Q: I've been dating a really fantastic guy for a few weeks, and I'm very excited! The but? He gives me little kisses on my forehead and cheek and head constantly. Those sweet gestures would be appreciated once or twice a day, but I am literally being mauled, like, every three or four minutes.
We're not teenagers — we're both pushing 30! I've tried to gently explain that I'm not into that much PDA, but I don't think he understands that I cringe when I see him going for my forehead. How do I explain to this really amazingly sweet guy that he needs to cut it out?
Feeling Mauled by Sweet Gestures
A: You just do. "I like you a lot, but I am not comfortable with the constant little kisses."
I doubt this will fix it, though. For one, "cringe" and "really fantastic" give me cognitive dissonance. You sure you're "very excited"?
And, I think the way each of us shows affection is like our fingerprint, and hardly something we can change significantly based on a partner's taste. But even that may be beside the point: Each of us deserves to be with someone who appreciates our way of showing love.
But, that's me. Your and his mileage may vary.
I'm also uncomfortable with his being this kissy after "a few weeks," and this undeterred by your "not into that much PDA" remark. Yikes. Some couples catch fire quickly, but you apparently haven't — he's all in and you're all, ew. Maybe he's just more into you, but maybe he's pushing intimacy too soon, and that's an abuser's trademark.
So, speak up without fear that doing so is "mean." Asserting yourself is how you find out whether you're right for each other, and better now than "gently explaining" yourself into a trap.