A few weeks ago I started dating someone. This is my first real relationship and I’m really into him. The only problem is, I know he wants to kiss me soon and I feel super weird about it. I’m not a touchy-feely person – I rarely even hug people let alone touch mouths. How do I communicate to him that I’d like to wait longer, maybe a lot longer, before being physical, without making him think I don’t like him?
Can’t touch this
Dear Can’t Touch,
It is perfectly natural to be wary of starting a physical relationship. First off, try not to feel guilty about your hesitancy. Societal pressure, and pressure of any kind, to make your relationship look like others is not very useful and usually just makes us feel like crap.
Many people see the physical side of the relationship as an integral part of being with a romantic partner. This does not necessarily have to be the case. Asexuality (people who experience little to no sexual attraction) is experiencing better recognition as a valid sexual orientation more every day. One in every hundred people identify as asexual, according to a 2015 study in The Journal of Sex Research. Whether or not you identify with this orientation, people who are not feeling strong sexual attraction have found emotional support within asexual communities.
Make it clear through your words and actions that you do like him. Be as honest as you can be. You may want to wait until it gets a little closer to him kissing you to tell him. He may not understand or he may try to pressure you into being physical. In that case, he probably isn’t the one for you. That being said, you may want to try kissing him as you get closer and more comfortable with him. Being vulnerable with someone you like is about more than just physicality so try not to close yourself off emotionally too soon.
Best of luck!