blueberry

Uneasy returning friendly physical affection

5 posts in this topic

I feel weird when my straight colleague friends show closeness to me. I have a bisexual friend and we can hug forever, be sweet with each other and it’s nothing but when it comes to straight women, it makes me feel uneasy. I was not like this before. I don’t think that I feel guilty or afraid that if I reciprocate the friendly affection then it’d be like taking advances on my female friends. I have a colleague who’s very friendly and I don’t think that she’s bisexual or queer. I believe that she’s just a sweetheart. I like her as a person and a potential friend. Nothing more. Today, she opened her arms for a hug which I didn’t do anything and then later on, she put her arms around my neck. She does things or tells things to me with the present of our other colleagues. I feel like I’m behaving like “no-touch rule between boys and girls thingy.” It’s weird. Has anyone experienced this? I don’t like what I'm feeling because by nature, I’m an affectionate person. Any thoughts?

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I have no problem with the casual friendly touching when there's NO doubt in my mind that there's no attraction going on. But once either I find someone attractive or I wonder if the other person is attracted, then it's like, whoa! What is this? How do I keep my feelings to myself? Should I keep them to myself? How do I know her true feelings? It can suck at times and be confusing for sure. I'm totally out so when a woman is affectionate, I tend to think, you know what you could be starting here, right? Lol. But honestly, some women are just like that and don't mean anything by being touchy. A good test is paying attention to how she is with other people. If she acts like that with everybody, you're probably making too much of it. If not, well, she may really like ya!

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I went through a stage like this too. I started looking at straight women completely different. If they hugged me it felt awkward. Like you described the bout girl thing. For me at least it was still when I was coming to terms with who I was. Not quit sure where I fit in. I don’t feel thins way anymore though. I guess bc for once in my life I feel somewhat where I belong. I’m married and have my first girlfriend. When I was chasing after my first love (and didn’t want to admit she didn’t feel the same, even though she led me on for years) I felt uncomfortable around straight women. I’m ok now. Give it some time.  

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I am not good with platonic physical affection, to an extent that is probably pathological. I mean, even stuff where there's no ambiguity, like friendly hugs that I'm absolutely sure are purely platonic or the idea of something like getting a professional massage, makes my skin crawl. Some of this is upbringing - my family was not very physically affectionate. Some is habit from internalized homophobia when I was younger - even though I don't have much of the internalized homophobia anymore, the habit to avoid and pull back from touch is still there. Some may be a sensory processing issue - I've had tactile sensitivities of other sorts my whole life.

I'm ok with touch, platonic or otherwise, within the context of a relationship or serious mutual flirtation. Still not as touchy-feely as many people, but I can enjoy it as long as it's on my terms. 

I've learned to fake physical affection. I'm a nurse. Touching to provide comfort and establish rapport is an useful tool, like a stethoscope. It's rare that I use it outside of work, though. In fact, I think I use my stethoscope outside of work more often.

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I will just sit back and relax. Perhaps this uneasy feeling will go away as I get used again with friendly female touch. I don't have problems with massage (I want and need one professional soon). Hmm I will just ride along with my colleague's sweetness towards me. 

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