Tuesday, March 1

Proximity to Girls. And Closer.

My Blog Fast: Day 1

I'm not going to blog today. I actually wrote this post yesterday, along with the posts for tomorrow, and Thursday. I have a lot on my plate right now, and so I'm doing a blog fast (along with a normal one) to focus my thoughts. It simply entails not reading or writing any blogs and not checking my blog-related emails for a few days.

Why? It was a thought I had, and I need all the help I can get right now. I decided to try it. There isn't really a reason why.

But that's fine - on to the post.

Part of the issue of not being attracted to girls is the awkwardness of being physically near them. It's like when they had cooties all over again, except way, way worse... and no chance of ever growing out of it.

I have a friend who recently expressed her frustration because I never touch her. She's totally right - I don't. In my mind there's a reason... but I am contemplating change.

I've never actually had a huge problem touching girls; the issue comes when I think about the nonverbal social messages that come with touch. Hug at the end of an encounter = I really enjoy being in your company. Hug at the end of a date = I feel really comfortable with you. More hugs at the end of dates = I must really like hugging you... and so on.

I can't even imagine the messages that get sent from cuddling on the couch... but, wait a second. I'm being a bit unreasonable. Actually thinking about it, the underlying social messages can't
be all that intense. Guys cuddle with girls all the time and then never talk to each other again. Hey - they have makeout sessions and never talk to each other again.

So why am I so concerned about sending the wrong messages?

I think that part of it is wanting to be completely honest with girls. If I'm uncomfortable with my arm around a girl, I probably won't put my arm around her. And I probably won't kiss her at the doorway. More like a definite no on that one. I've made way too many girls cry already to do anything that would lead them on when our feelings aren't completely mutual.

But at the same time, physical proximity, and touch, are a vital way of developing attraction, and of showing I care about others. And touch plays a part even in friendship and totally nonromantic relationships. In the case of my friend, I find I'm unwilling even to hug girls until I know for sure that they have no glimmering hope that I'll fall in love with them. And while that may accurately express my lack of romantic desire, being standoffish is a type of disapproval that can really hurt.

So I guess that I've decided to change two things in my life. Sort of scary. I'll be more open with touch and other nonverbal ways to show I really do care when I'm around girls... and at the same time I'll be more vocal with girls who have romantic hopes to explain the meaning of what I do... and the realities of the difficulties of being more than my friend.

I'm not sure how this is going to work. I can already see myself with a girl on each arm watching a movie... and having major issues. But it's worth a try, right? Ready, set...


  1. Guys who distribute hugs super freely have way fewer issues with girls thinking they are romantically interested all the time. At least, if the girls are smart.

  2. I have that same problem, well more like I just feel really uncomfortable getting too close to ,or touching a girl. I once told some friends that, but they just thought something was wrong with me. It is nice to know that I am not the only one like that.

  3. I admire the courage you are displaying by stepping out of your comfort zone. That is not easy and I think it's awesome. Not that you need validation from me. But validation is nice to have.

  4. GMG, I have found that gay or straight, touching can be an issue, especially in our society (America, 21st Century). Touching has many meanings. I sometimes feel awkward hugging my spouse and kids. Sexual touching is one thing, but many of us feel weird expressing just affection. I think it is a partial cause of lots of sexual hangups in the world.

  5. It's been over two weeks now. How is it working out for you?

    Also have you considered that having your blog makes it so that women don't like you? (kiss and tell blogs are bad for business buddy!)

    Have you considered that writing in a paper journal might be a better more private way of doing this?

    Have you considered that you wouldn't have a tell a girl about your blog if it wasn't here?

    Just think about it!

  6. Anonymous #2

    It's actually going pretty well. Two weeks definitely doesn't make a longitudinal study though, at least not one with very useful data, so the test will be over the much longer term - to see how it affects relationships as a whole.

    Um... and my blog is anonymous. So girls have no idea that I am writing it... which means it has little or no impact on our relationship. There are a few girls I know who do read the blog, but all of them have left positive, non-anonymous comments (hence the knowledge that they read it)... and obviously my writing style, story, and personality are common enough that I've had tons of people convinced I was someone else.

    As far as telling a girl about it, I'm not afraid of that. I'm more concerned about finding a girl who can accept some of my other quirks than one who can love a guy who stays up late into the night helping people apply the gospel in their lives. In the beginning, this blog may have been something I wouldn't want to share. But today it represents my love for the gospel... And the reality of the Atonement in our lives.

    And the paper journal question I didn't really understand. This blog isn't for me. I didn't start blogging to let out steam or comment on the world or even to have a creative outlet. I don't blog to sort through my feelings or to bouce ideas off of the world at large or to pump nmy self-esteem. While many of those happen on occassion, I blog because there are people in the world who need hope, and help, and faith... and for whatever reason, God gave me the ability to put two words together and spiritual experiences... and He told me to write. So I write. And, somehow, God inspires me and something I write touches people all over the world. But even if it were only one person - the first person who shared with me their own story of success - it would be worth it. It is worth it. And so I write. And until He tells me to stop, I'll keep writing.

    Take care, anonymous. You may not have my trials, but I hope the source of your pessimism goes away... or that you gain the strength to overcome it.

  7. It's a month in and I hope you're seeing gradual progress :) Hopefully at some point you will meet a girl who is attractive to you in the most important ways (soul to soul) and the physical desire to be close to her because of who she is will make it easier for you to overlook gender and other issues. Hopefully. I think you are courageous and I commend you for putting yourself out there - in that way, and this (your blog).

  8. It is unique how much this post made me laugh. Not to mock you, but rather because my experience with physical touch is so opposite and yet similar. Freely expressing appreciation and enjoying physical closeness with both guys and girls throughout my life created so many DIFFICULT situations when I really started dating. After some experiences with cuddling followed by lack of communication and even dating and "making out" without communication I have firmly decided that communication is better. Plus I felt dishonest by sharing those things without actually feeling the way I knew I was communicating.
    I would highly encourage you to not worry so much about what the messages your hugs, touches on arm, or other casual forms of physical interaction mean to a person. Truthfully it's the length of the hug that carries significance. But as a girl who loves physical closeness, I would love it if guys would actually communicate before or immediately after initiating physical expressions of affection. It's awkward...so let's talk about it. :)
    The media treatment of sexuality compared to the teachings of the church is a stark contrast. I was taught by a wise bishop about the beauty of sexual intimacy and it's purpose in Heavenly Father's plan to bring joy to a marriage. Having that understanding and knowing that I am not evil for being physically moved by expressions of affection brought me a great deal of peace. It's through the promptings of the Spirit, true respect for those we interact with, and communication that we can avoid giving the wrong impression.
    Best of Luck with your goal!


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