The author of the Five Love Languages suggest there are five ways of expressing love, affection, and care for those special in our lives. Also how we prefer to receive or perceive the love others have for us. It’s really fascinating reading. Here’s the five in a nutshell:Words of Affirmation, Gifts, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch.
The last category relates to today’s theme. It’s Cuddle Up Day.
As a romance writer I am constantly thinking, beyond sex, how do I best show my characters’ growing attraction and love for one another. So determining their individual preferences in Love Language is a very important step when I’m doing character development.
I define cuddling as a form of hugging, usually done seated or prone, where more than just the arms are involved in holding the other person’s body close. But the types and positions of holds can be different for different personalities, and even as different personalities mesh. Random internet link: 3 ways to cuddle (wikihow)
A lot of my characters rank physical touch high as a way to give and receive love and affection. For some the touch is an absent thought. For others it is a carefully chosen action. For all of them it is its own form of complex communication.
In the novel We Three, Jess is very particular about touch. It’s her realization of enjoying Elena and Eric’s touch that lets her feel safe in the growing intimacy of their relationship. Here’s the first nonsexual cuddle from the book. If you’re interested in reading more, We Three can be picked up through the publisher, Supposed Crimes in in your preferred format.
“Still wanna come with?”
Eric stood by the entrance to the corridor of staff hotel rooms. Elena held his elbow, standing next to him.
Jess had almost forgotten the Tanners had invited her to go home with them after work tonight. She brightened, even as tired as she was.
“Can I entice you with a hot bath and a beautiful brunette?” Eric asked.
“I might fall asleep in the water,” Jess said.
“Then we’ll tuck you into bed, between us,” Elena said.
“That’d be all right?” Jess asked.
“Yeah,” Eric said.
In the car on the way to the Tanners’ home, Jess lay in Elena’s lap on the back seat; Elena smoothed her fingers through Jess’s hair, having pulled it down from the clipped bun. The topic quickly moved to the forthcoming costume party.
“I can’t wait,” Elena said, and the eagerness of the other woman warmed Jess inside, making her heart thud audibly in her ears.
“Something military for the costume, right?” Jess asked.
“Right. Eric can loan you something.”
“No, I think I have just the idea.” Jess thought about where she might be able to score a simple set of fatigues, maybe an olive tank top and boxers. She remembered how much Elena had appreciated seeing her muscled arms during the “tool time” photo shoot. “Should I bring anything?”
“Just you,” Elena said, and her eager tone made Jess wish the party was sooner.
When the trio arrived at the Tanner home, as promised, a warm bath was drawn, and Jess, also as promised, fell asleep in it. Though, nestled in Elena’s arms, she didn’t drown.
Patted dry with fluffy towels, she was carried by Eric, naked, into the Tanners’ bed. Eric and Elena crawled in on either side of her and kissed her cheeks good night.
Now questions for you: Where does cuddling rank for you? What sort of cuddling do you love to see in your romance reading? Share in the comments.
Have a great day, everyone!