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You Asked: How Can I Make him be More Affectionate?

Dear Sugar--

I have a great boyfriend, who I've been with for almost 1 year. He's a great guy, and we always have a great time together. There's just one thing that bothers me....he is not a passionate guy, or passionate enough to display affection in public. I like PDA, such as kissing in public, or caressing his back. However, he's pretty uptight about it. Once, while we were waiting in line in a clothing store, I put my hand on his butt, and just started to touch it casually, not in an erotic way. He immediately grabbed my hand and put it on his waist, apparently he didn't like my touching in public. I think PDA is a cute way to show your love to the world, while he think it's embarrassing and inappropriate. What should I do? Should I accept it as a fact, as his personality, or should I move on to find a guy who's more passionate and not afraid of showing love to others?

--I Need Passion Pam

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear I Need Passion Pam--

Many people have issues with public displays of affection. They think that everyone is staring at them and that any kind of touching or kissing is best saved for the bedroom. My question though is this: How is his level of passion behind closed doors? If he is all about getting it on and being affectionate when no one is watching, then you have to know that your man's uptightness about PDA is in no way a reflection of how he feels about you. It probably just makes him really uncomfortable to be showy.

That's not to say that him pushing your hand away and turning away from your kisses isn't frustrating. I suggest you tell him how you feel. Explain how important it is to express your love to him no matter where you are, and ask him if he could meet you half way. Since he is clearly uncomfortable, you have to respect his wishes as well and come to a fair compromise.

Maybe you two can come up with rules about your PDA, like holding his hand is okay, but touching his butt is out of the question. Maybe kissing on the cheek is acceptable, but lip-to-lip contact isn't. Once you two reach an agreement about this, I'm sure you'll both feel better.


Join The Conversation
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
acceptable pda? quick kisses, hand-holding, arms around each other, back caressing. embarrassing pda for any gender??? the hand on the ass maneuver. he doesn't like it because it's awkward and a private thing- I hate it when my boyfriend does the same thing to me as well. he'll probably be more up for quick kisses than anything else. that's just the way he long as he's affectionate behind closed doors. :)
bfly1133 bfly1133 9 years
Honey, there is a huge difference between hand holding and touching a person's butt. I think the problem lies in the fact that you don't necessarily see that. It doesn't make you a bad just means you are going to need to communicate like Dear and other posters have stated. The hubby isn't really into PDA because well, he isn't. There really isn't a reason. ;) However, he knows I like to hold hands now and then. Sometimes we will just walk or stand close to each other when we are out and about and sometimes we will have a quick hug or hold hands. Why I am telling you this? Because compromise is possible is you want to make it work. :)
Marci Marci 9 years
My fiance and I are hand holders. We occasionally kiss or have a quick hug in public. So I understand wishing you could have that with your boyfriend, because I really like it. We're not all over each other, as some other posters are talking about, but they are two very different things. I agree with those who say you should explain to your boyfriend that you like that sort of thing and would like to try to work out a happy medium between his feelings on it and yours. But be prepared that there are some people who just can't go there, and he may be one of them.
princess_eab princess_eab 9 years
People are being really, really harsh here. Yes, sloppy makout PDA is gross, but this girl sounds like she genuinely just wants to hold hands or have an arm on her waist or get a peck on the lips. There is really nothing wrong with that, so don't crucify her. Since your guy is so sensitive about it, tell him how you feel without demanding anything, and I think establishing rules would be good. Tell him you don't want to make out in public or anything.
gooniette gooniette 9 years
i think your boyfriend handled it very maturely. he made it clear that he didn't want you grabbing his butt in public, but that it's okay to touch him, by putting your hand on his waist. certain parts of the body should be touched only in private for the comfortability of both the couple and the people surrounding them.
jennifer76 jennifer76 9 years
Since you say you think PDA is a cute way to show your love to the world, I can see why your boyfriend is put off by what you're doing. If you're putting on a show, and that's not his style - he's not rejecting you, he's rejecting being cast in your public show. I know for me, I've never been ok with PDA. It always feels to me like the guy is establishing his claim and that feels demeaning. I think Dear's advice is good. And it's always helpful to communicate and try to understand where the other person is coming from. When he moves your hand from his butt to his waist, and your reaction is "he didn't like my touching in public", it doesn't seem like you're bothering to try to understand his perspective at all. He didn't have a problem with you touching him, he didn't want you caressing his butt in a shop line.
onesong onesong 9 years
Why on earth would you want to kiss him when you know he doesn't want to kiss you back?! I think you should just accept it and move on with your life. All that stuff it part of a very private part of your relationship, and you should treasure that, not allow others into it! I mean, I'm not against the occassional hug or smooch or even a quick pat on the butt, but it sounds to me like you were pretty much molesting him in line. If you absolutely need public displays of affection for some reason, then I would definitely go with DearSugar's advice and set up some ground rules.
dice dice 9 years
it's all about compromise. if you can touch him but no one is around (in public) then maybe that's the way to start. try going to a big department store, find a deserted department, hang around in the back and maybe do a little chase and run. if he follows then you can grab him all you want (in public) and probably no one will be watching (except the security guys watching the cameras!).
nourche nourche 9 years
I don't think there's anything wrong with a little PDA. Apparently your boyfriend doesn't mind you touching him in public (your arm around his waist was ok while you guys were waiting in line) but maybe he just doesn't like being touched in "innapropriate" places like his butt. It's ok to touch his back or neck or face but maybe you should save the butt grabbing for when you guys are alone. I mean how would you react if he started touching, say, your breasts in public? in a non-erotic way of course! ;) PDA's fine but keep the butt, breasts and tongue action for home! nobody else wants to look at it!
gun-honey gun-honey 9 years
hey, why all the hate for us who like PDA? sure, you feel embarrassed, but we feel rejected. who put embarrassment on top of the feeling food chain? my boyfriend and i went through the EXACT same problem, and we sorted it out like Dear said - we hold hands, we kiss on the cheek, and otherwise i make sure i keep my hands to myself. it's a good, discreet compromise, and i don't think we gross the people around us out.
rubialala rubialala 9 years
I think the person who has less tolerance for PDA in a relationship needs to be respected and the person who likes PDA more needs to be respectful and not take it personally.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
i'm with him, why do you feel like the world wants to see you being cute and grabbing his ass? if you have to grope each other in public to feel like you're in a real relationship that's an issue on your end. passion belongs in private.
i-am-elle i-am-elle 9 years
You can't change him, but you can & should talk to him about how you feel. He has a right to know that this is bothering you & you need to find out how he feels about that. Communication is key! PDA seems to be very important to you, so after you talk about it, you should be able to discern where things stand & if you can handle his unaffectionate ways.
sass317 sass317 9 years
Some people are really uncomfortable with that sort of thing. My best friend and her bf are constantly all over each other and I find it nauseating- like Im having a conversation with her and she wanders over to where he is and they are all groping each other and gazing into each others eyes. I just find it rude to act like that when other people are around (like people who are trying to have a conversation with you). Its not that Im jealous, Im happily married, I just think there is a time and a place for everything, and we arent in high school anymore. I dont think that holding hands or kissing in public is a bad thing- but there is a line- and a bf from college never figured that out- he used to grab me in public all the time. It nearly got him smacked more than once (after sneaking up on me) and after a while it got him dumped.
andreadeann andreadeann 9 years
Accept it.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
I absolutely hate it sometimes when my boyfriend grabs me in public. It can be humiliating and embarrassing and it can literally make me feel like a piece of meat..!! Just talk to him about it.
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