I decided to write this blog post after a friend and I saw this painting “The Lovers,” by René Magritte last weekend at the MoMa in NYC. This uniquely private display of affection got us talking about public displays of affection and how we both lean toward the conservative side when it comes to PDA, first date hugging, etc. As I was staring at the painting thinking: “This will be a good blog topic,” my friend said: “You should write about that for your next blog.” And that is how this blog entry was born.
That is one of those first date questions that seems super clear cut to me, but apparently not everyone agrees.
To me, hugging a guy within seconds of meeting him for the first time is weird and uncomfortable.
Many people are meeting blind dates or online dates for dinner, drinks or coffee, and often times one of them will go to hug or hug and kiss the other as a greeting.
Personally, when this happens to me, I recoil. Other times, I have gone along with it, but kept my distance.
Once, I remember meeting a guy for a drink and I just couldn’t do it. He came toward me to hug me and kiss me on the cheek. He smelled like cigarettes, and he wasn’t appealing to me at all physically, and I pulled away. Our 3-minute meeting - which took place standing in a bar area - was super awkward. I felt horrible about how it all played out.
When I pulled away, the guy looked real upset, like he was going to cry. I tried to apologize, saying something like: “I’m not a big hugger.” As I looked around the room, I noticed people were watching us, laughing, engrossed in the human drama playing out in front of them. I guess it was obvious exactly what was going on.
I texted a friend of mine when I got back into my car. “Am I weird for thinking this is weird?” I asked.
“I understand what you are saying,” she texted back. “Though personally it doesn’t bother me. The hugging and kissing the cheek thing is the norm in NYC.”
I have talked to other single friends about this and I have found opinions are mixed.
While I felt bad that the guy was so upset, I don’t know if I would have done anything different.I’m not sure this “hugging” issue has a right or wrong answer.
I think it’s more about one’s comfort level. To me, it’s just weird to hug someone you have only known in person for like 2 seconds.
It is just one of many types of boundary scenarios you're going to encounter while dating. While it’s important to be easy to be with, you do need to stick up for yourself and have good boundaries.
Sometimes boundaries can be tricky, and enforcing them isn’t always pretty. Sticking up for yourself isn’t always going to be popular.
Now, I would love to hear from you.
How do you feel about hugging someone you just met on a blind date? Would love to hear everyone’s take on this.
Please post your comments below.
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