Dear Whys Guy: "Help! My Guy Hates Affection in Public!"

By Aaron Traister, REDBOOK


Why does my guy hate PDA? And no, I don't mean making out in public- I don't like that either. I mean simple things like holding hands, hugging, and maybe a quick peck here and there.

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Sometimes while we're out together with other people around, I try to give him a quick kiss just so he knows I'm enjoying the moment. But he pulls away and say things like, "Not right now." When I try to hold hands while we're walking, it never lasts more than a minute, then he lets go. Sometimes he'll put his arm around me in a not-so-public setting, like in his living room or with his family, but as soon as a family member walks into the room, he quickly removes it as if he's afraid to get caught. We've been dating for almost two years, and this still bothers me. It feels like a rejection. I haven't really brought up the subject with him to avoid starting an unnecessary argument, but if I were to, what's the best way to bring it up?

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Why does a conversation about boundary issues have to end in an argument? Don't come at him about feeling rejected, and don't make it into an argument about something he's doing to you, because he's not. This set of boundaries that have nothing to do with you. Do you think if he was with another woman he'd be all over her in public? Did he not have these boundaries when you first started dating? You can and should talk to him about his boundaries. You can even try to get him to loosen up in time, but all you need to do at first is really understand where he's coming from-and that's not about fighting or arguing but simply about listening.


Need help decoding odd male behavior? Redbook columnist Aaron Traister, who lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two kids, is our resident male who is happy to answer any questions you might have about the mind of a man. Either leave your questions in the comments or email him at with Whys Guy in the subject. Letters, emails, and comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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