Binghamton University, the State University of New York, has produced a study that suggests cuddling while quarantined or confined can strengthen relationships between partners.
The researchers had 184 heterosexual married couples over the age of 18 as respondents and interviewed each person separately.
During the data-gathering stage, the researchers looked at how often the respondents experience non-sexual intimate touch or everyday affection in their relationships, such as hugging, cuddling, or holding hands.
In addition, relationship satisfaction and attachment styles were examined, referring to the bond one has with other individuals.
People who are naturally avoidant want more distance, and those who suffer from anxiety want to be closer to their partners. Childhood plays a big part in developing an attachment style, but changes will be made depending on the person.
It was concluded that the more everyday affection that couples experienced in their relationship, the more satisfied they felt receiving their partners’ touch, even if they had avoidant attachment styles and usually preferred more distance.
Furthermore, an increase in “touch satisfaction” equates to better marital quality.
Higher levels of everyday affection for men were linked to relationship satisfaction, while women experienced more relationship dissatisfaction when having lower levels of affection. This only means women value touching in a relationship, and less affection results in relationship problems.
“Interestingly, there’s some evidence that holding your partner’s hand while you’re arguing de-escalates the argument and makes it more productive,” said lead author Samantha Wagner.
“It also doesn’t hurt showing your partner some extra love,” Wagner added.
“Feel free to give some extra snugs on the couch. There’s plenty of evidence that suggests touch as a way to decrease stress.”
The study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships shows an association between non-sexual physical affection and relationship satisfaction.
“I think we should all hold the loved ones we can a little closer and be thoughtful of the struggles that others might be having because they can’t do just that. If anything is true for me, a hug has become even more precious than it was before,” she said.