Some people are naturally affectionate and will hug and kiss just about everyone they meet.

Some people are naturally affectionate and will hug and kiss just about everyone they meet.

My girlfriend kisses and hugs her friends when she greets them. It makes me uncomfortable and jealous when she kisses her male friends on the lips. I think it is unnecessary. Should I tell her to stop?

Of course not. Hugs and kisses between platonic friends are not sexual. What reason do you have to be jealous? She is not being unfaithful. She is not being secretive. She does this right in front of you. Her values are simply different to yours.

You believe she should not show physical affection to anyone but you. She thinks non-sexual hugs and kisses are perfectly natural.

People who greet with a hug and kiss are comfortable showing physical affection towards their friends. Plenty of people do this. Where this is the usual mode of greeting, friends expect to be greeted with a kiss. Frequently this kiss is on the lips. The kiss is usually light and brief. Such people consider this type of platonic kiss as natural and normal.

You have come from a different environment. Physical affection was not common. People from your family and friends were reserved. Perhaps they are generally shy. More likely they are just not comfortable expressing emotions in a physical way. That is, unless the two people expressing physical affection are partners. Then physical contact is allowed.

Have you wondered why are you attracted to this girl?

If you really think about it, you’ll realise it’s because she is so expressive. The people we are usually attracted to have qualities we lack. Deep down, we want to be more like them. We hope some of their magic will rub off on us.

It’s not so easy, of course. What attracts us often also disturbs us. Right now, you feel threatened by your girlfriend’s behaviour. You want to keep her warmth and affection for yourself. But that is never going to work. She was born emotionally expressive and she is always going to be this way. You cannot dictate how she interacts with her friends.

Relationships in our contemporary world only last if we are allowed to be ourselves. Most people want a partner who loves them the way they are. They don’t want to have to pretend to be someone they are not. In any case, pretending is only temporary. Sooner or later, the pretender gets tired of acting and reverts back to her real self.

It’s better to each be yourself and work out early whether or not you are compatible. You need to work out what you want. Do you want a partner who is fundamentally warm, and physically expressive?

Your girlfriend’s loving, open nature cannot be exclusive. She will be affectionate with her friends. You are quite within your rights to insist that she be sexually faithful. That means no sexual contact with anyone but you. She will be perfectly happy to comply with this restriction. Ask her. You will find it is a part of her personal value system.

If you don’t like who she is, let her go. Find someone like you. Someone who is cool, constrained and emotionally conservative.

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