Is it Gay Shame, or is it me?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2010 4:13 AM GMT
    So I was hoping for some perspective.
    I'm dating a guy who is a really great guy, he's funny, fun, the sex rocks, he owns a successful restaurant, just opened a second one, is handsome, social and communicative. Most of the time he seems into me, sometimes he treats me like a leper.

    In public he frequently pulls away from me when I reach to hold his hand or hug him. I get that some people are not into public displays of affection but I've never dated someone who was so PDA averse and I don't know if I can not take it personal.

    Every guy I've ever dated has been very socially demonstrative about being with me. I'm used to being paraded and shown off, I guess I'm used to it and kind of like it so when the guy I'm dating pushes my hand away when I just try to hold it while we walk it confuses me and I feel like I've done something wrong.

    I come from a very tactile family, I've traveled to a lot of places where men walk arm and arm. I walk arm and arm with most of my friends, men and women and I'm starting to be freaked out by his aversion to me and while I know it's not about me, I'm fighting the feeling that he's ashamed or embarrassed to be seen with me but it's making me not want to go out in public with him... it's making me question whether I want to even continue seeing him.
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    Apr 07, 2010 4:20 AM GMT
    Have you asked him about this? If not, then maybe you should. It will help you decide whether or not the relationship is worth pursuing.
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    Apr 07, 2010 4:29 AM GMT
    I did ask him and he dismisses my observations.
    I've asked him if I make him uncomfortable and if he wants me to abstain from PDA... he doesn't confirm nor deny my concerns and changes the subject.

    It's happens pretty much every time we go out. I apologized for making him uncomfortable today and he said i didn't make him uncomfortable that he was just "shy". What does that mean? Isn't shy = embarrassed?
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Apr 07, 2010 4:33 AM GMT
    I wouldn't take it personally. As you noticed, he's not comfortable displaying even the simplest PDA (holding hands) with a guy. I'm not sure what his concerns are. Perhaps stares, slurs, or even violence. Some people like you and shortguywithmuscles (I hope I got the name right) are comfortable with it, and others not.

    So it's up to you. Can you handle being in a relationship where the guy is hesitant to hold your hands in public? You said sometimes he makes you feel like a lepar. Is the reluctance to hold your hand the only way he's making you feel like this, or are there other instances?

    Have you discussed this issue with him? Let him know how much it means to you. Who knows, it might help him get over his fear.

    Edited to add:

    Ignore some of this post since you answered a similar question before I posted this.
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    Apr 07, 2010 4:39 AM GMT
    creature saidI wouldn't take it personally. As you noticed, he's not comfortable displaying even the simplest PDA (holding hands) with a guy. I'm not sure what his concerns are. Perhaps stares, slurs, or even violence. Some people like you and shortguywithmuscles (I hope I got the name right) are comfortable with it, and others not.

    So it's up to you. Can you handle being in a relationship where the guy is hesitant to hold your hands in public? You said sometimes he makes you feel like a lepar. Is the reluctance to hold your hand the only way he's making you feel like this, or are there other instances?

    Have you discussed this issue with him? Let him know how much it means to you. Who knows, it might help him get over his fear.
    I just don't get the reticence, we live in San Francisco, not Louisville, Kentucky.

    I've tried to discuss it with him but he changes the subject and dismisses my concerns. He is reluctant to get close, has trust issues which I totally understand. I wonder if his aversion to PDA is intertwined with his trust issues or just text book gay shame... or maybe he's embarrassed to be seen with me.
  • creature

    Posts: 5197

    Apr 07, 2010 4:55 AM GMT
    I didn't realize you lived in the mecca. That is something to think about. I would be surprised for an adult male living on his own and doing well to have "gay shame" in San Francisco.

    It may be the trust issues, but only if he was attempting to slow down the pace of the relationship so that he could make sure it wouldn't be a repeat of his past relationships (if he just got out of a bad one). Are you introduced to his friends and family? Does he openly identify you as his boyfriend? Besides sex, what are you guys doing that shows there is a relationship?
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    Apr 07, 2010 5:22 AM GMT
    creature saidI didn't realize you lived in the mecca. That is something to think about. I would be surprised for an adult male living on his own and doing well to have "gay shame" in San Francisco.

    It may be the trust issues, but only if he was attempting to slow down the pace of the relationship so that he could make sure it wouldn't be a repeat of his past relationships (if he just got out of a bad one). Are you introduced to his friends and family? Does he openly identify you as his boyfriend? Besides sex, what are you guys doing that shows there is a relationship?
    we have mutual friends all of whom know we are dating, no family. We don't use the words "boyfriend" or "love", we are exclusive (monogamous) but not necessarily serious. He invited me to go on a week long trip with him which I declined because I didn't feel ready.

    I think he just isn't ready and I wonder if I jumped the exclusivity gun and maybe should have just dated him conversationally until we were both ready to actually be in a relationship. I dunno.
  • masculumpedes

    Posts: 5549

    Apr 07, 2010 5:41 AM GMT
    EasilyDistracted said

    I think he just isn't ready and I wonder if I jumped the exclusivity gun and maybe should have just dated him conversationally until we were both ready to actually be in a relationship. I dunno.


    I would give him the benefit of the doubt, I mean there are more important ways of him showing you affection than PDA and you do enjoy being with him..right?...And in any relationship you have to both give and take and make allowances for each other. icon_wink.gif
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    Apr 07, 2010 5:50 AM GMT
    malefeet said
    EasilyDistracted said

    I think he just isn't ready and I wonder if I jumped the exclusivity gun and maybe should have just dated him conversationally until we were both ready to actually be in a relationship. I dunno.


    I would give him the benefit of the doubt, I mean there are more important ways of him showing you affection than PDA and you do enjoy being with him..right?...And in any relationship you have to both give and take and make allowances for each other. icon_wink.gif

    you're very right. i needed to hear a firm opinion from a voice I trust. *sigh* thank you. xoxox
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    Apr 07, 2010 11:25 AM GMT
    I hate to say this, but let's consider the problem at face value which is:

    The boyfriend doesn't like when other people see him being affectionate with the OP.

    This would concern me. I think its a symptom of something else going on in his head. It may or may not have anything to do with the OP. Its nice being paraded around as a trophy ( well....sometimes it isn't...icon_mad.gif).... but nothing can replace genuine affection and wanting to show happy true feelings. Why be uncomfortable about that?

    Especially when it seems that the OP needs and thrives on tactile moments and physical displays of caring. If my boyfriend and I were in love as we thought we were, he better get over his reticence about PDA quickly. "That's the way he is" is not a sufficent explanation.

    Once I dated a guy and there were so many good things about the relationship. But there were a few small things that bothered me, but I dismissed my concerns as nagging or trivial....maybe I was being too picky.

    It wasn't until after the train wreck breakup that I realized the things that had bothered me were important to me and I should have paid attention and not dismiised my concerns. I ignored the red flags and denied myself things that usually make me a happy camper......all in the name of saving a "great relationship".

    I learned to trust my instincts and to give imprtance to things that bothered me

    You guys better talk about it more and come to an understanding about what's really going on.

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    Apr 07, 2010 11:30 AM GMT
    KissingPro saidI hate to say this, but let's consider the problem at face value which is:

    The boyfriend doesn't like when other people see him being affectionate with the OP.

    This would concern me. I think its a symptom of something else going on in his head. It may or may not have anything to do with the OP.

    Once I dated a guy and there were so many good things about the relationship. But there were a few small things that bothered me, but I dismissed my concerns as nagging or trivial....maybe I was being too picky.

    It wasn't until after the train wreck breakup that I realized the things that had bothered me were important to me and I should have paid attention and not dismiised my concerns.

    I learned to trust my instincts and to give imprtance to things that bothered me

    You guys better talk about it more and come to an understanding about what's really going on.



    This.

    What bothers me more than the fact that he doesn't like PDA (like the OP I like physical contact, touch, etc.) is the fact that he won't discuss it with you.

    If he were just not into public displays, but very affectionate in private, then I could get used to it if other things about the relationship were great (seeing how even subtle displays can evoke nastiness in some people in public) that's one thing. But the fact that he won't discuss it leads me to believe this is all about him, not you.
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    Apr 07, 2010 11:41 AM GMT
    Maybe he just has hangups about PDA... does he give you sass if you introduce him as your boyfriend?

    In general, this is definitely something you should talk about. If he is unwilling to even talk about it, you're going to have to make a grownup decision about whether this is a deal breaker for you. If he IS willing to talk about it and he has legitimate reasons, you can decide if you can compromise.

    Communication is paramount!
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    Apr 07, 2010 11:48 AM GMT
    [quote][cite]ejay79 said

    This.
    What bothers me more than the fact that he doesn't like PDA (like the OP I like physical contact, touch, etc.) is the fact that he won't discuss it with you.

    If he were just not into public displays, but very affectionate in private, then I could get used to it if other things about the relationship were great (seeing how even subtle displays can evoke nastiness in some people in public) that's one thing. But the fact that he won't discuss it leads me to believe this is all about him, not you.[/quote]



    Yes. This is important to the OP. If talking about it is off the table, then what else will come up that can't be discussed later on?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:11 PM GMT
    Hey EasilyDistracted, when I read this part, "We don't use the words "boyfriend" or "love", we are exclusive (monogamous) but not necessarily serious. He invited me to go on a week long trip with him which I declined because I didn't feel ready."

    ...I thought perhaps this is why the reticence over the PDA thing. It could be he'd be different if the relationship's a lot more serious.

    That said, I'm much more tactile than Bill in public. When we were married, he went through a fair bit of anxiety about kissing in front of a large straight crowd, even though that crowd knew us and how long we'd been together and deep the relationship is. Heheh, when the moment came, and there were several with all those ringing wine glasses (wicked Moms, lol) he surprised me by going for it full barrel.

    xo -Doug
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:13 PM GMT
    EasilyDistracted saidSo I was hoping for some perspective.
    I'm dating a guy who is a really great guy, he's funny, fun, the sex rocks, he owns a successful restaurant, just opened a second one, is handsome, social and communicative. Most of the time he seems into me, sometimes he treats me like a leper.

    In public he frequently pulls away from me when I reach to hold his hand or hug him. I get that some people are not into public displays of affection but I've never dated someone who was so PDA averse and I don't know if I can not take it personal.

    Every guy I've ever dated has been very socially demonstrative about being with me. I'm used to being paraded and shown off, I guess I'm used to it and kind of like it so when the guy I'm dating pushes my hand away when I just try to hold it while we walk it confuses me and I feel like I've done something wrong.

    I come from a very tactile family, I've traveled to a lot of places where men walk arm and arm. I walk arm and arm with most of my friends, men and women and I'm starting to be freaked out by his aversion to me and while I know it's not about me, I'm fighting the feeling that he's ashamed or embarrassed to be seen with me but it's making me not want to go out in public with him... it's making me question whether I want to even continue seeing him.


    Here's something you should perceive: if you continue to be so clingy, you're going to piss him off. Take the hint. HE DOESN'T LIKE IT. QUIT being an asshole by pushing it. Jeeze. Relationships aren't all about you. Quit being so selfish.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 07, 2010 1:19 PM GMT
    Interesting discussion and I certainly agree with some of whats been said here.

    I really want you to consider the fact that he may well "value you" and is very proud of the fact he is dating you, but doesn't feel the need to "parade your around" and as far as public displays, maybe it just isn't something he's into. He might consider it a private thing. I can tell you, I doubt I'd be into walking hand in hand with my bf down the mall in Wichita, KS particularly, not because I not into him (or anybody else), it probably just wouldn't be something with which I'd be comfortable. I'm certainly not
    adverse to hand holding or romance nor do I have a "gay complex"... there are just some things individuals are into and some no.

    I'd just have a conversation with him and voice your thoughts, you might come to a successful conclusion with a simple talk.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:22 PM GMT
    Right on Chuck..

    You're pushing the envelope with him back off. He's told you by his gestures he doesn't want you doing it so why are you not listening.

    I come from a family of "non-huggers". etc We/I physically recoil when people come up to give us a hug.. SERIOUSLY. Yet we're a very close knit family

    Now some of the younger new in-laws come onto the scene and at every family occasion, arriving, departing etc they instantly jump up for hugs...geeezuz
    Where the fuck does all this "hugging" come from anyways. It never used to be that way and just the last few years everyones wanting to hug everyone they meet.. Did I miss an episode of Friends or something..
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    Whether I'm dating women, or men, I think that some things are best left private. It's not a "gay thing", but, rather, a matter of good taste, and comfort zones. I can't stand someone clinging on me while I'm trying to conduct business, or in a situation where I don't think such things are appropriate. Having a sense of decorum is never bad. Folks don't need to be hanging all over each other in public, gay, or not. Rent a room if you need that.

    I'm one of those folks that isn't uptight about someone being in close proximity and I'll often touch someone on the shoulder to get their attention (as well as saying their name several times), or to demonstrate a level of comfort with that person such as being a good business associate, or good friend, but, regardless of gender, or sexual preference, all the hand holding, and hanging all over each other is not appropriate in most times and places.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 07, 2010 1:27 PM GMT
    I'm not very touchy or huggy, but I've been trying to be better. I've been told I put out a very distinct 'don't touch me' vibe, which does make me a little sad.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:27 PM GMT
    beneful1 saidRight on Chuck..

    You're pushing the envelope with him back off. He's told you by his gestures he doesn't want you doing it so why are you not listening.

    I come from a family of "non-huggers". etc We/I physically recoil when people come up to give us a hug.. SERIOUSLY. Yet we're a very close knit family

    Now some of the younger new in-laws come onto the scene and at every family occasion, arriving, departing etc they instantly jump up for hugs...geeezuz
    Where the fuck does all this "hugging" come from anyways. It never used to be that way and just the last few years everyones wanting to hug everyone they meet.. Did I miss an episode of Friends or something..


    No child left behind, etc., etc., etc. Lovefest, etc.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:43 PM GMT

    It could also be because the BF sees PDAs as being demonstrative of, or something reserved for complete commitment and this relationship isn't there......yet.

    -Doug

    PS Sometimes the more a person pushes demonstrative, the more the other pulls back.
    Think of two hands pressing together in a praying position. Then one hand pushes and the other gives way. If the pushing hand stops, then pulls back a little, the other hand moves forward to maintain contact..

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:49 PM GMT
    "In public he frequently pulls away from me when I reach to hold his hand or hug him."

    I have a hunch that maybe you're not telling us the whole story. I'm going out on a limb, but maybe your hands are dry and cracked or have liver spots. If that is the case (and I'm not saying it is, ahem), consider a simple cream and that man'll be melting like butter every time you touch him with your soft and supple skinned hands.
    Ponds_clarant_cream_for_oily_skin_377853
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:50 PM GMT
    If he doesn't like PDA, stop pushing the issue...Holding hands is a personal issue, either he likes it or he doesn't..You can't change people....I think the more critical issue is your comment about your feeling like a leper, thats never good, can you expand on this?
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    Apr 07, 2010 1:55 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]beneful1 said[/cite]Right on Chuck..


    I come from a family of "non-huggers". etc We/I physically recoil when people come up to give us a hug.. SERIOUSLY. Yet we're a very close knit family



    beneful1: My early years were similar to yours except we were not a close knit family.

    I sincerely hope you will give yourself the opportunity to experience friendship and warmth from people adding to your life with hugs and affection

    I do mean Seriously
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    Apr 07, 2010 2:05 PM GMT
    chuckystud saidHere's something you should perceive: if you continue to be so clingy, you're going to piss him off. Take the hint. HE DOESN'T LIKE IT. QUIT being an asshole by pushing it. Jeeze. Relationships aren't all about you. Quit being so selfish.


    Chucky again displays his truly astounding lack of understanding of humanoid relationships. Even Odo did a better job of it.

    odo7.jpg