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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » Something might be /is wrong with me. Help? Touching problem?

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Author Topic: Something might be /is wrong with me. Help? Touching problem?
reeree
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Hey guys...I'm back...and I have a big problem.Again. I know you guys might not be able to help and if so please tell me. I won't be mad because this must be pretty dumb and it took some time for me to write this...

Situation:
Okay I'm fine and can enjoy touching, cuddling and kissing others but only if I am the one to do it first and if I am able to pull away from that person once I want to. When ever someone hugs me instead of the other way around it freaks me out. If some stranger does it I get pissed. I don't yell at them though. I try being nice despite it.

Problem:
I have a bf who is very touchy and feely. We aren't doing anything 'like that' but whenever he hugs me I push him away. I'm not using him for sex or something. I don't want his money because we are both broke. lol But the thing is despite liking him (not loving)and being very comfy with him I can't get over this. I just really don't like touching. Sometimes its because he wants to do it when my parents are near by or other people and that adds another layer on to the problem. I don't like touching in general but not theres the whole 'people are watching' thing. But a couple should be able to cuddle and hug and ya know normal stuff in publicish areas too (not making out just hugging). The only time I want to is when we are at his house alone. I don't know WHY. What is this and how can I help myself? [Frown]

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atm1
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Have you talked with him really clearly about not liking being touched *in general*?

Making it clear that it's not about him, but rather how you feel, can help him understand what's going on here.

There's nothing "wrong" with you--you're just not a fan of touching. I am not, either. (Woe to the person who gives me an unexpected hug--at least one person suffered an elbow to the gut for dong that! It was a reflex in response to not wanting to be touched.)

The best thing to do is have a very open and honest conversation with your boyfriend about how you feel and how he can engage a hug when he wants to. That can be as simple as asking you "Can I hug you?" or "Can I kiss you?" You could even develop a system based more on body language, but the key thing is that you need to talk about how to make this work.

Simply talking about this honestly may help, too, because you may tense up less when you know that he'll always ask before cuddling up.

I also know plenty of people who aren't comfortable with cuddling with a significant other in public. A couple of these are actually married. So I don't think it's fair to say that a couple "should" be able to cuddle in public. They should be able to do what feels comfortable to them.

So, do you think you can talk to your boyfriend? Or would you like to talk more about how to have that conversation with him?

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reeree
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It really makes me feel better to know a relationship can work like this. [Smile] I mean I know it could be possible but I just so rarely hear about them. Everyone around me is so very very much into being touchy and freely with their bf/gfs. I don't find it wrong, its right for those people that are and its fine if it is, but it gets kind of weird for me because it makes me feel so very wrong. [Frown] Well except maybe this one friend I know but she doesn't talk to me often.

I just had a talk with him. It ended a few minutes ago and we settled on no hugging in my house (parents) or too much in public. Maybe just when we are each going to our own classes. But since I really want to get over this and because I really feel I'm being unfair to him I said I'll work on this. He said he is fine but that there are times he won't be able to resist and will just have to hug me. I'm kinda hoping this feeling will wear away eventually. Do you think I handled it okayish?

Can I ask another question to you on this thread? It sorta relates to this?

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Djuna
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That does sound like you handled it well, but know that your comfort levels aren't something you can likely compromise over. If you're uncomfortable with a certain kind of touch, you get to veto it, it's not happening. (It would, in fact, be non-consensual touching, which is assault.) It's not unfair of you to ask him to respect what you're comfortable with, at all.

It just isn't true that a couple "should" behave a certain way; except that if anything, couples should try to behave in ways that make each other happy. If being hugged in public is not going to make you happy, and you've told him that, there's really no reason for him to attempt that - certainly not without asking at the time he does it. If he needs a hug, he's welcome to ask, you know? And you're not obliged to give him one. It worries me a little that he's framing this as "not being able to resist" touching you in ways you don't want, because that sounds like he's trying to get out of taking responsibility for his actions - actions you've told him aren't welcome or that he doesn't know are welcome. He needs to know that that's not okay.

For sure, you can ask other questions too! It's all pretty fluid around here. [Smile]

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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reeree
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I know but I think he might have some type of abandonment issues which make it seem as though I don't like him instead of the fact its just me not liking to be touched in public. Also, he says that its not that he doesn't want to listen to me but that its just something he can't control. I know it sounds iffy but he really is a nice guy. I'm not sure I guess I just sorta accepted the fact that is hormones get the better of him sometimes. How can I get across I don't like something without seeming mean? I can't just push him off because I'm pretty weak and it would hurt his feelings.

My other question is why guys seem to find it cute when a girl gets mad? I know not all, I know! Its not like that with my parents and such! I'm wondering why because it seems like a lot of guys my friends date (and my own) do. Its like he doesn't notice I'm mad even if my body language shows it at times. Or when he is hurting me. I know I act like an airhead but does that mean that he shouldn't take me seriously too? Should I try being more serious so he won't think I'm always just joking or something? I'm a bit confused on what to do. :/

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reeree
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By hurting me I don't mean physically! He is NOT abusive. I mean he sometimes say thing that make me feel inferior. I try hard not to make him feel like that, even when I think something he wants might not happen, but I always tell him "You can always get what you want, I believe in you." When I ask something he usually is pretty good at being honest but sometimes his honesty hurts my feelings.

Like I asked him if he thought I could get into a good college. I told him what place I wanted to go to and he said I'd probably screw up when trying to apply. It hurt me because despite being a bit lazy I thought he believe I could do things like that. And I didn't show it or tell him, I played it off but it still hurt. [Frown] This goes with the whole "how can I get across" thing. Like how can I word it? I'm bad with words (I usually don't talk) so thats what I'm wondering.

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SilverLining
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As far as your second question goes, you could explain to him how it feels to you when he does say things like that. Use an expample that he'd understand more maybe and he could relate to for instance you could bring up that is important to him and tell him that you are just using it as an example; but how would he feel if you did the same to him. And when he tells you about whatever it is he wants to accomplish, you just tell him that he's probably going to just mess up.

I understand what you mean and you could ask him to be more supportive of what you want; even if its just telling you that he thinks you can do it because it does hurt your feelings wether or not he means to do it.

I believe that a relationship relies a lot based on the communication between both partners; so you can also ask him if anything in the relationship is bothering him.

Also, I'm imagining that hugging you and things like that does mean a lot to him, even if he does in public you could gently ask him if you both could get alone later so your more comfortable?

Personal experience from being pushed away; it will hurt him sometimes, but just ask him that if you are pushing him, or not hugging back, if he could wait till later. Or even just like safe word could use with him? Something simple, maybe just a single word like "Later?"

I do hoped this helped you and I wish you both the best in your relationship, just remember; if something IS bothering you, talking go him about it will make him feel more involved in your life and happy that you are trusting him enough to go to him with your problems. Talking things through with him might make you look at things froma different perspective or help you think things out; ask him what his opinion is when your talking to him so he feels like he can share his thoughts to help you. Together in a couple you shouldmtry to confide in your boyfriend/girlfriend when you need them; after all. They are also their as your friends right?

I wish you both the best in your relationship. [Smile]

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reeree
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Thanks guys [Smile] really. I appreciate it! But is there anyway to make him look like I didn't just shoot a puppy when I tell him "later?"
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Heather
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Have you made clear to him that the way he responds when you decline does make you feel that way? have you had some good talks about how he CAN respond in sound ways when you decline?

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Heather
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By the by?

This:

quote:
Like I asked him if he thought I could get into a good college. I told him what place I wanted to go to and he said I'd probably screw up when trying to apply.
Is a very clear put-down. Have you also told him it isn't okay to put you down like that?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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SilverLining
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Unfortunately, I have no idea about that part. My girlfriend used to do the same thing to me before; feeling me later when she didnt think it was appropriate or didn't feel safe. Most of the time I kept a bold face and smiled anyways, but explain to him first why your saying "later" so he understands and he doesn't feel like your pushing him away, and instead you rather be alone okay?

I'm not saying that it won't hurt him sometimes when you do ask him later, but I can tell you that you can't constantly ask him to hold on, sometimes you will probably have to deal with being held [Razz]

I hope the best for you reeree.

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SilverLining 2012

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Heather
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I also want to make clear that unless your boyfriend has an impulse control problem, then he, like everyone else, CAN control when and how he touches you or anyone else. "Hormones" can't make anyone do things they don't choose to do, or "get the better of someone" in the way you're suggesting.

So, this most likely IS in his control (unless, like I said, he has a behavioural issue that involves impulse control, like Tourette's Syndrome or ADHD), just like it's in yours, some guy on the bus next to you or mine.

But it also sounds to me like you two maybe need to make sure it makes sense to be a couple. If he wants a partner who really likes touching and being touched and is very physical, but that's not what you want at all, then it just might be that you two aren't a good mix for one another.

[ 08-02-2011, 12:46 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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reeree
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The next time it happens (the put down) I'll tell him that it wasn't nice and remind him I always support any thing he wants to do.

I'll try to make sure he knows. I'm a bit confuse what you mean by this though:have you had some good talks about how he CAN respond in sound ways when you decline?

And about the 'let him hold me.' I often have to because he refuses to pull away. Like I tell him 'not here' or flail around and he takes it as cute instead of a 'Seriously not cool dude.' Which is what I want to get across. I really really can't break up with him right now though. He is going through so major stressful situations and it would be douchy of me to add this on top of it. Maybe later, once things clear up, I can sit him down and talk about it.Also, I'll see how it goes the next time we meet and hopefully we'll be able to compromise. [Smile]

[ 08-02-2011, 01:24 PM: Message edited by: reeree ]

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Heather
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Personally, I suggest calling out put downs in a more assertive way, like, "You have just put me down again. That isn't okay with me, and isn't something I am going to tolerate. You need to stop putting me down now and you need to stop doing it from here on out. I speak to you and about your respectfully, and I require the same of you."

It's not douchy of anyone to set and hole the limits they need with personal boundaries. telling someone not to touch you or grab you or hold you when you don't want to be held isn't crappy in ANY situation. And even when people are under stress, they are capable of respecting people's boundaries.

This also isn't something where you should have to compromise. I'm sure he has ways he doesn't want people touching him: do you think he'd be making compromise in those situations, or do you think he'd hold a line about how he is and isn't okay being touched?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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reeree
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Thanks. :)It makes me feel A LOT better to be told 'its okay to be assertive' with this problem because the advice I've been given is a couple SHOULD want to touch in front of people and that I'm not normal not to want it. It bothers me when others say that. All of you guys telling me this has helped me a lot.

I think he wouldn't compromise. I know I wouldn't want to touch him in a way that made him feel bad even if it did hurt me initially. Which is why I don't know why its so hard for him to accept I don't want to be hugged (or be sexual) at the moment. But again I've talked to him about the hugging thing and I'll see how it goes next time we are in public.

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Heather
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Well, I think people in the kinds of relationships that are about being touched physically usually want that, yes. So, for sure, some of the issue here is you figuring out what YOU want, and if you do not want to be touched -- not when, but if you want that at all, as even people who want that sometimes won't always -- and the other person wants that in a relationship, then you're going to have an issue. In other words, then maybe you should seek out someone else/ a different relationship where the other person does not want touch to be part of it either, and this person should seek out someone who does.

But this sounds less like you just not wanting to be touched, period, as wanting your boundaries around it to be respected, whatever those boundaries are. And that's part of healthy relationships where touch is involved.

And it also sounds like you may not be with someone who wants to make the effort to respect your boundaries. So, that's something else you're going to have to evaluate. You can understand or not understand why someone is like that when they are, but that still won't change their behavior. Only they can choose to do that or choose not to.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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reeree
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You hit it on the head. I actually thought this problem was just me not liking to be touched and it IS actually about my boundaries being respected. I think I'd actually be okay with the touching way more if I saw he'd back off when I wanted him to.

o_o I'm not sure how I missed that. I'll see how it goes. THANK YOU A LOT. I'll write here if it gets better. So, it doesn't seem like I just left it at that or something. [Smile]

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