Boyfriend Won't Cuddle

Q: My boyfriend hates to cuddle, and I don't know why. I love to cuddle but when I try to cuddle with him while we're watching TV, he'll get annoyed and tell me to get off him or he'll just plain move to sit somewhere else. He thinks that cuddling is a sign of insecurity. Is that true? -- Susanne, 21

Dr. Susan: Far from being a sign of insecurity, the urge to cuddle is often a mark of how bonded and affectionate you feel. The interesting thing is that we all have different needs for bodily contact, for touching and being touched, and the same childhood can have opposite results in an adult. If, as a little child, you didn't get held enough, you may end up craving constant contact with the person you love most. But someone else who had little physical affection shown to him as a child might grow up uncomfortable with such physical demonstrations. It's possible, of course, that he is the type who likes to focus single-mindedly on what he's watching on TV, and so he gets annoyed at anything you do that pulls him out of that, whether touching or talking or filing your nails or eating. If that's the only time he pushes you away, and he agrees that this is what's going on, see if you can find other times to cuddle. But to tell the truth, your boyfriend sounds particularly irritated by your need to be close at non-sexual times, for whatever reason, and I must warn you, he isn't likely to change much over time. If you have a high need for touching and cuddling, find a more affectionate partner. They're out there, I can assure you.

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