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Discomfort with physical contact


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I am currently in a relationship with someone, but I don't feel comfortable having him touch me. According to my religion, I am not supposed to touch someone of the opposite sex unless we are married. I used to believe in this, but I think that it has really been a barrier toward me having an intimate relationship with someone. I would like to begin to have physical contact with a man, but I'm not sure where to begin. I'm not really attracted to the person that I am currently dating.

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This is difficult one to respond to, because we don't know what culture or religion applies to you.

However, I would suggest that an "intimate relationship" with someone does not necessarily require physical contact. In my own experience, even living in a fairly permissive culture, I have found that I have preferred to be close friends with someone before getting physical. I know others who do things differently; I just wanted you to know that anything is possible. What you do with your body is up to you, and no one else.

Also, if you're dating someone you're not attracted to, the important question is, why? You must be getting something out of it, or you would be trying with someone else.

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This is difficult one to respond to, because we don't know what culture or religion applies to you.

However, I would suggest that an "intimate relationship" with someone does not necessarily require physical contact. In my own experience, even living in a fairly permissive culture, I have found that I have preferred to be close friends with someone before getting physical. I know others who do things differently; I just wanted you to know that anything is possible. What you do with your body is up to you, and no one else.

Also, if you're dating someone you're not attracted to, the important question is, why? You must be getting something out of it, or you would be trying with someone else.

I find him objectively attractive, but I do not have a desire to be physical with him. (I have been interested in doing physical things with other people).

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I guess it depends on how important it is to you to follow your religion strictly. There was another person in here just talking about this exact thing and she was having regrets for following her religion so strictly only to find herself at 30, a virgin and depressed. I'm not here to bash religion, I know its important to a lot of people but in my opinion you have permission to do exactly what you want, when you want. I don't agree with the repression religion seems to promote. Things can change but maybe this current relationship you are having would be better off as a good friendship?

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I guess it depends on how important it is to you to follow your religion strictly. There was another person in here just talking about this exact thing and she was having regrets for following her religion so strictly only to find herself at 30, a virgin and depressed. I'm not here to bash religion, I know its important to a lot of people but in my opinion you have permission to do exactly what you want, when you want. I don't agree with the repression religion seems to promote. Things can change but maybe this current relationship you are having would be better off as a good friendship?

Hi, yes, I think you're right. I will try to put in a response on that thread as well, I remember seeing it and empathizing.

As far as whether we are better off as friends or something more, I think that there are other men I may be more interested in, but I am already 29, pushing 30, and since I am already in a relationship I don't want to risk losing what I have in hopes of something better. I don't have my whole life to get married and have children, and I am worried about whether I would find someone else if we broke up.

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I mean its always possible that you're feelings will grow towards your partner. Ive known some people that werent initially attracted to their boyfriend, but once they got to know them, that all changed. This could happen for you too. But on the other hand, if it doesnt really happen that way, you might not be doing yourself or your partner any favours by staying in something that isnt working out. A lot of people have that fear, that they won't find anyone else. But a fear is all it is. It's really not true. But its a fear I understand nonetheless.

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I mean its always possible that you're feelings will grow towards your partner. Ive known some people that werent initially attracted to their boyfriend, but once they got to know them, that all changed. This could happen for you too. But on the other hand, if it doesnt really happen that way, you might not be doing yourself or your partner any favours by staying in something that isnt working out. A lot of people have that fear, that they won't find anyone else. But a fear is all it is. It's really not true. But its a fear I understand nonetheless.

I dunno. I think that I'm partly not attracted to him because he has bad body habits- ex., has farted in front of me, I've also seen him pick his nose. Gross things, but I wouldn't feel comfortable saying anything to him about it. But those things are huge turn offs. He also is partially balding.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well as far as farting, sometimes that just happens. The attitude about it is what is important. If he comes up to you and says "Pull my finger" OK that's bad if you are uptight about bodily functions. Picking one's nose in front of other people is uncouth IMHO. Balding well that is a fact of life for many. There are trade-offs in life. I wouldn't hold out for Prince Charming fairy tale life. Do you communicate with the person you have a relationship with? Do you tell them you find the nose-picking gross or be objective and ask if they would pick their nose in private where you can't see them...

I would consider the people you find attractive sexually. Why do you find them attractive over someone else? If its just a matter of cleanliness, that's fair. If its a matter of beauty, are you prepared to live with someone who is more interested in themselves than in you? Beautiful people are often narcissistic or used to getting what THEY want. What you want is irrelevant. Being attracted to power is the same problem. If you can find someone you love as a person and not their externals and love you back for the same reason I would say try for that. Your external appearance and theirs is likely to change over time. If you marry wealth and they lose it, what will you do? Look at the why of your relationships is my first recommendation. If you are having a relationship looking for security, I would say that's a bad reason. That is my culturally-skewed view.

Personally I can't be comfortable physically being touched by another human being. I'm a 41yo virgin ugh. I can't even sleep with another person in my apartment without having to take strong medications to sleep that's how much I can't trust. Insomnia was an inherent part of growing up for me. Being touched = being beaten for me growing up. Now I am ambivalent about having any sort of relationship with people. Part of me wants and needs it. Another part fears it and rejects it. Another part just doesn't care.

So your situation could be worse, if that provides any comfort...

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