Wedding Woes

Classic: Not a hugger.

I really dislike hugging my parents and family and have no idea how to tell them that it makes me very uncomfortable and anxious. When I was younger, my mother was especially distant and rarely hugged me or told me “I love you.” My father was more open but was not around as much because of work commitments. Since they’ve gotten older, they seem to think this was not the case and that we have a close relationship (including lots of hugging), which simply does not exist for me. We’ve never been antagonistic toward each other, simply cold. I left at 18, joined the military, and have never lived with them again or been financially beholden to them. At most we text or talk every four or five months and see each other annually. I don’t want to be cruel, but when we do see each other in person, it’s exhausting to fake these feelings of affection in my 40s. How do I tell them that I do not have the same desire for physical interaction that they seem to have developed in recent years and would prefer to keep a physical distance with a handshake or just polite conversation?

Re: Classic: Not a hugger.

  • Yeah I have no idea how you’d bring that up? I’m not a hugger either but I’ll do it.  Sounds like LW gets anxiety from it! 

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