The following tips are primarily intended for people meeting cuddle buddies from the internet. However, many could also apply for people searching for a cuddle buddy in their existing network of friends.
Tip 1: It’s generally a smart idea to meet the person in a public place 1-3 times before arranging a time to get together and have some cuddles. You could even bring a friend if that helps you to feel safer – or at least let someone know when and where you will be meeting them. It’s an important precaution so you can get a feel for the individual and see whether you would feel comfortable. I advise that people go with their gut feeling on this one.
Tip 2: Communicate openly about what you like and don’t like, and what you are/are not comfortable with. At the start it’s often good to ask for permission before you do anything, though over time it’s likely that you will both get to know what the other person prefers and it won’t be necessary to ask all the time.
Tip 3: In order to prevent things getting sexual, it’s generally best to cuddle with clothes on, avoid discussing sexual topics while cuddling, and don’t watch movies together with strong sexual themes. Also, it’s wise not to cuddle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Tip 4: It’s a good idea to communicate your boundaries before meeting people, as this helps to clarify your intentions and weed out people looking for a hook up or romantic date. A good rule of thumb is no touching of the breasts (for women), genitals, and bottom – and no kissing on the lips.
Tip 5: If you don’t know the person, it often helps to start by watching some movies together (either at the cinema or at one of your homes) as it gives you both something to focus on and makes it a bit less awkward.
Tip 6: Think about what you will do if things don’t work out well and you don’t want to continue being cuddle buddies. It’s important to have strong boundaries and to be able to say no if you don’t want to continue.
Tip 7: Remember that some feelings of arousal and/or attraction are perfectly normal, especially if you have gone a long time with very little physical touch. Often these feelings go away once you get used to platonic affection. I would advise you find an open-minded and accepting close friend, mentor or therapist to help you talk through your experiences and process your feelings.
Tip 8: If possible, it’s usually best to have more than one cuddle buddy, to reduce feelings of exclusivity in the relationship and to avoid becoming overly dependent on one person. Platonic cuddle buddies are by nature a low-commitment relationship, so it’s a good idea to have other people to turn to in case your cuddle buddy moves away, suddenly becomes very busy, or doesn’t want to continue cuddling for any reason. Attending group events like cuddle parties can also reduce the intensity of the connections.
Tip 9: If you have an insecure attachment style and you haven’t had much touch for quite a while, you may find that starting a cuddle buddy relationship triggers more feelings of touch hunger at first. This can be confronting and disturbing for some people. Use self-soothing strategies to calm yourself down and regulate your emotions. Again, it’s a good idea to have a trusted friend, mentor or therapist to confide in and process these feelings.
Tip 10: It’s best to try to find someone with similar needs – because if you want to meet twice a week and they only want to see you every three months (or vice versa), it could be challenging. It may still be workable, but it’s not as easy or enjoyable as when the desired frequency of contact is mutual and reciprocal. Also, it could be difficult if you have conflicting schedules, so it works better if you both tend to be free on the same days and times of the week.