Do platonic cuddle buddies (as an enthusiast) have an expiry date?

I've been doing platonic cuddling as an enthusiast for the last four years, and my goal has been to seek a long term friendship that includes platonic cuddling. However, I find most people seem to lose interest after about 3-6 months of platonic cuddling.

I've wondered if cuddle buddies just have a built in expiry date, as maybe people start getting emotionally attached after 3-6 months? I've wondered if around that time people reach a fork in the road, where they feel like it's time to escalate to something romantic or just move on. Or maybe they just get bored and lose interest - who knows?! Most of the time people don't tell me why they don't want to continue cuddling with me, they just stop responding to my messages or tell me they don't feel like doing it any more.

I'm just wondering if there is anything I can do that might make it more likely for me to find the kind of committed friendship dynamic I'm seeking, which ideally would last longer - maybe a few years. I wonder if maybe others just approach platonic cuddling differently, and see it more like a non-sexual FWB - it meets a need, but has no other significance emotionally. I've read that sexual FWBs also usually only last about 3-6 months, though occasionally people have FWBs that last years. Whereas for me, I'd love to have a long-term close friendship or even a platonic partnership.

I'm also curious about how professional cuddling works - do you find there's a similar trend in how long people come to see you? Does professional cuddling offer built in boundaries that actually make it easier for the connection to go for a longer period of time?

Comments

  • Are these men you're cuddling? FWIW a lot of men like variety and novelty. Maybe without a romantic aspect to their relationship with you, they just eventually want something new.

    Regarding my experience with pros, there's a lot of churn among pros so many of the pros I saw a year+ ago aren't even around any more. That said, I was still seeing some pros many months after I had first seen them, but not crazy often. I was a semi-regular with 3 or 4 pros and would also book most new cuddlers who showed up in my area. Actually, that variety and novelty thing was one of the biggest appeals of pro cuddling to me. "Wait, you mean I can meet a new woman, have her full attention for a couple hours and just lay around in bed and chat with her without spending hours of my time on an app or in a bar racking up rejections? Yes, sign me up."

  • I think you’ve answered your own questions. Some probably are hoping for more and when they realize that’s not happening, they bow out. Maybe they do want variety and if they’re lucky enough to find another enthusiast in their area, I’m sure they will want to try them out too. Could be a multitude of reasons. I know you could say a thousand times over that you don’t want a relationship. That all you want is a long term cuddle buddy, but that won’t stop some from trying with you.

    As for myself as a pro, I get a lot of turnaround. At the same time though, I have quite a few repeats that see me all the time. I go back and forth from Canada to Florida and I find it as a compliment that while I’m here in Canada, I still get messages from repeats in Florida saying they can’t wait for me to come back. Most of them continue with me because we’ve created a camaraderie that they enjoy. They know full well that it will never go further. I keep it professional and they know what they’re getting. With your situation, you don’t have that professional reason so maybe some think there is a chance for more, be it sexually or relationship wise.

  • @Sunflowerfield A lot of people also use this site when they're between relationships to fill in that physical closeness gap with someone. Maybe they found someone on a romantic level who they can obviously cuddle with and don't feel the need for a platonic cuddle partner or they're not sure how their new partner would feel about it or accept so would just assume play it safe than sorry.

  • I find often that someone may end the cuddle thing with someone once they become involved in a romantic/,sexual relationship with someone as typically that would be the person they focus their energy and time on

  • Going along the same lines as @hugonehugall & @pmvines, I can understand the various reasons a person may pursue and develop an ongoing platonic relationship with a cuddle partner. It’s the same thing I’d like to be able to do; however, at some point (let’s say between 3-6 months) that same person may undergo a number of life changes in their professional or personal life that changes the dynamics of what they’re emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually available to.

    I can also see it being for some, just a time period (dare I say phase) that they’ve allowed themselves to explore their curiosity and interest in cuddling. For them, those time periods come and go.

  • Maybe for some people, the certainty of something being available, meets the need to have it ; like buying an item of clothing, but never actually wearing it.

    Perhaps having experienced platonic cuddling, it becomes something they no longer need ; unless their circumstances change, and they want a reminder.

    It is a grim statistic, that 1/3 of marriages end in divorce but that means 2/3 of them end by one partner dying. We should go into any endeavour, recognising that it will end, one way or another.

    When a particularly pleasant relationship ended, I asked myself this question. "If I had known at the beginning, that it would end with this heartache, would I have still started ?" I began to add up the joyous times we had together, and quickly decided that I certainly would. Fate did not do me wrong ; it gave me great happiness for a while, and there was a relatively small price to pay at the end. It was like the cramped flight home, from the holiday of a lifetime.

    I don't think there are hard and fast rules about how long a platonic cuddling arrangement will last. People who find themselves in a long-lasting one, or several very short-lasting ones ; probably don't stay on the site.

  • Let's be honest every relationship: personal,business,social, romantic etc has some expiration date on it. Whether you acknowledge it or not. The motivation for the specific relationship is often born out of a need, desire or goal or situation that often shifts or changes with life events. A need or desire or goal or situation once filled or met eliminate the need or desire for such relationship to continue to exist.

    Which is pretty much what has already been said.

    Every situation serves its purpose. You enjoy it while you have it and you can. Then it's time to adjust, reinvent or simply move on. That's also called life.

  • edited May 17

    Interesting discussion. You might need to be more clear about what you want. Do you want to have long term open platonic cuddle relationship? No relationship, just open long term platonic cuddles? Or either* of that with* commitment? Edit: How many times you'd like to see the person. And figure out if they too can more or less match you on that. end edit.

    I think any type of relationship/interaction with people is subject to change. I don't think there's a whole lot you can do about it.

    Other than perhaps being more clear about your goal. Better conveying it to your potential cuddle partners on your profile and in conversation with them to gauge if that's what they want too. Then hoping for the best. Even if they say "yes I want that, with you", it could change. Perhaps because they aren't sincere about it and are low-key hoping you'll change your mind. Or things just change in their life and how they think about it. There could be various reasons.

    @Sunflowerfield
    It sounds to me that perhaps you want a platonic relationship, which can be very difficult to find. Especially if you're looking for monogamy. And this site, as far as I know, might not be able to help with either, as it's not for dating/relationships.

    Even if you weren't looking for monogamy, it can be difficult and you could face a lot of hostility and aggressive verbal behaviors from others. Because unfortunately, they can't respect and accept the fact that there exist people who aren't looking for sex who are hoping to find others alike.

    Most people as far as I know are looking for sex at some point, and so even the best of them treat platforms like these temporarily. Since it doesn't include what they want long term. And or they got into a monogamous relationship. So for people who want long term commitmented, stable platonic relationships, it can be quite difficult for them to find others alike who they connect well with. Because platonic cuddling is so new, misunderstood, and I think many aren't looking for it, even temporarily.

  • There could be many reasons. One thing that I find likely to have some impact is your cuddle buddies relationship status. If they find someone they're interested in having a relationship with they could drop you because it could make things complicated.

    I am sure that I limit the number of people who are willing to talk to me because I am in one, poly or not.

  • Huh, what do you know. On the bottom of my foot is a little stamp that says “Cuddle by 6/14/2020”. Learn something new every day.

  • edited May 17

    @Lovelight I'm not looking for a romantic non-sexual relationship through this website, but rather a more committed type of friendship. Does that make sense? It wouldn't be an exclusive thing, any more than any other best friendship. Maybe some people just can't have a long-term cuddling friendship without developing romantic feelings (sexual or not), so it just wouldn't be possible for them.

    However, I have had a long-term cuddle friendship with a straight Chilean woman for five years until she moved away, so I know it's possible to have a long-term friendship like that. Though I think the friendship needs more to sustain it than just cuddling - you need to have something else in common to keep the bond alive and give you things to talk about/do together.

  • edited May 17

    @JasonCuddles yes I have probably limited my options as I have been in and out of romantic relationships over the last four years since I have been on here, but all the people I have dated have accepted that I do platonic cuddling outside the relationship, so it's never been strictly/traditionally monogamous. However I tend not to pursue sexual relationships outside the person I am dating as I don't feel the need for more than one sexual partner.

  • edited May 17

    @Sunflowerfield, I have the same question. I feel I just got expired by a cuddle friend after a month solid of morning noon and night messaging and talking.
    The only cuddle partners I've kept over the years are men who have year and year and years of being solo polyamorous. I have 3 people in my life who are in that category, but our contact is limited.. but whenever we do talk or see each other that connection is still there. Admittedly I'd like for it to be more often.. not sure what to do about that.. but it's a meaningful difference that I can count on to let me know that part of it is just how someone goes about their romantic lives. It's easy for some people to phase out anyone they've been with, but it's not the way everyone works. Then again, sometimes people want to shift the nature of a connection and I'm not the best at that, depending on how it happens.. so I might wind up pushing away some people who would be around. It's complicated.

  • @BooksnTeas thanks for sharing your experience! It's good to know I'm not the only one. Maybe I should be targeting solo polo people for this type of connection! I find most poly guys in my area are more into FWBs and sexual relationships than platonic cuddling, though.

  • @Sunflowerfield I think I get it now, and it sounds tough to come by.

    "Though I think the friendship needs more to sustain it than just cuddling - you need to have something else in common to keep the bond alive and give you things to talk about/do together." For sure. I wish you well and to find the good that you desire.

  • I am willing to bet you seek long term commitment in every area of your life. You seem like the type that is motivated by intimacy and closeness and obviously you’re tactile. Whoever finds you and makes that connection will be lucky because you will be loyal as the association grows and becomes more meaningful. None of the cuddle buddies you’ve had need to expire. You can both come and go, stay in touch and branch out into other areas together sometimes with years and decades in between. You will be disappointed on occasion when people don’t meet your high expectations. But you are the rare exception. You think and feel on a deeper level than most about these things and as a result you hold those feelings deeper.

  • @PeopleLikeUs thanks for the affirmation and encouragement. I think you are right that I tend to seek long-term commitment in every area of my life, including my platonic friendships. I think a lot of people reserve commitment and loyalty primarily for romantic partners, and are more casual with platonic connections.

  • @Sunflowerfield yeah, from my limited experience I have seen there are poly people who are only poly for sex and then there are poly people who are more interested in relationships, sex or not. It's probably just a spectrum with those things at the ends and everyone falls somewhere on that line.

  • The Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto identified that 80% of the effect, results from 20% of the cause. I suspect that a few people are having lots of short relationships, but most people are having long ones.

  • @geoff1000 do you really think it's that common for people to have long-term platonic cuddle buddies? I suspect it's more common for people to get into long-term romantic partnerships of some sort.

    I can see that maybe part of the issue is that people who are emotionally available and interested in commitment are more likely to just find a romantic partner and stay in that relationship exclusively for a long period, whereas the people who stay single and cycle through cuddle buddies may be emotionally unavailable and/or afraid of commitment in some cases.

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