Girlfriend or Girl Friend, Part 3


by The 4-Way Panel

Dear 4-Way,

I have a girlfriend that I’m casually seeing and we get together occasionally. Things can be fun and hot when we’re together, but there’s one thing. She’s had some trauma in the past (which we haven’t really delved into), and wants nothing to do with touching me. (No hands, and forget about mouth.) It’s OK for the most part, but it’s become clear things aren’t going to change. Any thoughts on what I should do? A guy needs some love.—GQ

Chris    The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy

In keeping with your generic third-person referencing, I’m going to say that a guy needs to go elsewhere to get some love.

Your case is a bit strange to me because you say you and the girl are casual and get together occasionally, yet you know an incredibly personal thing: She’s experienced some trauma in the past. It seems like something you shouldn’t really know about if you’re so casual. I’m thinking that she’s using the trauma—real or not—as a barrier between you two.

Does she see anyone else? And more important, does she “touch” anyone else? The answers to these questions would tell us if she really has issues with her past and can’t be intimate with anyone, or just you.

Let’s assume she’s not making up the fact that there’s been some abuse in her past. She obviously needs professional help. It could be a long process for her to feel comfortable touching anyone else while she works through this. Dealing with someone who’s been abused may be more than you bargained for in your casual relationship. Are you willing to wait around and be there for her during all this?

Let’s say, in your fantasy, you help her through that abusive past. You help her get help. You hold her hand while she talks about the bad stuff and give her tissues with the other hand while she cries it out. All the while, you’re hoping she’ll put her hands on you in the near future.

She’ll feel comfortable and get through it all because of you. She’ll owe her recovery to you and to top it off, she’ll unleash her sexuality on you. That sound good to you? Could happen, but it probably won’t.

This sounds like something pretty serious and the healing process could take a very long time. I doubt you’re ready to go through this with her just so a guy can get a little love. And who’s to say that she won’t get through this and realize that you’re not the guy for her?

Back to the third-person referencing, a guy and this girl both need some love. … I just don’t think at this point they’re going to find it together.

Check in tomorrow to read the gay woman’s perspective by Jody Fischer.

The 4-Way is published monthly. If you have a question for our 4-Way panel, please send it to them in care of the editor at To read more of The 4-Way columns or to listen to our podcasts, visit The 4-Way now.

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