I had been flooded with other emotional moments between my work, meeting up with new and old friends, my own personal relationships blowing up, and trying to finish my next course by the end of the month. Despite all of this, I feel great and I'm confident that this coming year will be a better planned-out year for me to better serve and be supportive of the people around me, both professionally and personally.
I'm grateful that I have all of these supports, but not everyone has them. In fact, there's many people that have people in their lives but don't have anyone that can support them.
But what happens when they suddenly do get these supports? More specifically, what happens when they get into a relationship when they didn't have one before?
Let's talk about this for a bit because a client recently asked me if he should keep seeing me even after he gets into a relationship. After all, he can get cuddles from her and have someone to talk about his life with, and right now I'm his only support for any of that.
To him, I'd say: consider seeing me AND your new partner, at least for now.
Why? Well, for a few reasons (and for the cynical, no it's not because I want the money. I'd much rather keep working with people that need me than work with people that clearly don't).
The first and foremost is that someone might see a professional cuddler because it's a different kind of relationship than their day-to-day relationships. Often they don't have a close relationship where they can be vulnerable about their concerns and feelings.
For many, a close emotional relationship is often associated with a romantic partner (though I'd argue and say that close, emotional relationships are not exclusive to romantic relationships). Once you get that support from a relationship, it's really easy to transfer those emotions and bonding you developed from someone else (i.e a professional cuddler) to your next source (i.e a partner).
And it's great that you can be vulnerable with your thoughts and emotions with a partner like that, but it's also not necessarily where the relationship is. It's really easy to put pressure on the relationship unnecessarily by "transferring" emotions and connection onto the new person that they feel a similar bond with them. How confusingly overwhelming can that be? Why is this person suddenly telling me their life story? I just met them three weeks ago!
So to keep this from happening (and potentially scaring away your new love interest), I encourage growing your emotional support network before graduating from working with your professional cuddler
Got into a relationship? YAY! Now meet even more people. For me personally, my emotional support network grew when I got into a relationship because it turned out a lot of my partner's friends and I got along really well independent of my partner, but they were not intertwined. So friends can happen before OR after a partner too, but either way no one person has to be your emotional support.
But Sam! You ask. Isn't that a little weird to have a relationship and a professional cuddler? What if your partner gets jealous?
Would they? Professional snuggling is becoming more and more widely known in the media (heck, FOX News just did an earnest talk on professional cuddling recently. Seeing as they're known as the most conservative news station around, I think it's safe to say that people are warming up to the idea). A good portion of my clients right now have told someone that they see a professional cuddler, and their friends and acquaintances have been positive in their responses. Not only that, but I personally have relationships and do this work. There is no bad blood about this work between my partners. It's just another part of the day.
I imagine the conversation being a bigger deal in a person's head than it actually is in real life. being something like "I see a professional cuddler, and it's helped me a lot." Just see how they respond. If they seem pretty positive to the idea that you do this, great! If they have a lot of questions, know that you don't have to answer all of them (and honestly, I struggle with answering all the questions sometimes! If you really don't want to get into it, you can always just share my FAQ page with them).
In a way, you're taking a lot of pressure off of your partner.
Think about it. Especially in those early stages of a relationship, by not suddenly putting all these needs and demands on your partner that you have with your professional cuddler, you can allow the relationship to grow at its own pace without putting pressure to meet the level of support your cuddler gave you.
Because ultimately, your partner may be able to fulfill those needs someday (and in more ways than a professional cuddler can too). But they need to grow into that position, and with your professional cuddler to guide you with navigating communication, vulnerability and bonding, we're more than happy to help you find good relationships outside of us. Because that's the ultimate goal: to make sure that you don't feel like you're alone in this world.