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Auntie SparkNotes: My Boyfriend Won't Touch Me

Auntie SparkNotes: My Boyfriend Won't Touch Me

Dear Auntie,
So. My boyfriend is fantastic. I really love him, we're super nerdy (although he won't watch Doctor Who,) and talk about everything together. We're best friends and he's the kind of guy I can be myself around. Plus, he knows when a vinyl is good or not. So it's a good, healthy, happy relationship.

The problem is that we've been together for SIX MONTHS and nothing has happened. On special occasions like when he's stressed for an exam or something I'll kiss his cheek and he blushes and it's adorable! But his lips have yet to touch me AT ALL and I'm lucky if I get an arm around my shoulders. He's also very emotionally pulled back, and doesn't keep promises.

So! What I'm really saying is.. I'm not so sure it's worth it. He's my best friend and even though he isn't physical, I've felt more just hugging him than I have making out with past guys. But sometimes I get really lonely and don't feel special because I never know how he feels. But I also know that no other girl is going to be willing to put in the work to make a relationship with him work if he's this withdrawn. Any advice on how to let him go or how to get him to be a little less frigid?

Sure! Actually, that part's pretty easy: first, you give him one last chance to stop being such a cold fish. And if he doesn't respond by warming up, or at least trying to meet you halfway, you salvage whatever there is to be learned from your failed relationship—in this case, that you can't be happy with a dude who's about as affectionate as a fencepost—and peace out in search of greener pastures.

Or in other words, you follow the same protocol that you would for any relationship on the rocks: you both communicate straightforwardly about your needs, and you see if you can't make it work. You can't "get" your guy to be anything, but you can tell him the truth: that you feel really lonely in this relationship, and that the lack of physical contact, for you, is a problem of the breakup-inducing variety. That's perfectly legitimate.

Of course, it would also be perfectly legitimate (albeit really weird) if, for him, his idea of a fulfilling romantic relationship involves broken promises, minimal intimacy, and zero physical contact. And if there's not enough overlap in the venn diagram of your respective relationship ideals to make... well, not a circle, necessarily, but at least a nice, fat oval, then you guys should probably call it quits.

That is, if you even want to bother trying to work this out at all. Because I hate to say this, Sparkler, but a relationship in which one party won't be affectionate, won't engage emotionally, and isn't even reliable about keeping his word, is not one you can describe as "good, healthy, happy." This might be a serviceable friendship, but as a romance? It kind of sucks. And while the ability to be yourself around him is a nice thing, it can't be the only thing. I mean, you can be yourself around a ham sandwich, but that doesn't mean it would be a good idea to date one.

So, before you start making the effort to fix your relationship's many issues, take a second to ask yourself whether it might be better to just change its title, trade a crappy boyfriend for a perfectly good friend, and decide from here on out that—shared taste in music and a mutual membership in the nerd brigade nonwithstanding—your bare minimum requirement for romance is that the guy in question actually wants to have one.

Have you ever dated a cold fish? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at
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Topics: Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, relationships, dating, awkward situations, boyfriends, making out

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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