“I need more hugs! I miss being held and kissed,” said Michaela. “Nobody talks about the lack of a physical relationship after a breakup.” When you lose a man you love after a breakup, divorce, or death you aren’t prepared for the loss of physical intimacy and affection.
You miss his hugs, kisses, love and intimate touch. Especially at night when your bed is cold and lonely, or after a long stressful day at work. A physical relationship is one of the sweetest and most necessary parts of life.
True confessions time. For ten years I’ve written articles on my She Blossoms blogs about healing broken hearts, coping when your husband leaves you for another woman, letting go of someone you love, getting over a divorce and coping with a husband’s death. As far as I can recall I haven’t written about dealing with the loss of sex, intimacy, or a physical relationship. This is partly because I haven’t heard my readers say, “I miss sex”! And it’s partly because it hadn’t occurred to me how much we need hugs, kisses, and physical affection in our lives.
Saying that you miss a physical relationship with your husband or boyfriend is difficult – especially if you were in an unhealthy or even abusive relationship. But admitting that sometimes you need a hug and love isn’t just honest and real, it’s healthy.
Missing physical contact is one of the healthiest, most normal responses to a breakup, divorce, or death. But how do you cope with the loss of physical intimacy? What do you do when you need a hug?
How to Get Hugs When You Aren’t in a Relationship
These tips aren’t just for women who feel unlovable after a breakup. They’re for all of us, because we all have times when all we need is a hug! And many of us don’t have physical relationships where hugs are readily accessible.
Remember that the healthiest women need hugs
God created us to be affectionate. Our bodies are literally wired for physical intimacy; hormones such as oxytocin are released when we hug and kiss each other. Babies who aren’t held don’t grow up as healthy as kids who were regularly cuddled. Not being touched is a huge loss for any human being no matter how old, healthy, or emotionally strong they are.
Feeling like you need a hug is a sign that you are in touch with your body and emotions – and that is a good thing! You know what you need and want. You know a physical relationship isn’t the answer to all your problems, but you also know you need to be held and loved. Physical affection is part of a healthy life.
Reflect on the physical relationship you lost
When you lose someone you love, you lose physical contact. You lose hugs, caresses, nudges, back rubs, tickles, sex, and intimacy. You miss the feeling of his skin touching yours, his hands on your bottom, his lips on your neck. You miss putting your arms around his chest, kissing his body, leaning into him, inviting his body into yours, bringing him pleasure in different ways.
Not being held and kissed is a huge loss after a breakup, divorce or death—especially if you had a good physical relationship. It’s important to face and feel those feelings of loss, to reflect on exactly what you miss about your husband or boyfriend. Some types of hugs and kisses are easily remedied, others require deeper and more physical relationships with men.
Know what type of hug you need
Different women have different physical needs at different stages of life. Some women need a hug, kisses, and to be held daily. Others are happy with a hug a week! Some women hug everyone they meet, stranger or family member. Other women don’t need or want to be hugged by strangers or even close family members.
What type of hugs do you need? A physical relationship is important, but how deep and intimate do you want to get? Take time to consider what type of affection, hugs, physicality, closeness, etc your body yearns for. Start envisioning the type of hugs and kisses and caresses you want. Getting clarity on what you need will help you figure out what to do when you need a hug.
Explore different types of physical relationships
I used to get monthly hour-long massages from a registered therapist, and it was amazing. I loved the physical touch – but I never needed a hug from my massage therapist (or anyone – I’m one of those “non-huggers). I stopped going for massages even though I dream about them daily. Why don’t I go? Because I’m lazy. My massage therapist’s clinic is out of the way. I always say I’ll book an appointment later, but I never do. My husband rubs my back and massages my arm to prevent carpal tunnel syndrome; at this stage of my life that’s the physical contact I need most.
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If you’re a woman who needs hugs and touch – and you miss having a physical relationship – consider booking a regular full-body massage from a trained professional. This type of touch doesn’t just release stress and loosen tight muscles, it’ll reduce those “I need a hug” moments that break your heart. You’ll still miss the man you lost, but you’ll be getting some physical touch. This will help heal your heart – even when you miss him like crazy.
Ask for the hugs you need
Learn who you can ask for a hug from, and who is more physically standoff-ish. When you find yourself craving physical affection and touch, ask for a hug from people you trust. Don’t hesitate to speak up for what you need. If someone isn’t a huggy person – like me – don’t take it personally! Some people just don’t need hugs, touches, or affection the way others do.
Plan specific ways to give your body the love you need. Make your physical health a priority now. Book an appointment with a massage therapist today. Have a warm bubble bath. Find ways to receive a professional’s healing touch. Consider discovering what healthy bodywork is. Get a full-body massage, or a manicure and pedicure. Explore different types of healing touch such as hot rock therapy or longitudinal gliding. Consider acupuncture or other types of healing modalities.
Honor your body
You may not be in a physical relationship, but you can still have a healthy, happy body. How will you take care of your physical needs? Don’t wait for those “I need a hug” moments of pain and grief! That’s the worst time to look for physical contact, affection, or love. You may make decisions out of desperation – such as sleeping with or committing to a man you don’t love.
Explore your body. Learn what brings you pleasure, what gets the juices flowing and your heart revved up! Massage your head, hands and feet. Let your fingers brush over your skin, gently and lightly. Feel the backs of your knees and the curve of your shoulder. Take a warm bath, pamper your body with pretty soap, moisturizing lotions, and creams. Give yourself the love you need.
How do you feel, and what do you do when you need a hug? Your comments – big and little – are welcome below. How can you take care of your yearning for physical affection and love, even when you’re not in a relationship? If you have tips or advice for others, please share.
I read every comment, but don’t worry. I won’t give advice or tell you what to do. It’s your turn to talk.
Laurie's "She Blossoms" Books
Growing Forward When You Can't Go Back offers hope, encouragement, and strength for women walking through loss. My Blossom Tips are fresh and practical - they stem from my own experiences with a schizophrenic mother, foster homes, a devastating family estrangement, and infertility.
How to Let Go of Someone You Love: Powerful Secrets (and Practical Tips!) for Healing Your Heart is filled with comforting and healthy breakup advice. The Blossom Tips will help you loosen unhealthy attachments to the past, seal your heart with peace, and move forward with joy.
When You Miss Him Like Crazy: 25 Lessons to Move You From Broken to Blossoming After a Breakup will help you refocus your life, re-create yourself, and start living fully again! Your spirit will rise and you'll blossom into who you were created to be.