10 reasons he is so touchy-feely with you (and how to respond)

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| Last Updated: September 16, 2022

Touch is one of the most powerful forms of communication between two people.

It can create a strong bond between them, but some men go overboard with it which can make you feel uncomfortable.

There’s nothing wrong with a hug, a touch on the face, or maybe holding hands with a guy you’re dating or friends with, but things might become complicated if he is excessively touchy-feely with you.

Here are 10 reasons why he’s like this and how to respond to him.

1) He is needy

An overly touchy-feely guy may be chasing validation.


Because he is needy, he craves reassurance. Instead of being attracted to him, you’re repulsed by his touchiness and clinginess.

The more that he pesters you for reassurance, the more you’ll want to distance yourself from him. Don’t get caught up in this game of validation and clinginess. It’s not worth it for the two of you.

He thinks that if he gets physical with you, he will feel better about himself. If you are interested in being with him, however, this won’t work. He will continue to demand validation from you and will never be satisfied with the relationship.

A needy man makes it impossible for you to have a simple conversation with him. He craves physical attention from you as he can’t handle being alone with his thoughts. If he needs constant reassurance, it’s not going to work for you in the long term.

2) His love language is physical touch

The five languages of love was developed by Dr. Gary Chapman and is a set of five simple ideas that can enhance relationships.

According to Dr. Chapman, people feel loved and cared for when they feel that their partner loves them in their own language:

  • words of affirmation (eg. “I love you”, “I will always be here for you”),
  • quality time (eg. paying attention to your special someone),
  • gifts (eg. buying presents for your loved one),
  • acts of service (eg. doing things for your relationship)
  • and the final language is physical touch.

With this, a touchy-feely guy will probably be expressing his love in this manner. He may be affectionate towards you in the hope that you will give him affection back.

His feelings for you are also likely to be more intense than normal. If you’re interested in being with him, he needs to learn how to express his love in other ways as well such as emotionally and verbally.

3) He is desperate to show his affection

Some men are naturally reserved when expressing their feelings towards a woman.

They feel embarrassed by the thought of letting their guard down and exposing their soft sides, especially in public. This is the reason these men express their feelings in a more physical way.

An overly touchy-feely guy may be trying to show you how much he wants to be with you. He feels that if he physically touches you all the time, he will get your attention and make you feel more attracted to him.

Being desperate is not a good look. A lot of women are turned off by it.

He may be just trying to impress you with his physical affection to get you to see him in a different light and fall for him harder. But sometimes, the opposite happens. If he’s too touchy-feely with you, your interest in him might drop.

4) He wants to be in control

Some men are naturally dominant and aggressive. They can’t help themselves and resort to physical affection as a way of asserting their authority on you.

He may be showing you his dominant personality by invading your personal space and touching you a lot. He’s probably trying to get control over the interaction, telling you that he is the “alpha male” or the leader of the relationship.

If a guy is always trying to hug you, massage your shoulders or touch your hair, he might be trying to control how you feel about him.

Perhaps you have just started seeing this guy and he’s still getting to know you better.

He may be trying to show you how much he cares about you by this physical attention, but if it’s not in the right context, it might come across as him trying to control how you feel about him.

He might want to overpower you by demonstrating that he can have physical control over you. He may not consciously realize that he is doing this, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

5) He wants to get to know you better

If a guy is continually touching you, he might want to be physically intimate with you. It could be that a hug or a pat on your shoulder makes him feel more comfortable and cared for.

It’s his way of saying, “I like spending time with you and I really want us to be close.”

Being touchy-feely might be his way of saying that he likes to get to know you better. He may have a hard time finding the words to express his feelings and this is the way he communicates them.

He doesn’t know how else to express it so he acts on instinct, touching your arm when you talk as an outlet for his emotions.

A lot of men do this, especially when they first meet a woman. They are still trying to break the ice with you and learn how to express themselves emotionally.

If you’re interested in him, he should stop overcompensating by being overly physical with you. Perhaps he’s trying to find common ground between the two of you. You see, he’s probably not just being touchy-feely with everybody.

6) He is insecure

Most people notice that the overly touchy-feely guys are usually insecure and have low self-esteem. When a guy touches you too much, it’s usually because he thinks you’re a great woman and he doesn’t want to lose you.

He probably feels like he needs to keep in contact with you all the time to make sure that you won’t disappear. He’s afraid of losing something good, so he tries to keep a tight hold of it at all times.

This is a common habit among insecure men. They try to get validation from other people and create more attachments with them so that they can feel secure in their relationships.

The problem is that when the other person doesn’t want to hang around, he’ll lose it all — his sense of self-esteem, physical attraction, and sex appeal.

If this guy is touchy-feely with you, he may have low self-esteem and not feel confident enough around people. He may be afraid of being rejected because of his insecurities.

He’s probably trying to show you that he likes you more than other girls so that you can make him feel better about himself and make him feel safe.

7) He’s warming you up

A girl may be touchy-feely with a guy to get him to open up easily and reveal his secrets.

Sometimes, this can lead a guy to think that he’s in love with her and that he should let her in on more of his secrets more easily.

She knows this and she’s playing with him by hugging, kissing, and maybe even caressing him when he’s talking to her. She’s using her touchy-feely habits to get him to open up, be more talkative and even talk to her more intimately.

Now on the other hand, if your guy is being overly physical with you, this is him trying to seduce you – to get your butterflies in the stomach flying, to prolong that intense gaze, to get your body temperature rising, and to make sure that he is all you’re thinking about.

A “warm up” or “warming up” is a part of seduction.

He’s using physical affection as a form of foreplay and he’s doing it to get you to slowly warm up to him. He wants you to feel safe, comfortable, and secure with him so that he can get more physically intimate with you before taking the next step.

This is his way of letting you know that he’s ready to embrace you, in the bed. He wants to discover every part of your body as if it’s a mystery.

He wants to get you comfortable and relaxed with him first before he starts working his way into taking off your clothes.

8) He’s trying to be a manly man

It’s not hard to notice that sometimes, men do things solely to get attention. They know that if they do something out of the ordinary, even other people will take notice of them.

Men can also be insecure and they want to feel like a manly man who is attractive physically and mentally. Usually, it doesn’t take much for a guy to show off his physical affection toward you in order for him to feel better about himself. He may also do it as a way to keep up with the other guys.

This may sound silly, but some guys don’t feel like they are as manly as the other guys and they want to prove themselves.

If this guy just wants to be a manly man, he may start touching you and even kissing you more often than before. He’s probably doing it to get your attention or maybe even try to show off for someone else.

You may not be officially dating him yet, so this behavior may seem embarrassing.

9) He’s trying to convince you of something

It’s gotten to the point that this guy needs to have physical intimacy with you and it might be a reminder for you or a hint from him.

It could be that he is reminding you of his feelings for you, or he might even want to get rid of your doubts about himself so that you’ll agree to be with him.

A guy may sometimes act too touchy-feely because he’s trying to persuade you. He wants you to do something with him or even agree with him. It could be that he’s trying to get you to go out with him, or even just agree with his opinion on a certain topic.

He might also want you to trust him more so that he can get closer to you and your heart and mind will be open to him.

Another way this could make him stick around is that he wants to make sure you will never doubt his love for you, whether or not the two of you are officially dating.

10) He is a sweetheart

Some men are naturally affectionate towards other people, especially the women they like. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

This man is just naturally affectionate and he doesn’t realize that his actions might be a little too over the top.

This could be because he’s a sweetheart, which means he’s affectionate, courteous, and very showy. This is also one of the reasons why he might feel as if you like him more than others – because you’re also affectionate towards him and this only makes him more attracted to you.

He’s approachable and easy to talk to, and he can entertain you and make you feel close to him. He’s the kind of guy that loves to spend time with other people and loves social interactions, as he has a lot of friends and is just a genuine person.

How to respond

You’ve been the receiver of an overly touchy-feely man and now you have to learn how to handle it since the big question here is:

Do you want him to keep touching you in this way or not?

Here are a few things that you can do:

1) Be verbally open on how you feel about it

Whether you like it or not, you have to let him know how you feel about this kind of behavior.

You can keep it under wraps for a while, but in the end, he will know that you’re uncomfortable and maybe even a little offended.

This will make him reconsider his actions and eventually, he’ll stop doing it for you.

You can say things like:

  • “I’m not used to this…”
  • “I’m not comfortable with this kind of affection…”
  • “This isn’t something that I personally like.”
  • “This is a little too much…”

… and probably others that you may think of. Be careful not to make it sound like you’re accusing him of being a bad guy or something, just that it’s something you personally don’t like.

Keep in mind that if he is already being touchy-feely with you, he probably already knows how you feel about it and has no intention of stopping. So feel free to say this as a hint to him that you’re not comfortable with his behavior and he might do it less.

2) Reassure him

Men don’t want to be told that they’re doing something wrong. It might make them feel less like a man.

As mentioned, he might be extreme with his physical affection because he has issues or insecurities. So the next thing to do is to reassure him that he doesn’t need to behave this way since you definitely like him.

Let him know that you like that he’s sweet and caring, you just don’t like it when he gets too touchy-feely. It will make him feel better about himself and he’ll eventually lessen it.

3) Know his reasons

We’ve covered several reasons why a guy is overly touchy-feely with you. Now it’s time to learn what the reason is directly from him.

You may need a sit-down chat with him and talk about the affectionate behavior so that you can find out why he’s doing this. He may even tell you that he’s just naturally affectionate and sweet, which is something that some women like.

It’s important to let him know your reasons as well. Tell him why you don’t like it when he gets touchy-feely with you. You may need to give him a few pointers on what you don’t like about it.

4) Tell a trusted person

Now if he’s not your boyfriend, and he’s been really touching or feeling you a lot to the point that it makes you uncomfortable and you don’t know what to do, it’s better to confide in a friend or another lady.

You don’t need to tell all the details of your awkward and uncomfortable situation (unless you want to), but just simply say that you want help in handling him since he’s getting out of hand with his affectionate behavior.

It’s good to have someone else’s point of view on how you can deal with his behavior. You can tell them what is going on and they will be able to give you suggestions on how to deal with this guy.

This way, he may learn his lesson and stop getting overly touchy-feely with you.

Final words

If you’ve been dealing with a very touchy-feely guy, get ready to know that most guys are like this. It’s not a bad thing to be touchy-feely at times, but it can be uncomfortable – especially when it goes way too far.

Don’t be afraid to show how you really feel about him and his affectionate behavior. He might not change his ways and he might be touchy-feely with you from the beginning, but you don’t have to feel uncomfortable in your own skin.

It’s your skin, your body – you can do what you want with it and you have the say who can and cannot touch it.