Geraldine

Why I Don’t Hug Girls: Part 1

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Original article written by Reagan Ramm | Apr 9, 2013 | Love & Relationships, Purity 

http://reaganramm.com/why-i-dont-hug-girls-part-1/#comment-2154

I don’t hug girls outside my own family, and some find this policy of mine strange and unfeeling. People may go even further and say that I’m over reacting or being legalistic. I personally would argue that it is actually more caring for a guy not to hug a girl than to hug her, and there is nothing over-reactionary or legalistic about it. I’ll explain why.

DisrespectfulWhy I Don't Hug Girls part 1

With the rise of Feminism, the way women are treated by men has greatly deteriorated. Women were once placed on a pedestal—to be protected and sacrificed for. Feminists like to lament those dark days of male oppression, when women were placed at the feet of men, unable to do anything but agonize at home like Emily Dickinson. This is a myth. In the not so distant past, women were actually given more importance than they are today, at least in the extreme instances.

The call used to be for women and children first. If a building is burning down, you save the women and children first. It was understood that men would sacrifice themselves for women and children.

In the days of the Great Depression, you had the phenomenon of the wandering hobos, who would travel the country looking for work in exchange for a meal. Hobos were penniless, and at the bottom of society, and yet, they were gentlemen, and they respected others, especially women. Women could feel safe around them, even without their husbands present. Certainly there were exceptions, and they didn’t have everything right back then, but they were right on this aspect.

What do hobos have to do with why I don’t hug girls? My point is that women (and people in general) used to be treated with more respect than they are today. People didn’t go around touching each other, unless it was a good firm handshake.Feminism has taken women off of the pedestal in society they once had. Today, women are now placed on the same plane as men, no longer deserving the respect of men simply because they are women. This is why it’s not seen as such big issue when there is physical touching between guys and girls. There was a time when that would have been seen as extremely disrespectful on the part of the man, and unladylike on the part of the woman.

But just because this is the way things used to be doesn’t make it correct. I think it’s correct for other reasons.

What does it mean when you can touch something? It means you have access to it, that you have a right to it. Things you are not allowed to touch, you don’t have access to, and you don’t have a right to. Either it doesn’t belong to you, or your touch wouldn’t be good for it, like a priceless ancient artifact for instance.

I don’t have a right to touch or access the bodies of girls and women. They are sacred and do not belong to me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Furthermore, my own body does not belong to me. For me to gratuitously embrace them would be, for me, to intentionally disrespect them and myself.

Now, some people will say this doesn’t apply if the girl gives me permission to hug her. I disagree. Permission, or desire, or “feeling the need” does not change the fact that for me to compromise and act in a manner that, for me, communicates lovelessness, would be wrong. I would still be disrespecting her, only now, she is making it easier for me to disrespect her, and if she is doing so knowingly; if she is initiating physical contact despite knowing that I believe it would be wrong, then that I think, would be unladylike on her part, but would in no way leave me free of responsibility.

The actions of others do not allow me to shirk my responsibility. I may not use the willingness of others as an excuse. The true gentleman will seek to protect others, both their physical bodies and their dignity, even (and perhaps especially) when their habits or desires are at odds with their well-being.

Of course, there will be exceptions. If a woman falls down, a man should offer his hand to help her up, or any other time when a girl needs physical assistance, it’s okay. I am sure that many of you can present scenarios that would also be clear exceptions.

Touch Is Powerful

I come from a public school background, where touch is normal and everywhere. Sure, it was common to see the dating boyfriends and girlfriends kiss and hug each other in the halls, but there was also a lot of playful (and not so playful) touching between those who were not dating each other. Girls would jump on guy’s backs and guys would sneak up behind girls and wrap them in a hug.

This may all seem innocent and harmless to many, but human touch is very powerful. Touch can stir up inappropriate emotions and feelings. A guy hugging a girl while she is in a time of emotional distress is especially dangerous, as her emotional discombobulation could cause her to emotionally latch onto the guy. One hug probably won’t be enough, but if you hug once, what is wrong with doing it again, and again? Pretty soon, it’s possible that the girl—and maybe even the guy—could develop romantic feelings for each other, and they would be the result of mere emotions.

Once feelings are formed, the slope becomes much more slippery, and there is no telling what could happen if things continue on their projection, which brings me to my third point.

Avoiding Immorality

People will claim there are different kinds of hugs, and they all mean a different things. Maybe I’m just being a simpleton, but that sounds pretty ridiculous to me. A hug is a hug, you’re touching the other person’s body with your body. While I don’t think you’re automatically sinning if you hug someone of the opposite gender, the risk level goes up the more you do it.

Touch stirs up feelings, and these feelings may or may not lead you to sin. But the more you’re touching, the more difficult it’s going to become.

It might be a good idea to stop and consider why guys will hug girls but they think it’s “weird” or “awkward” to hug other guys.

Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to hug, or that you automatically have bad intentions if you do hug—I’m not saying that at all. But hugging the opposite gender does put you more at risk for immorality. That’s all I’m saying.

Another Point To Consider

The Bible says that it is good for a man not to touch a woman (1 Corinthians 7:1), and in the next verse it says that each man is to have his own wife, and each woman her own husband (1 Corinthians 7:2).

While I know this verse isn’t specifically dealing with casual touch, personally, I don’t want my wife hugging other men. I doubt she would want me hugging other women. We are to be faithful to our spouses, and I think that includes the years before we are married (Proverbs 31:12). I’m not going to hug girls because they’re not my wife or part of my family.

One final reason why I don’t hug girls

I don’t want to. It’s just awkward and it feels wrong to me. I don’t need to be hugged by girls, and I’ve never been in a situation where a girl “really needs a hug.” “Goodbye hugs” are the typical situations I find myself in where I have to awkwardly offer to shake the girl’s hand before she can try to hug me. I don’t need a goodbye hug, and these girls don’t need a goodbye hug from me either. That’s just making things a bigger deal than they need to be anyway.

I don’t have a problem with girls hugging each other, that’s fine. I understand that females are more in need of touch, but they don’t need to be touched by me, or other male friends for that matter.

These are my reasons for not touching girls. If you hug your friends of the opposite gender, I hope maybe you will give your hugging habits a second thought. I’m not going to say you are absolutely in the wrong if you do hug members of the opposite gender…but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

Hugs are just awkward anyway.

“Maybe one day the human race will have a big flash of inspiration and come with a more civilized way of greeting each other.”

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Ok, now normally I am not a hugger. I don't like touch, and I am not touchy feely at all. However, for most people, and even me on occasion, touch is an important part of life. Not just with family, but with friends. I'm sure we all know that it actually helps babies grow and be healthy, that's been proven. The thing is, it's also been proven, and I've experienced it myself, that hugs, simple touches, holding hands, gentle forehead kisses, gentle caresses of the cheek when we cry, these things are beneficial to our health from anyone we feel close to. In some cases, even someone we don't know will step in and hug us, or let us cry on their shoulder and it's just as helpful. It also can elevate our mood and help in many mental health problems. How a simple hug demeans a woman and somehow makes a woman ok to just claim is somehow part of this thought process I can't figure out. Of course those are just my interpretation of the first part. It truly amazes me at how some people will justify their personal 'quirks' and make it seem like they have it all figured out. I mean, I have a lot of those kind of quirks, but I know that in general people need some things...and that makes ME the odd one. The difference is I accept certain things about myself, and work on the things that really I shouldn't just accept.

Personally I felt like he needs to examine himself a little more and maybe seek help. Of course, this is probably just a small facet of him and it's hard to know for sure.

Also, one last thought...it's one thing to hope that your spouse doesn't have many, or any, previous sexual partners, and even another thing to hope that they would not have kissing experience, but to think that no person should ever have held their hand or hugged them. I'm sorry, but if a man mentioned this to me as a problem he has...well, I would not feel like it was such a great loss to not end up his wife. I would never expect that from anyone, and I'd never tell my husband that he shouldn't hug other females, not would I feel comfortable with a man that expected me to not hug other males. With the kind of love I want comes a level of respect for their ability to Know the line, and a trust that he keeps the intimate affections for me.

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I've never been romantically interested in the overly friendly outgoing type so this author's opinion doesn't bother me, though I can understand why others may dislike it. His standoffish nature is preferable to a gregarious one. And I wouldn't mind not hugging other men because I'd be more than satisfied with just hugging my partner, him only. ^_^ 

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Wow... Just wow... The concept of not touching in any way because I might taint these "goddesses" is just shocking to me... I no longer put anybody on a pedestal... And I certainly won't be groveling before anybody as if I need their approval...

Maybe it was just me, but when I was 13, and I first saw "Titanic" I was actually angered at the thought that the "women and children" had to be put in the life boats first... Really? Who is to say that I am more expendable just because I am a man? Why am I expected to freeze to death just because some woman (who makes fun of my OCD and lets me know how I'd never be good enough for her) was born as a different sex?

Same thing happened when I was in High School... All this propaganda about how men approaching their 18th birthday had to register with Selective Service (potential military draft)... If they didn't, they risked going to prison, losing their right to vote, hold a government job, get government benefits, etc., etc. They could even (Unconstitutionally) say that I no longer have a right to own a gun because I am a felon who didn't register... (of course I registered, but it made me angry) Why am I considered "expendable" enough that I should have to risk my life when the women who make fun of my OCD don't? Why do they get to vote and have government benefits without the risk of being drafted?

True, I used to think of women in idealized terms... They don't match reality... Putting others on a pedestal is never a good idea. The way he's talking about women is pushing into potential "idolatry" territory...

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WOW! I didn't expect so many passionate reactions after having posted this article:superwaiter::P

I will try my best to explain my point of view here and also the point of view of the author...

11 hours ago, Matthew said:

This guy sounds like he needs a hug.

Ahahaha :lol: I confess you really made me laugh with this @Matthew

Well, my guess is that now, he gets plenty of hugs because  recently, he got married (in April 2017) with a wonderful wife.

Anyway, I confess that I greatly respect this man because he has great values and high biblical standards. I want to marry a godly man like him. Because his principles are based not on his emotions or desires, but on the Bible.

As @redgrapes said, " His standoffish nature is preferable to a gregarious one "

He simply wants to honor God and his wife and himself and also other people by acting like that. His wife can feel very safe and protected, without wondering if he has another interest elsewher : he protects her emotions. I admire that and want that.

He doesn't express his opinion here. He's expressing the standards of the Bible.

Now, I have to tell something. I am a human being, and of course, I crave for hugging and affection and all the things of that nature...And I think that the safest way to experience this is in a committed relationship.

In my whole life, I have only hugged a guy, once. And it was because this man has great qualities and high standards and I admire him and have him in high esteem. I had   a special friendship with him. It was me who made the move of hugging toward him, because I wanted to demonstrate how much he meant for me.

That's what I did but that doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. I didn't act as a lady, as the author said in the article.

Prior to that, as I have never been in a romantic relationship, I had never been so close physically to a guy. Usually, the guys that I have met at church, I gave them a very quick side hug, or a quick pat on the back. With some, I gave a quick kiss on the cheek as a sister in Christ, because I felt safe with them. At work, I shake hands with most of my male colleagues.

So... I think, a sthe author, that hug is something special an should be reserved for persons of our family. I agree with his arguments and I don't think he has a problem.

10 hours ago, PhotoGirl said:

However, for most people, and even me on occasion, touch is an important part of life. Not just with family, but with friends. I'm sure we all know that it actually helps babies grow and be healthy, that's been proven. The thing is, it's also been proven, and I've experienced it myself, that hugs, simple touches, holding hands, gentle forehead kisses, gentle caresses of the cheek when we cry, these things are beneficial to our health from anyone we feel close to. In some cases, even someone we don't know will step in and hug us, or let us cry on their shoulder and it's just as helpful. It also can elevate our mood and help in many mental health problems.

I agree with that @PhotoGirl...I think it's ok to do that with members of the same sex as friends...but with the opposite sex, I have the same point of view as the author Reagan Ramm. And I don't have other ways to explain it except saying that it's with the goal to honor God. I'm not trying to convince you. I simply have this conviction because I think it's biblical. If I'm mistaken, God will convince me otherwise.

8 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

Wow... Just wow... The concept of not touching in any way because I might taint these "goddesses" is just shocking to me... I no longer put anybody on a pedestal... And I certainly won't be groveling before anybody as if I need their approval...

Maybe it was just me, but when I was 13, and I first saw "Titanic" I was actually angered at the thought that the "women and children" had to be put in the life boats first... Really? Who is to say that I am more expendable just because I am a man? Why am I expected to freeze to death just because some woman (who makes fun of my OCD and lets me know how I'd never be good enough for her) was born as a different sex?

Same thing happened when I was in High School... All this propaganda about how men approaching their 18th birthday had to register with Selective Service (potential military draft)... If they didn't, they risked going to prison, losing their right to vote, hold a government job, get government benefits, etc., etc. They could even (Unconstitutionally) say that I no longer have a right to own a gun because I am a felon who didn't register... (of course I registered, but it made me angry) Why am I considered "expendable" enough that I should have to risk my life when the women who make fun of my OCD don't? Why do they get to vote and have government benefits without the risk of being drafted?

True, I used to think of women in idealized terms... They don't match reality... Putting others on a pedestal is never a good idea. The way he's talking about women is pushing into potential "idolatry" territory...

Hmmm...I don't know what to say @Dave1985.... I don't know how to better explain the point of view of the author here...I will try my best, because I think you have misinterpreted what he said.

When he said that women were put on pedestals, it's not to diminish the masculinity. It's in order to be Christ like. The Bible said that Jesus, the King of kings, came as a humble servant upon earth. To serve others and to put them on a pedestals. Whereas He was the Son of God, He  chose to came on a humble manger, instead of choosing a magnificent Hotel... The Bible says that men have to love their wives as Christ loved the Church

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless . Ephesians5v25-26 

So, It talks about sacrifice. The godly man has to sacrifice himself for his wife : he does this to honor God, to demonstrate his love toward God. A man like that is greatly attractive to me.

But of course, the wife also has her part to do. God is not an unfair God. The wife also has to serve her husband. Men and women are equals, but they were naturally given different responsabilities by God. The man is the leader and the wife is the helper. It's simply different roles. That doesn't mean one is better than the other or vice-versa.

8 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

Really? Who is to say that I am more expendable just because I am a man?

I respectfully disagree. You are not more expandable because you're a man. Your life matters to God. In the eyes of Jesus, your life as a man is precious and matters. Jesus loves you and loves all human beings and wants that all human beings can be saved.

Nevertheless, as a man, you were given natural masculine attributes by God. In order  to be a leader and an inspiration for other people. You are built to protect

Nobody has the right to force you to do something you don't want to do. And even God won't  force you to do something. He gives you the choice. But He tells you what is right to do and what is not right to do. And the consequences of your actions are clearly explained in the Bible. If you do what is right you reap blessings. Otherwise, you will reap very bitter and bad fruits.

8 hours ago, Dave1985 said:

True, I used to think of women in idealized terms... They don't match reality... Putting others on a pedestal is never a good idea. The way he's talking about women is pushing into potential "idolatry" territory...

I agree with you that it's very dangerous to idolize someone of the opposite sex. It's dangerous and unhealthy.Never a good idea. Nevertheless, the Bible says that:

but in humility consider others more important than yourselves. 4Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.… Philippians 2v3

That's humility and love in action. That's biblical.

Here is another thing that Jesus said to those who want to follow Him:

24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. Matthew 16v24-25

Jesus explains that we have to seek His interests and those of others in our daily lives...In order not to please other human beings. But to please God.

That's impossible to do that without the help of the Holy Spirit. No human being can do that alone. But when we ask and pray to Jesus to help us to do His will , He answers and helps us.

So. That's what I wanted to say.

Blessings for all of you

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16 hours ago, PhotoGirl said:

Also, one last thought...it's one thing to hope that your spouse doesn't have many, or any, previous sexual partners, and even another thing to hope that they would not have kissing experience, but to think that no person should ever have held their hand or hugged them. I'm sorry, but if a man mentioned this to me as a problem he has...well, I would not feel like it was such a great loss to not end up his wife. I would never expect that from anyone, and I'd never tell my husband that he shouldn't hug other females, not would I feel comfortable with a man that expected me to not hug other males. With the kind of love I want comes a level of respect for their ability to Know the line, and a trust that he keeps the intimate affections for me.

Hey!

Just wanted to clarify. I wasn't saying that you shouldn't even consider marrying someone because they held someone's hand or hugged them. I don't even think you should write someone off just because they've kissed or had past sexual partners either. God can redeem anything! ^_^

So, I agree with you. I would have a problem too if someone said they wouldn't consider marrying me because I have hugged a member of the opposite gender. Haha! 

I was simply saying, for me, hugs are a big deal. They're special. So for me, I choose not to hug. I understand hugs don't mean much to everyone though, and that's okay. But I thought I would stick up for the other non-huggers out there, and point out that there is nothing wrong with you if you decided to save hugs for family. I don't think it means one needs help just because they choose to save hugs for family. :) 

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36 minutes ago, Reagan said:

Hey!

Just wanted to clarify. I wasn't saying that you shouldn't even consider marrying someone because they held someone's hand or hugged them. I don't even think you should write someone off just because they've kissed or had past sexual partners either. God can redeem anything! ^_^

So, I agree with you. I would have a problem too if someone said they wouldn't consider marrying me because I have hugged a member of the opposite gender. Haha! 

I was simply saying, for me, hugs are a big deal. They're special. So for me, I choose not to hug. I understand hugs don't mean much to everyone though, and that's okay. But I thought I would stick up for the other non-huggers out there, and point out that there is nothing wrong with you if you decided to save hugs for family. I don't think it means one needs help just because they choose to save hugs for family. :) 

I am sorry that, I guess, I misunderstood what you were saying, but it certainly did come across this way to me. I understand that some people aren't hungers, for the most part that's the way I am. However, I know from the experience from when my family lost my niece at four months old that even I needed the comfort of hugs from my friends as well as family. In fact, two of the three people in my life that I hold dearest to my heart as my best friends are males. Now, one I have yet to meet in person, but I imagine that when we do meet there will probably be hugs. The other has given me many hugs for different reasons. So have others, and I do not feel that it has led to anything else or that it gave them a right to me, as you said touching something that is not yours does. Honestly, I'm not sure how I misunderstood, because it actually did seem pretty clear cut to me, and this...

What does it mean when you can touch something? It means you have access to it, that you have a right to it. Things you are not allowed to touch, you don’t have access to, and you don’t have a right to. Either it doesn’t belong to you, or your touch wouldn’t be good for it, like a priceless ancient artifact for instance.

You say you're not telling people that it's wrong but this thought certainly gives a mixed message compared to your interpretation of what the bible says about men not touching women. When you said...

If you hug your friends of the opposite gender, I hope maybe you will give your hugging habits a second thought. I’m not going to say you are absolutely in the wrong if you do hug members of the opposite gender…but I don’t think it’s a good idea.

You do appear to be telling people it's wrong, if only in your own opinion.

Yes, with what I know of touch, and being in counseling and my counselor seeing that my aversion to touch is connected to early childhood trauma, I do think that it's not something that should just be told to people as something they should want to change and be less comforting because the person is the opposite sex.

I do think it's ok to have your own feelings about it. Some people truly are less affectionate. I am. To tell others to rethink their hugging habits, given that they are not making people uncomfortable, such as yourself, and forcing a hug, that was part of what gave me the impression that you were telling people it was wrong.

On top of all that Jesus is our role model, and he touched, hugged, and cared for people of both genders. So, yes, I do think it's ok...even though I tend to be uncomfortable.

Furthermore, I see you're new, and you don't know me at all yet. Sticking up for myself and my thoughts takes a lot out of me, as most of the time I don't feel like I have a right to even voice my thoughts and I still try to, all the while apologizing for offending anyone or being blunt. Also, I'm a little curious as to why you singled me out seemingly because I suggested help, but also said that this is only one facet of you and so I don't know. I never presume to know that I know a person I have never met.

Also, I don't argue for the most part. On occasion my mind us changed, when a viewpoint makes sense enough to ME to consider. I am open minded, but I'm also strong in what I believe. I'm a little flustered because this is the first time that an article was shared and the person who wrote it joined shortly after and in a very polite way attacked just me. Which may not have been your intention, but it is how it felt. I apologize if I insulted you by my thoughts, but that was also not my intention.

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The reason I chose not to address the religious aspect when I originally commented and why I called it an "opinion" instead of an expression of Biblical standards is simply because all articles trying to interpret and apply the Bible are opinion pieces. Some may not see the verse about the body being sacred as having relevance to any form of accepted salutation, which may or may not encroach upon those terms. "It is good for a man not to touch a woman" may lead someone with an even stricter view to forgo hand shaking, which this author seems to be fine with. Hugging in a committed relationship outside of marriage would also be unbiblical and unsafe based on the standard presented here. Taken to an extreme, a lunatic could not save a drowning woman and claim this verse meant his inaction was "Biblical." It becomes a matter of how far and who has the correct interpretation. Two people can say different things and both claim Biblical support, citing the exact same verse. Who has the final authority on what is "Biblical?"

I think a level headed interpretation is best, and inner intention may be a significant factor for this type of issue. I personally also believe hugging is best reserved for very close individuals and that it's better to err on the safe side, but I don't think mutually greeting one another with a quick hug is necessarily "wrong."

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