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Old 09-08-2015, 10:00 AM
 
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Since there doesnt seem anything personal theres no need for you to stress. Thats not the least bit unusual. Hes a man now. Even young boys get to an age where its embarassing to have mom hug them especially if their friends might see them. Just let him know in other ways your proud he is your son and leave it like that. Nothing odd about him. I actually dont like being smothered either.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:19 AM
 
1,278 posts, read 981,964 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmom View Post
My 22 year old son lives with us and I love him dearly. He is our only child and a good kid that pays his own bills, has a full time job, pays rent to us and is a very good person. But my heart is broken because he went from a very happy and affectionate kid to a solemn, unaffectionate adult. I know he loves me and has no problem telling me in texts, but when I am moved to give him a hug or any gesture of love, he backs away which kills me inside. I have been trained not to show him any affection and I hate it. He knows it breaks my heart. What mother's heart wouldn't be? He tells me he has a problem with "personal space". There are just those times when your kid looks a certain way or you are so happy for them for whatever reason and the natural thing to do is to show your love with a hug or kiss.
Anyone else have this issue with an adult child? I was hoping as he matured, he would warm up, but it only seems to get worse.
don't worry it's a stage. most young men go through this especially when they are at the age of self defining their existence. give him the space, he'll come around once he's found himself. this is perfectly normal.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:44 AM
bg7
 
7,697 posts, read 8,745,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppySead View Post
My mother is from Korea, a non touchy environment. She always says the Americans are so touchy touchy. There are kids in her country that wish their parents were more affectionate. I guess it just depends on the person and the culture. In Korea you don't usually see public displays of affection, but in America you can see people practically mating on the streets. lol

Unless you think he is depressed or has a spectrum disorder like Autism then I'd just respect his preferred method of affection. A hug is a physical display but doesn't equal how he feels about you. I'm not huggy, and my kids still know I love them. We only hug when it's serious, like at a funeral, or a break up or a deep convo. Never a daily how ya doing hug. You can express how you feel in a lot of ways, words being one, and it sounds like he already does that. What you want is him to show his affection to you in the same way you do. You might want to ask yourself why your self esteem needs this. Are you not confident he loves you?
By what you've said he seems to show plenty of respect toward you, I'd be thrilled with that and let it go.
How many countries has your mother been to? On the global spectrum, Americans really aren't that touchy at all, they come in at around the middle of the pack.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:47 AM
bg7
 
7,697 posts, read 8,745,803 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv my dayton View Post
Since there doesnt seem anything personal theres no need for you to stress. Thats not the least bit unusual. Hes a man now. Even young boys get to an age where its embarassing to have mom hug them especially if their friends might see them. Just let him know in other ways your proud he is your son and leave it like that. Nothing odd about him. I actually dont like being smothered either.

I'm guessing your last sentence is the reason you feel qualified to make the penultimate sentence.
A hug from your mother isn't "smothering" in normal parlance, just fyi.

To the OP: 22 is still fairly young to appreciate what your parents are and did for you. That comes later - especially if you have your own kids, then you get more perspective. He might one day come around to giving you the chance to hug him, when he realizes it means so much to you and is relatively insignificant to him even if he does not benefit from it.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:51 AM
 
227 posts, read 352,085 times
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You need to think like a man. Men don't hug, they shake hands. Just shake his hand and think of that as a guy-hug.
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Old 09-08-2015, 10:57 AM
 
Location: IL
2,992 posts, read 4,603,657 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sminthian View Post
You need to think like a man. Men don't hug, they shake hands. Just shake his hand and think of that as a guy-hug.
I hug my dad every time I see him, and my brothers, and my guy friends...nearly all of my good friends. They are guy hugs, a little rough and frequently one armed, but still hugs.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Log "cabin" west of Bangor
6,003 posts, read 7,205,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ControlJohnsons View Post
don't worry it's a stage. most young men go through this especially when they are at the age of self defining their existence. give him the space, he'll come around once he's found himself.
You're obviously not an 'expert'.

It isn't a given that it is any sort of 'stage', or that it will change. I'm not a 'hugger', and at over 50 that isn't likely to change. Only my wife gets to do that, not even my mother got to. I find such contact too intimate and distasteful unless it is with a person with whom I am having a sexual relationship. It's just the way I am, I don't like my personal space being violated.

His wishes should be respected and no one should try to force him to behave differently, nor should his behavior be expected to change.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:21 PM
 
142 posts, read 149,373 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikesmom View Post
Thank you to the last two posts. Gives me another perspective. The only difference is that he was a very loving and affectionate kid and those wonderful times are still fresh in my heart.
When did you notice the change happening? Also, what else is going on in his life? Does he have healthy relationships with non-family members? Also, is there a reason why he's still living at home and not striking out to make his own life?

As others have mentioned, everyone is different. When I was in grade school, it was incredibly important to me to move out of my parents house and at 18, when I left home to attend a university, I never really returned to live at home. Even when I struggled, I felt proud that I was fully taking care of myself and 28 years later, it has shaped my relationship with my parents into something very positive.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,585 posts, read 2,253,123 times
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I understand how your son feels. Touching people - even my mom, (who I love) physically makes my skin crawl. And honestly I don't recall exactly when that started because I don't remember it being that strong as a child. It was always there to a certain extent, but I have become much more averse as I've gotten older. For some odd reason, my husband is the only person who doesn't trigger that reaction - which incidentally had a great impact on my decision to marry him.

However I know my mom doesn't 'get' that, and would be confused and unhappy were I to not hug her periodically, so I brace 'n hug. I could happily go without (it would be a relief actually), and it wouldn't mean I loved her one ounce less. A bit of warning definitely helps.
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Old 09-08-2015, 12:36 PM
 
11,431 posts, read 5,057,887 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldhag1 View Post
Some people really do value their personal space. I'm not a touchy-feely person and it takes everything in my power to resist the urge to run away from my husband's close sitting, always touching relatives who just love to hug each other.... and me. It's not that I don't love them, because I do, it's just that all that hugging and kissing is not my thing. I hated the year I taught kindergarten because they insisted on touching me all the freakin' time, even though I really did love my students.

Give him his space and don't take it personally. It's not about you, it's about him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLnuBQDcbD4

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