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Old 05-25-2019, 09:21 AM
 
672 posts, read 173,617 times
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I have always been apprehensive about my innate desire for intimate and physical touch. I don't mean sexual touching...more along the lines of hugging, caressing, holding hands, physical nearness, that sort of thing. In Love Language quizzes my score for physical touch is always heads and shoulders above the rest.


These feelings have been a part of me since at least puberty, and it was around puberty that I began to keep a tight clamp on them...I didn't want to become the creepy touchy-feely guy always hugging and touching on women. So, I almost never initiate physical contact with people, especially women...hugs, light touch, etc., even with friends. As a result I've often gone many months before without any but the most casual levels of physical contact. There have been many nights I have cried myself to sleep wishing I could feel a touch on my cheek, a hand on my shoulder, arms around my waist. Maybe that's cart before the horse, wanting physical contact without tying that desire to a specific person, but it's how I've felt.


I'd always assumed that the proper place to express myself physically like that would be a relationship. However, recently I've seen one of the town's few long-term single men (older than me, in his mid 50's) out with a lady-friend. I thought, good for him. But he's always very physically close to his new girlfriend...holding hands, arm around her, following, doting. He's like that every time I see them. And, I felt repelled by his behavior. Off-put. My gut tells me that's not masculine behavior. It struck me that I see women acting that way, particularly younger women, and sometimes younger men, but not middle-aged people of either sex, especially men.



I'm still apprehensive about being touchy-feely with women I don't know, from a creep standpoint (especially now, when great emphasis is being put on making sure women feel safe), but now I'm also anxious that, in a relationship, I'd be uncorking 20+ years of suppressed physical desires (not sexual) to my detriment. I know like everything else it probably comes down to personal preference, but there's also probably a general level of acceptability from men in relationships, past which point the behavior gets old, annoying, unattractive, etc.



Thoughts?

Last edited by At Arms Length; 05-25-2019 at 09:28 AM.. Reason: Edited for flow
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Fuquay Varina
4,554 posts, read 6,642,062 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
I have always been apprehensive about my innate desire for intimate and physical touch. I don't mean sexual touching...more along the lines of hugging, caressing, holding hands, physical nearness, that sort of thing. In Love Language quizzes my score for physical touch is always heads and shoulders above the rest.


These feelings have been a part of me since at least puberty, and it was around puberty that I began to keep a tight clamp on them...I didn't want to become the creepy touchy-feely guy always hugging and touching on women. So, I almost never initiate physical contact with people, especially women...hugs, light touch, etc., even with friends. As a result I've often gone many months before without any but the most casual levels of physical contact. There have been many nights I have cried myself to sleep wishing I could feel a touch on my cheek, a hand on my shoulder, arms around my waist. Maybe that's cart before the horse, wanting physical contact without tying that desire to a specific person, but it's how I've felt.


I'd always assumed that the proper place to express myself physically like that would be a relationship. However, recently I've seen one of the town's few long-term single men (older than me, in his mid 50's) out with a lady-friend. I thought, good for him. But he's always very physically close to his new girlfriend...holding hands, arm around her, following, doting. He's like that every time I see them. And, I felt repelled by his behavior. Off-put. My gut tells me that's not masculine behavior. It struck me that I see women acting that way, particularly younger women, and sometimes younger men, but not middle-aged people of either sex, especially men.



I'm still apprehensive about being touchy-feely with women I don't know, from a creep standpoint (especially now, when great emphasis is being put on making sure women feel safe), but I'm also wondering if such physical neediness from a man is repellent behavior in a relationship. I know like everything else it probably comes down to personal preference, but there's also probably a general level of acceptability from men in relationships, past which point the behavior gets old, annoying, unattractive, etc. But I'm afraid now in a relationship I'd be uncorking 20+ years of suppressed physical desires (not sexual) to my detriment.



Thoughts?
So crying yourself to sleep many nights is okay but a man having PDA with his girlfriend is not masculine behavior?

You should work on your own issues before worrying about a man and a woman in a healthy appearing relationship.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:34 AM
 
672 posts, read 173,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post
So crying yourself to sleep many nights is okay but a man having PDA with his girlfriend is not masculine behavior?

You should work on your own issues before worrying about a man and a woman in a healthy appearing relationship.

No, it's not okay, but it comes and goes. Had a bad stretch of it in college, and another bad stretch of it late last summer and into the fall. Therapy helps, as does shifting my focus away from what I'd like my life to look like and onto what my life actually looks like (counting blessings) and what I can achieve in my life through my own efforts...see the hole, acknowledge that I don't like the hole, keep walking past the hole.


If it works for them that's fantastic, I'm happy for them. I'm observing behavior...and it struck me that I don't usually observe that sort of behavior in men at the same time that I recognize that I have the potential for such behavior.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
14,724 posts, read 12,229,923 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post
So crying yourself to sleep many nights is okay but a man having PDA with his girlfriend is not masculine behavior?
He also believes PDA should be reserved for relationships, and in the same breath states how repelled he is to see a guy with his new gf displaying PDA.
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Old 05-25-2019, 09:51 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
37,965 posts, read 55,724,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVTLightning View Post
So crying yourself to sleep many nights is okay but a man having PDA with his girlfriend is not masculine behavior?

You should work on your own issues before worrying about a man and a woman in a healthy appearing relationship.

I don't think I would want to date a guy like that...
I don't cry myself to sleep and don't want a guy who does/did that.
I agree - there are issues, much deeper than OP realizes. Those should be addressed first.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:05 AM
 
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OP, that is the beauty of having children. You get lots of physical closeness. Instead of crying, dream about the day you have a family and can hug and kiss your kids all day long--until they hit puberty of course and will run away from it, LOL.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Scrapple country
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First, you can't judge the amount of physical affection in a relationship by what you see in public.

I've known a couple of guys who were pretty self-conscious about P.D.A. but were the cuddliest of teddy bears in private.

It's nothing you need to over-think. If you're in a relationship and the woman seems to think less of you for wanting non-sexual cuddling, then that is a bad match for you. If you're in a relationship with a woman who welcomes the cuddling, just respect her wishes and boundaries when she indicates that she's had enough cuddling. If you find that you're unable to back off the physical affection when she breaks off the cuddle or otherwise expresses that she's done, that would be a problem. I think you can probably manage this, though.

I've heard that getting regular paid massages is a great help for people who aren't getting enough physical touch. We all need some touch. There's nothing irregular about it.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:42 AM
 
Location: a primitive state
9,875 posts, read 20,154,795 times
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What about equine therapy? You get to pet and groom horses which makes you feel really good. Or take riding lessons.

Besides, women tend to gravitate towards that activity and you might find yourself in the company of other people enjoy physical touch.

Other than that, just start hugging your friends and family more often. That has become very acceptable.
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Old 05-25-2019, 10:45 AM
 
672 posts, read 173,617 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallouise View Post
It's nothing you need to over-think.
What, me overthink? Nahh.
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Old 05-25-2019, 11:14 AM
 
7,379 posts, read 2,921,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by At Arms Length View Post
I'm still apprehensive about being touchy-feely with women I don't know, from a creep standpoint (especially now, when great emphasis is being put on making sure women feel safe), but now I'm also anxious that, in a relationship, I'd be uncorking 20+ years of suppressed physical desires (not sexual) to my detriment. I know like everything else it probably comes down to personal preference, but there's also probably a general level of acceptability from men in relationships, past which point the behavior gets old, annoying, unattractive, etc.

Thoughts?
I LOL'd. because I can kind of relate to that! I've always been in a bubble, almost cactus-like, called "aloof" and "cold"...but it's just in appearance. Deep down there's the "Grabby Hands Toddler" wanting to touch and smooth, hold on (mine!).

It makes me laugh though, not cry. If I find someone I'm really attracted to, I actually am all touchy-feely, want to cuddle. It's very rare, few and far between, but nice when it happens. In fact, I can be alone for years, and have, but it's that need for touch and feeling that sent me back out to the dating world for a suitable match.

Don't worry, you'll be able to control yourself --or maybe not want to control that, like the man you've been observing.
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