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Free spirit and Conservative - Relationship advice?

 
 
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:13 am
I recently entered into a relationship where the girl is highly affectionate to people around her, whether they are male or female. She likes to cuddle with men, hug, flirt, hold hands, and sometimes kiss their cheek or peck lips on the off chance. I am very much the opposite and usually consider those things to be intimate and something you only do with your partner.

When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?
 
View best answer, chosen by RealEyes
Krumple
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:38 am
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:

I recently entered into a relationship where the girl is highly affectionate to people around her, whether they are male or female. She likes to cuddle with men, hug, flirt, hold hands, and sometimes kiss their cheek or peck lips on the off chance. I am very much the opposite and usually consider those things to be intimate and something you only do with your partner.

When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?


if it bothers you enough that you feel the need to mention it then it is always a good idea to mention it to her. if she cares about your thoughts then she will either consider it and perhaps change while you are around her or refuse to change. but to be honest, i don't think a relationship between a highly affectionate person and one more reserved will ever actually work because it won't bother her but it will always bother you. However if you can accept it for what it is, then there's no need to mention it to her but that requires that you figure out why it is bothering you. if her intentions are innocent and only friendly, why does it matter to you?
plainoldme
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:21 am
If any one knows of behaviors that are not to their liking, that person should state them to their partner, particularly when the relationship is new.

I would advise you to be gentle and polite in your statement. Don't come down like the Old Testament god upon her and don't whine. Simply say that you have a concern and tell her what it is. Make sure that the two of you talk about it.
0 Replies
 
Khethil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:28 am
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:
I recently entered into a relationship where the girl is highly affectionate to people around her, whether they are male or female. She likes to cuddle with men, hug, flirt, hold hands, and sometimes kiss their cheek or peck lips on the off chance.

Yea I know the type - affection flies everywhere, like feathers burst from a pillow fight; it lands on whomever's there.

RealEyes wrote:
When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?

I'd say neither. Either you're ok with it (in that you accept it, try and take it for what it seems to be, etc.) or move on. The thing is, any attempt to try and change her; guilt, goad or push her into changing this behavior is likely to backfire into resentment.

I'd say use the "Take it or Leave it"-approach. Good luck!
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:42 am
@RealEyes,
Quote:
I recently entered into a relationship where the girl is highly affectionate to people around her, whether they are male or female. She likes to cuddle with men, hug, flirt, hold hands, and sometimes kiss their cheek or peck lips on the off chance. I am very much the opposite and usually consider those things to be intimate and something you only do with your partner.

For me, it'd depend on how genuine you perceived her motives for doing these things to be. She likes to flirt with males and females and in your presence? I wouldn't call that being 'free spirited'.
How do the males and females react when she does these things?

The reason I ask is because my sister has a neighbor who I have come to regard as a friend because I see her every time I visit my sister about three or four times a year. I really like this woman- but on occasion she has behaved in exactly the fashion you describe - even to me- another woman. This woman is smart, interesting to talk to, and I would have said simply open, warm, friendly and what I would call free-spirited until the time I saw her really drunk and she came and sat in my lap and told her husband to take a picture of her kissing me (in front of our KIDS and her husband at a neighborhood barbecue).

She was stroking my hair and saying, 'Everytime I see you, I like you more...' and I was like, 'O-kay...let's back up a minute here...'
I'm a very openly affectionate person - within reason - but that made me very uncomfortable so after she got off my lap I said to my sister, 'Wow - what was THAT all about?'
She said that this woman had been sexually abused as a child and had inappropriate boundaries as far as those things went.
So now I just sort of pat her hand and then hold it when she comes near me as a way to forestall any unwanted petting.
But now that I understand the back story, we get along great!

Quote:
When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?

I don't know how the conservative deals with it - but as a free spirit when I start to feel constricted and constrained by someone- I go somewhere else. I can't stand to feel boxed in by someone else's view of what is appropriate for me to do, and exactly how and when.
Talk with her about it now - because you'll probably end up bugging her as much as she's obviously bugging you.
Maybe you guys should find other partners.




RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:15 am
@aidan,
@at everyone, thanks for the advice.

@aidan, I think I need more insight into what goes through the mind of an affectionate person, because she was in fact sexually 'abused' when she was younger. Sometimes I think her behaviour is a symptom of that but it's not my business and I don't want to impose on who she is.

The strange part is that she wants to control who I surround myself with, and I don't know what she's thinking. How can a free-spirit expect to cast limitations for her comfort zone but not abide by my limitations for mine? Of course moving along is probably the best answer, but I really wish I understood why she's like the way she is.

I think the problem is I don't know what she needs, and if I do let her indulge in her nature, why does she want me to have restrictions? I don't understand what that type of person is thinking.
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:23 am
@Krumple,
Krumple wrote:
if her intentions are innocent and only friendly, why does it matter to you?


Good question, and the reason is because I want to feel like a boyfriend, not just a friend she spends a lot of time with. When she acts like a free-spirit, aside from sexual things, it doesn't feel like there is any difference between being with her or just being friends.

I don't really stand to lose that much by breaking up with her, but I was hoping to build some sort of intimate connection with her. I just don't know what she needs (or wants) in order to feel that way. When I think of committing to someone, I think of giving up the right to do certain things with other people. I don't know what really matters to her.
0 Replies
 
A Lyn Fei
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:40 am
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:

@at everyone, thanks for the advice.

@aidan, I think I need more insight into what goes through the mind of an affectionate person, because she was in fact sexually 'abused' when she was younger. Sometimes I think her behaviour is a symptom of that but it's not my business and I don't want to impose on who she is.

The strange part is that she wants to control who I surround myself with, and I don't know what she's thinking. How can a free-spirit expect to cast limitations for her comfort zone but not abide by my limitations for mine? Of course moving along is probably the best answer, but I really wish I understood why she's like the way she is.

I think the problem is I don't know what she needs, and if I do let her indulge in her nature, why does she want me to have restrictions? I don't understand what that type of person is thinking.


I am this type of girl who is very affectionate with both men and women, yet I feel extremely protective of my boyfriend and dislike when he crosses the boundaries I request, even though I cross the boundaries he requests.
I wish, as this type of person, I can give you a tiny piece of insight. Why I do what I do is for a general lack of security. Not to get too much into detail, I will just say that my family has many issues with love and sexual boundaries. This has caused me to feel that if I am not extremely affectionate with my friends, I will lose them. Logically, I know this is not the case, but I react on instinct.
Also, logically, I understand that my boyfriend should have the same boundaries, or lack thereof, as I do. I try very hard not to restrict his actions even though I feel unhappy when he does.
To me, from rereading my statements, it sounds like my more conservative boyfriend and my free-spirit self should not be together. This is just not the case. We figured out some time ago that we can be completely comfortable with the other as long as he meets my need for affection, and as long as I never step over "friendly" limits with other people. The result has been an extremely successful relationship because we balance each other out.
My advice is that this is the best kind of relationship as long as there is ample, very rational, conversation about any uncomfortable behavior.
RealEyes
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:33 pm
@A Lyn Fei,
Thank you Smile

It's nice to hear a vote of confidence for that kind of relationship. I'm curious though, in your experiences as that kind of a person, did you ever try to hide the fact you were in a relationship so that you could keep guy friends?
A Lyn Fei
  Selected Answer
 
  2  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 03:55 pm
@RealEyes,
Haha... oh dear. For your sake I will tell you the truth, though it is something I am ashamed of. Yes, in past relationships I have hidden the fact that I had committed myself to someone from my guy friends in order to keep their affection. It never ended well, as you can imagine. Boyfriends don't like it when your guy friend don't know that you're taken. But, in my current, successful relationship, since my boyfriend is a bit conservative and extremely trustworthy, I haven't done this to him. A week after we started dating I realized that he might be the only guy on earth who is trustworthy enough to be completely honest with and honest about.
So, I suppose you should ask yourself, are you such a trustworthy guy? Because if you are I'd venture a guess that this girl of yours will be honest about dating you. If that was the reason for your question in the first place Smile
0 Replies
 
MARYALAN
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 06:42 pm
@RealEyes,
You know what...a load of things passed my mind as I read your post. I am not a touchy feely type of person myself but would put that down to my upbringing. I have come across people such as your girlfriend during the years and sometimes felt uncomfortable with their affections. Following that I wondered to myself if I am somewhat stilted or more reserved due to my upbringing and perhaps that is the only difference between me and such other affectionate people. Personally I would advice you not to put too much emphasis on how she displays her emotions with others in your company. She could be one of those lovable people who just feels the moment as they arise and doesnt mark it as a committment thing like she has with you??? Dont set any limitations as you might learn something from her with regard to relaxing towards others in your life that you come across each day. You should talk to your girlfriend as to her feelings towards people she meets and as to what she feels about them. Are these people strangers she has just met or perhaps people she knows previously? If they are strangers she has just met.......well ask why she would be so forward with them.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  1  
Reply Thu 17 Jun, 2010 07:06 pm
@RealEyes,
Quote:
When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act?


No, you don't have the right to set limitations on the other's actions. You do, however, have the right to set limits on what YOU will accept in behavior of the other. You do, however, have the right to voice those limits you will accept and the consequences when those limits are crossed. You do have the right to choose whether or not it is worth it to you to move the location of those acceptable limits and consequences in order to maintain the relationship with the other.

0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  3  
Reply Fri 18 Jun, 2010 10:38 pm
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:
When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?

First of all, I wouldn't frame it in terms of labels like "free spirit vs. conservative". That will only serve to pidgeonhole the two of you. I also wouldn't frame it in terms of "rights" and "setting limitations". Your intention isn't to win a trial against her. It's to negotiate terms to make your relationship work for the both of you. And that's the way I'd frame it.

"Sweety, I'd like to talk with you about boundaries. I understand that when it comes to body contact with others, you're less inhibited than I am. (Expand a bit perhaps.) But when I see you cuddle with other men, kiss them on the cheek, and occasionaly peck their mouths, it makes me feel _______ (fill in the blank). In the future, would it be possible for you to ________? (Fill in the blank to tell her what you'd like her to do about it.) That way, we could ________ . (Fill in the blank to show her how your suggestion would lead to an outcome that would make both of you happier.)"

Good luck!
0 Replies
 
YOUNEED2GETAHOBBY
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Aug, 2010 12:18 am
@RealEyes,
HI,
OIL AND WATER DON'T MIX. IF IT'S ANNOYING YOU IN THE FORMATIVE STAGES OF THIS RELATIONSHIP, THEN IT'S GOING TO REALLY ANNOY THE HELL OUT OF YOU LATER. IT'S ALMOST LIKE SHE'S SO AFFECTIONATE TO OTHERS, THAT YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING WHERE ON THE HIERARCHY OF LOVE YOU BELONG. IF YOU CAN LIVE WITH AND CELEBRATE HER ECCENTRICITIES AND ABUNDANT AFFECTION, THEN BY ALL MEANS EMBRACE THE RELATIONSHIP. IF YOU CAN'T, MOVE ON--IT'S NOT A FREE SPIRIT/CONSERVATIVE PARADIGM--LOVE DOESNT WORK THAT WAY. DON'T TRY TO CHANGE HER--IF YOU TOTALLY LOVE HER, THEN YOU MUST LOVE THE WAY SHE BEHAVES AFFECTIONATELY AROUND OTHERS, INCLUDING MEN. PERSONALLY, I'M NOT THAT SECURE--OR BLIND, BUT THEN AGAIN, I'M A GAY MAN. YOU KNOW WHAT? HONESTLY, I APPRECIATE GENUINELY AFFECTIONATE PEOPLE, BUT IF THERE IS A HINT OF ARTIFACE IN THIS FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE, I WOULD BEWARE. THIS COULD BE A RED FLAG. I'D RUN LIKE HELL IF YOU THINK SO. I WISH YOU WELL--YOU SOUND LIKE A THOUGHFUL PERSON. BEST OF LUCK!
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  0  
Reply Sun 8 Aug, 2010 12:39 am
@RealEyes,
RealEyes wrote:
I recently entered into a relationship where the girl is highly affectionate to people around her, whether they are male or female. She likes to cuddle with men, hug, flirt, hold hands, and sometimes kiss their cheek or peck lips on the off chance. I am very much the opposite and usually consider those things to be intimate and something you only do with your partner.

When a free spirit and a conservative clash, does the conservative have the right to set any limitations on the free spirit's usual act? Or should he box it up and learn to not care?
The person who cares LEAST about the relationship will control it.

That includes EVERYTHING, in ALL relationships, not just lovers.





David
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