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This post comes from Group Therapy in our TrèsSugar Community. Feel free to add your advice in the comments!

I've only been dating my current boyfriend for three months and things are, I must admit, going much better than I could have anticipated. He's a good person, attentive, and understanding, the whole nine yards — except when we're out in public!

Part of the problem is that we live in the same building (we're both college students) and share mutual friends. We also started out as "friends with benefits" and it's been a bit of an adjustment moving publically from casual to full-blown girlfriend and boyfriend. Still, I struggle sometimes to understand how we can go — literally in minutes — from holding hands and being couply in his room or downtown, to playing completely platonic in front of nearly anyone else!

Any ideas how to make things more consistent? He always asks me what he can do to make things better — what's the "proper" way to act — and I'm not sure myself. I only know something needs to change!

Have a dilemma of your own? Post it, anonymously, to Group Therapy for advice, and check out what else is happening in the TrèsSugar Community and maybe we'll feature your content on TrèsSugar.

Flickr User Peter Gene

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sourcherry sourcherry 6 years
Like anonymous said, take the initiative with a small gesture like holding hands and see how he reacts. If he pushes you away I'd be very worried, if he accepts it then it's only a matter of time until he's more comfortable with it.
janneth janneth 6 years
This is not a huge problem, so relax and work things out together.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
Pale (OP), you said, "I was more looking for advice about how he SHOULD be acting, in your guys experience, because neither of us is very experienced in this situation!" --> I think it mostly depends on if both of you are introverted or extrovertred, and what behavior both of you feel comfortable with. To me, this is the biggest point in deciding how he "should" be acting.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
Pale (OP), you said, "I was more looking for advice about how he SHOULD be acting, in your guys experience, because neither of us is very experienced in this situation!"--> I think it mostly depends on if both of you are introverted or extrovertred, and what behavior both of you feel comfortable with. To me, this is the biggest point in deciding how he "should" be acting.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
"Maybe he's just not comfortable showing affection in public?" --> I agree, and I had not thought about it. The OP needs to find out if this is true.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
"Maybe he's just not comfortable showing affection in public?"--> I agree, and I had not thought about it. The OP needs to find out if this is true.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
IMO he either has serious PDA issues or there is another player in the mix. The only way you're going to find out what's up is to talk to him but I would advise not approaching him like he's done something wrong because then you may trigger him to put up the walls and then you'll never find out the genuine truth. I used to be terrified of PDA but that's because I'm gay and I didn't want a base ball bat upside my head.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
IMO he either has serious PDA issues or there is another player in the mix. The only way you're going to find out what's up is to talk to him but I would advise not approaching him like he's done something wrong because then you may trigger him to put up the walls and then you'll never find out the genuine truth. I used to be terrified of PDA but that's because I'm gay and I didn't want a base ball bat upside my head.
Jmartens Jmartens 6 years
nearly impossible to go from friends with bennies to a respected girl friend.
Veka Veka 6 years
I think there's a difference between the typical "PDA" and showing affection. I personally loathe PDA and I will not do anything more than hold hands, a quick kiss on lips or cheek, or have arms around each other when out in public. I think anything more than that is tasteless.
mix-tape mix-tape 6 years
I can understand where he's coming from. I hate PDA. I'm uncomfortable doing it in front of other people and I feel uncomfortable when other people do it in front of me. I believe affection is a personal matter and shouldn't be on display for everyone.
Veka Veka 6 years
Actions speak louder than words. If he's not willing to admit to his friends that you're bf/gf, that's a big red flag. As everyone else has already stated, tell him how you feel and ask him to show you more affection in public and actually act like a boyfriend.
jenni5 jenni5 6 years
Maybe he's just not comfortable showing affection in public? But like everyone else already said, you need to talk to him and see where you stand.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
Pale Blue Eyes, you said, "...he just doesn't know how to act and make the transition." --> Then make a list of specific examples of body language you want to see from him in public. What do you want him to do? Watch the things he does for you in private, like hold hands, put his arm around you, etc. Are there certain ways he makes eye contact with you, or certain ways he talks to you when the two of you are alone, certain things he stops doing as soon as his buddies are around?
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
Pale Blue Eyes, you said, "...he just doesn't know how to act and make the transition."--> Then make a list of specific examples of body language you want to see from him in public. What do you want him to do? Watch the things he does for you in private, like hold hands, put his arm around you, etc. Are there certain ways he makes eye contact with you, or certain ways he talks to you when the two of you are alone, certain things he stops doing as soon as his buddies are around?
PaleBlueEyes PaleBlueEyes 6 years
Thanks everyone for the advice. We actually have talked about this a lot and he seems WILLING to change but says he just doesn't know how to act and make the transition. Also, just to clarify, it was his idea to begin dating--he asked me several times before I agreed--and we have yet to actually have intercourse, so I don't think it's about the sex. I don't want to pretend he'e perfect, he has tons of faults, but being an asshole isn't really one of them. He's waited 3 months for me to be ready and he does amazingly sweet things for me all the time. I was more looking for advice about how he SHOULD be acting, in your guys experience, because neither of us is very experienced in this situation!
PaleBlueEyes PaleBlueEyes 6 years
Thanks everyone for the advice. We actually have talked about this a lot and he seems WILLING to change but says he just doesn't know how to act and make the transition. Also, just to clarify, it was his idea to begin dating--he asked me several times before I agreed--and we have yet to actually have intercourse, so I don't think it's about the sex. I don't want to pretend he'e perfect, he has tons of faults, but being an asshole isn't really one of them. He's waited 3 months for me to be ready and he does amazingly sweet things for me all the time. I was more looking for advice about how he SHOULD be acting, in your guys experience, because neither of us is very experienced in this situation!
dikke-kus dikke-kus 6 years
yes. I would listen to his words. They will say all. If he says something about being just friends wb at this point I would beware.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
Speak to him and see where you guys stand.
Venus1 Venus1 6 years
I agree with all of lthe above. You MUST speak to him!
notinthemood notinthemood 6 years
The bennies are bad because it is rare that a man will respect a girl who puts out like that enough to transition into a full-on relationship. You give it up while asking for nothing in return, then suddenly there's supposed to be a price for the sex (affection). If a guy is saying "sure, we're bf/gf" but not following through in public, he's just telling you what you want to hear so you keep sleeping with him. That's a bad situation, and one I don't envy. OP, if I were you, I would decide what I wanted in a boyfriend. Then, tell him that you're going to go pursue that if he's not it. And follow through. Right now, you're settling for less and he's getting everything he wants... how long are you willing to go without what you need?
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
njau, I think one mistake we often make is that one person acts condescending toward the other person, and the other person looks the other way in order to "keep peace." I think we all have to stop putting up with this, as you finally did with the way he treated you for your "countryside ways" etc.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
njau, I think one mistake we often make is that one person acts condescending toward the other person, and the other person looks the other way in order to "keep peace." I think we all have to stop putting up with this, as you finally did with the way he treated you for your "countryside ways" etc.
JoeTyndall JoeTyndall 6 years
OP, Have you discussed this with him?
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