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I have this friend and I am very confused by how much they initiate touch with me. The situation is confusing & complicated for me. Let me explain.

Community Member

Hi everyone,

I have this friend and I am very confused by how much they initiate touch with me. The situation is confusing and complicated for me. Let me explain.

Firstly, I'll elaborate on what I mean by touch. I'm talking about hugs, side hugs, tickling, they throw their arm over my shoulder (because I'm short enough for them to comfortably do that), back hugs and hand holding (only that one time though).

So, it's confusing because I didn't know they were such a touchy person? I knew them in high school and I didn't think they seemed like that but maybe it's because they're more comfortable with me? I do worry that it might be because I mentioned that I like physical affection in a conversation once because it kind of started happening since then.

It's complicated even more by the fact that I enjoy these moments and gestures. It feels nice and comforting. So I don't want to ask why they're doing it because I'm scared it might stop. I'm willing to not know the reasons why if I know the boundaries of what were doing. How often can I do it? How far can I take these touches and gestures (like can we cuddle or hold hands sometimes)? How long can they last for? Because them having their arm over my shoulder and me holding on to the hand draped over my shoulder is very comfy and nice. I can hold that position for a long time. But I don't know what they're opinion or thoughts on this because I'm too scared to mention it to them and make it awkward. I'm also not very articulate or clear in what I say sometimes so it complicates conversations a lot.

Also, sometimes I get a hot/cold vibe from them because they'll back hug me and they're chill. But then when I'm cuddling into their side on the couch they'll tickle me and I just feel like the action is telling me to get off??

Oh my god, I don't think I made much sense at all. Ultimately, I just want to know what I should do in order to address these concerns(?)/thoughts(??) of mine.

Feel free to ask me questions about stuff if something didn't make any sense.

2 Replies 2

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hey fleshblur,

Thank you for your post- and yes, I think your question makes sense!

I know it's probably not very helpful, but my advice is to talk to your friend. I think that's going to be the only way that you are going to get some answers. I get this isn't really something you want to do for fear of it being awkward or having it stop, but the alternative is just to guess or to go forever without knowing.. ?

Maybe you can have a think about what you would like to know or say to your friend beforehand so you can be more articulate.

With the boundaries, that's a good concern to have, but I'm not sure if that's an easy one to answer. If I was your friend, I'm not sure that I would be able to clarify - "Hey fleshblur, 5 mins is max" ha- it's more about judging and getting consent in the moment. That might be checking in "is this ok?" "do you want me to keep going?" or "how does this feel?"

I hope this helps a little! It's a tricky one, but I do think it's okay to be asking these questions and having this conversation even if it feels awkward.


Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Friendships form and develop on the basis that the association is mutually acceptable and supported.
Pair binding involves increased physical contact reciprocated in kind, ultimately leading relationships if emotions are strong enough and feelings are mutual.

But where is the personal connection if you are unable to express your feelings? This certainly applies to strong friendships, but is integral to engaging on any deeper emotional level.

The premise of close friendships is openness and feeling comfortable in all respects of being together - without apprehension or intimidation on either side. This reinforces the bond to long lasting associations.

The status of your friendship sounds ambiguous and any progression (including the current situation) may need clarification for where each of you are in this stage of development to save any hurt feelings further down the track.