Style Sex & Relationships

Monday 22 September 2014

My guy is fantastic, but I wish he'd stop kissing me in public

Dear Mary

Published 17/08/2014 | 00:00

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A reader is unhappy about her boyfriend's public affection.

Q I've been dating a really fantastic guy for a few weeks, and I'm very excited! But there is a problem. He gives me little kisses on my forehead and 
cheek and head constantly. Those sweet gestures would be appreciated once or twice a day, but I am literally being mauled, like, every three or four minutes.

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We're not teenagers - we're both pushing 30! I've tried to gently explain that I'm not into that much PDA, but I don't think he understands that I 
cringe when I see him going for my forehead. How do I explain to this really amazingly sweet guy that he needs to cut it out? He also wants us to be together all the time when I'm not at work and this means that I am having very little time for my girlfriends and other activities. But I don't want to push him away either - my last relationship ended badly and I'm in need of some tender loving care.

Mary replies: You've already told him that you are not keen on public displays of affection and he hasn't listened, or perhaps 
he hasn't actually heard you. So you need to say it again more strongly. Tell him that even though you like him a lot you are very uncomfortable with all the excessive kissing. Because it is excessive no matter what he feels about you.

However, I'm uneasy about a few things. Firstly, are you really sure that you are all that much into this guy? It sounds somehow wrong to be speaking so highly of him and at the same time to be using words like 'cringe' and 'mauled'.

Secondly, we all have different ways of showing emotion, and he is obviously used to showing his easily, and is unlikely to change. He really is being very intimate very early in the relationship, despite your protestations, which makes me think even more that this is just the norm for him and is likely to continue as it is very difficult to change behaviour that comes so naturally. It is part of his DNA.

If he finds it impossible to change then you really will have to think about calling it a day. If you are with him for, say, four hours then that means that you will have 'cringed' at least 60 times. That certainly doesn't sound like much fun to me.

Ask yourself what your immediate reaction was to my suggestion of 
you ending the relationship and you 
will know how you feel about him. If 
there was even a hint of relief then you know what you have to do.

If, on the other hand, you can't envision not having him in your life, then you will have to be much firmer than you have been up until now.

The last sentence of your letter says a lot. You have obviously been hurt badly and somebody paying you lots of attention is helping restore your self-esteem. You will just have to be sure that the price for all this is not too high.

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