a supportive couple.

This is plausible.

However, it should be taken with a pinch of salt. Cuddling positions are just as likely to be based on comfort. 

As with all body language signs, there’s also a possibility that someone is consciously manipulating them to be perceived a certain way. 

12. Do Couples Cuddle While Sleeping?

Roughly, half of couples cuddle in bed. It’s a nice way for men and women to boost oxytocin in their sleep. There are guides which suggest what your sleeping position says about your relationship too.

However, there are plenty of practical reasons not to cuddle your partner while sleeping. Maybe you find it uncomfortable. Perhaps they wriggle around a lot. Or it might be that you get too warm in their grasp.

So, there’s no reason to read too much into whether you cuddle your partner while asleep.       

Any Questions?

Thanks for reading my article. Now, you know the truth about cuddling!

If you feel like asking me some questions related to cuddles, feel free to ask them in the comments section below.

This is a topic of great interest to me – and I really like to know what my readers think. So, let’s talk about it a little bit more!

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About The Author

Bijan Kholghi is a certified life coach with the Milton Erickson Institute Heidelberg (Germany). He helps clients and couples reach breakthroughs in their lives by changing subconscious patterns. His solution-oriented approach is based on Systemic- and Hypnotherapy.