Sure, I like to receive the odd hello and goodbye hug when greeting loved ones and I’m all for having sex. Other than that, I don’t like to be touched—and no, I’m not sorry.
It started when I was a kid. I was very independent as a child and used to love playing alone instead of with the other kids. My kindergarten teacher said I was “withdrawn” but my Mom argued that I was just comfortable with my own company. What can I say? I’m just really content being by myself, and that hasn’t really changed much over the years. I’ll inevitably be an introvert through and through until the day I die.
It’s not from a lack of affection. Don’t get me wrong, I always received a lot of love and affection as a child from both my mom and dad, but I never understood why hugs and kisses were demanded of me at birthday parties from relatives I hardly saw or even family members I saw all the time. In my opinion, I should have been able to choose whether I wanted to distribute the hugs or not.
My sister is my complete opposite. Perhaps my older sister has something to do with the fact that I don’t often enjoy affection, as she was all about physical contact as a child. She would constantly hug me and try to hold my hand and sometimes it was a bit overwhelming. In fact, even now as adults, she tries to reach out to me and I tend to shrug her off. It used to hurt her feelings but now she understands that’s just what I’m like as a person.
I do enjoy some affection. It’s not that I despise all types of affection. I like cuddles with old friends and linking arms with my boyfriend (but not all the time because, let’s face it, he weighs you down when you’re trying to walk down the street). I also enjoy sex tremendously. However, if it’s not in moderation, then all this touch can get to be a bit too much.
It’s definitely not appreciated from strangers. “Oh, hi. We’ve just met, but can I touch your arm?” Um, no! I don’t care if I’m in their way in a store or I didn’t hear them when they spoke to me in a busy bar—I will never get why strangers feel the need to touch you when they don’t even know you. It’s like a violation of personal space.
I like to reach out on my terms. I realize that you can’t always control it when someone’s about to give you physical contact, but I prefer the occasions where I can pick and choose when to offer my affection. I don’t like it when it’s just expected of me or forced upon me when I’m not ready.
I know that this isn’t a common conundrum. Am I fussy? Am I a bit weird? Am I in the minority? Probably, but I just can’t help it. I feel like maybe my icy layer might melt a bit as I get older, sure, but for now, the heart wants what it wants.
Why is being touched such a big deal anyway? I get that, evolutionarily speaking, it goes back to the caveman days. Our sense of touch is of emotional importance because it’s one of the senses (along with hearing, sight, and smell) that’s important in the context of our own survival. The thing is, we don’t live in the caveman days anymore.
I don’t have to touch someone to let them know I value them. For me, there are other ways to show someone affection without having physical contact. Whether it’s telling a friend or family member how much I care about them, buying them baked goods that I know that they will appreciate, or even doing their laundry for them (will my BF please stand up?), I’ve learned that it’s often the little things you do that mean the most to your loved ones.
It’s all about appropriate timing. Sure, I understand that sometimes a hug is more suitable during a time of need (because you’re not going to get the same level of comfort from a baked good), and this is when I’m the happiest to deliver or receive affection. However, I’m not someone who needs a cuddle all the time to feel validated. In fact, I’m happy to validate myself.
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