So my life has come to this...
December 23, 2016 12:46 AM   Subscribe

Probably dumb post-breakup question: Is it a terrible idea to contact someone I dated before my ex to ask them if they'd be willing to hug me while we watch documentaries about space?

I'm feeling sad and down. I don't want to have sex. I just miss having a man to cuddle with on the couch/in bed while watching space docos. I think that would make me feel good. Is it best to get this from:
A) someone I know is good at this (this is exactly what we used to do) but who might find my request strange or unappealing and risk rejection
B) a stranger (how?)
C) just suck it up and trash this idea and hope I feel less crappy tomorrow.

Please be gentle with me, I feel very sad right now
posted by Chrysalis to Human Relations (17 answers total)
 
(For context: documentaries guy was never a proper boyfriend. I ended things cos I didn't feel like he was very enthusiastic about me. Which makes it sound pathetic but I do just want to hang out and watch docos and I did enjoy doing that with him)
posted by Chrysalis at 12:57 AM on December 23, 2016


He will probably find it weird. If you make it clear there are no strings attached and you are sure he won't get his hopes up then why not?

If, however, he was really into you and you chose your ex over him then he might not be so willing.
posted by ihaveyourfoot at 1:01 AM on December 23, 2016


I suppose this depends on the relationship you have with this person. Are you comfortably friendly on a regular basis, without anyone being awkward or seeming to have feelings? Are you confident that said hugging will be received precisely as it is offered, without anyone taking it as a "maybe this will lead to more" message? Are you certain that you won't feel worse/sadder after the person leaves?

Either way I'd definitely not do this with a stranger, there's too much potential for confusion. I worry about there being potential for confusion in the situation you describe, but I also have people in my life who fit your description, with whom this kind of thing would be entirely healthy. So as long as everyone's able to communicate freely and openly and you can trust both of you to act in good faith, it may be fine .
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 1:02 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


Well, I'd personally feel pretty weird about someone asking me to be a rebound spoon bud, whether or not we were on friendly terms.

Maybe do yourself a solid one and decide to just kick it with the misery. A chance to process the feels solo? Like Kafka or something.

Alternatively, do any of your buddies have a large, lazy dog they'd let you adopt for a night? They make for pretty excellent, unjudgey pillows/company
posted by speakeasy at 1:10 AM on December 23, 2016 [39 favorites]


Sounds like you don't want a person, you want a dog or possibly multiple cats. Do you know anyone with pets who would let you hang out with them, possibly in a sleepover fashion? It's exactly the right time for people to wish they didn't have to be home at a particular time because of holiday parties and visiting friends but they have pets to be responsible for. Offering a "trade" of sorts of doggy cuddle time for doggy and house sitting seems like a good way to deepen a friendly relationship you already have and also hang out with a wooferfluff.

I am sorry you're feeling so sad! Right now I'm combating my own sadness with the fruits of the Steam winter sale. Stellaris is like a space documentary, right?? But I totally understand craving touch and cuddles with a undemanding activity like watching a pretty science documentary. It's just kind of difficult to get that from someone who isn't, like, a parent or child. Actually, if you know anybody with a toddler who likes a good hug, see about spending time with them. Toddlers like space documentaries too, sometimes! And once you make it clear that they can climb all over you, they tend not to forget.

Other ways to get non-sexual touch in a non-awkward way: Go to a hair salon, get your hair washed and ask for a scalp massage. Often in a class for an exercise or physical skill like yoga, taichi, swimming, dance, and even improv or other theater things, your instructor and classmates will get physical with you in a productive way towards a mutual goal, and that can be really satisfying. Get a regular massage, or maybe a pedicure if your feet aren't ticklish.

For right now, put on your softest, cuddliest clothes and make yourself a little nest with snacks and drinks and watch something that's pretty and distracts you. Put on lotion and light a candle that smells nice. If, for whatever reason, you feel like crying, roll with it. If you have a parental figure or two in your life, send them a message telling them you love them - putting a little bit of want you crave out into the world seems to reflect it back on you twofold, if you do it thoughtfully.
posted by Mizu at 1:40 AM on December 23, 2016 [26 favorites]


I think that unless you're having physical pain, I wouldn't try to get pain killers, but definitely anti-anxiety/depression might be helpful. Nthing animals if you can get some for a day or two - cuddling with my cats at the end of the day is very therapeutic. I'm sorry that you're dealing with this now.
posted by getawaysticks at 4:29 AM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Go to an animal shelter and snuggle? If you enjoy it, could be a volunteer thing.

When I need a hug I go to my local, there's always someone up for a hug.
posted by Trifling at 5:01 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


There is no way this guy is not going to read this as an invitation for sex.

I think post-breakup is a good time to practice self-consoling behavior. Go rent your favorite space doc and make yourself a nice, fancy dinner at home. Put out the table cloth and candles and everything. You can provide for yourself the comfort that you crave from others.

Also, if you want someone to snuggle with, there are lots of cats at your neighborhood shelter who would love a new home.
posted by deathpanels at 5:27 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


I am having a hard time imagining a situation where this results in NET happiness.
Were you and this ex both end up happier as a result of this contact.

The non-chemical Self-Care recommendations above are very good.
posted by French Fry at 6:11 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


As gently as possible: people are not tools for your sole comfort and happiness. If I were in that situation, I would get the idea that sex is on the table. Find a solution that does not involve another person. You need to support you right now. Buy a blanket, order in some food, watch your tv, and go outside.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 6:22 AM on December 23, 2016 [15 favorites]


Im a hugger. Im pretty sure lots of mefites are. Why not setup a pj party to watch space documentaries. If that were near me id cancel shit to attend.

I would definitely NOT self medicate with pills. Im sorry but i think that's a horrendous idea. What you are feeling is normal in the human experience and trying to pill it away is not beneficial to your long term happiness any more than contacting the double X is. I do think hanging out with puppies or have a cocccoon of blankets and snacks as suggested IS beneficial both in the feel better now and learn to cope a bit more later sense.

Hugs from the internet anyway...
posted by chasles at 6:45 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Pet snuggles are really great for this.

Do you have friends or family who will give you hugs? That can be good too. Honestly you could post to a very limited group on FB something like "I'm having a rough time and could use some hugs." And the huggy types will hug you when thy see you.

Massage is another thing. My last devestating breakup was eased with yoga and meditation.

Do you sing? Join a choir. It helps.
posted by bunderful at 6:46 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Teddy Bears are good huggers.
posted by Carol Anne at 6:51 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think you're smart to identify this particular need. Touch is important.

In a similar situation where I was alone in the city and positively wilting from lack of touch, I bought a plane ticket home so I could spend a few days hugging my family, who did not find it weird that they would essentially have to drag me around the house because I would not let go and pry me off when it was time to get me back to the airport. Is there family or a non-romantic person you know who would be OK with this?

Dogs are also cuddly.

And massage works, too -- the hippier and more holistic-woo it is, the better. Manicures. Pedicures. The lady who did my eyebrows would massage my temples beforehand and I would nearly cry because she did it so tenderly.
posted by mochapickle at 7:04 AM on December 23, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yes, I agree, a friend with snuggly pets! I have a super snuggly friendly cat and I would be happy to host a friend for some kitty snuggles/space documentaries time after a rough breakup, even if it's someone I haven't seen in a long time. I do think the request to someone you previously dated will be awkward for both of you.
posted by capricorn at 8:48 AM on December 23, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm also a hugger. Are you heterosexual and a gal? If so and you have have huggy gal pals, invite one of them over for hugs and doc watching. Many people aren't into such things but I'd happily do that with a friend. Nthing massage and/or body work if you can afford it. I've been solo since March and just this month 2 body work sessions really scratched that itch for me although that's not why I booked them.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:28 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


[A couple deleted. Advice for pain medication is not appropriate.]
posted by taz (staff) at 3:45 AM on December 24, 2016


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