I Don’t Like Being Touched Anymore (For Young Adults & Couples)

As a young adult, your reason for not liking being touched anymore could include haphephobia, OCD, sensory processing disorder, asexuality, trauma or abuse, or not liking being touched outside of sex. As someone with a more permanent partner, your reasons could vary like postpartum depression, work stress, lost feelings, or touch equals sex. While most reasons would require you to seek professional help, others can be realized by self-reflection. In the end, it’s better to find a solution for yourself and the people around you.

If you feel that you don’t like being touched lately, there could be various reasons behind such a feeling. However, the reasons behind such a feeling will differ based on whether you are a young adult or have a significant other.

You’re not in the wrong to feel this way, and there definitely exists a justified reason why you don’t like being touched anymore.

While touch might be an essential factor for many people and it’s something that people can’t avoid altogether, it’s also okay being a person who doesn’t like to be touched.

As a young adult and as someone with a partner, there are issues you might not be aware of that could be making you feel this way. By exploring these issues, maybe you’ll be able to relate to one and understand your situation better.

Reasons why you don’t like being touched anymore

As adults, we go through a series of changes in our life. Every phase of our lives brings different challenges. As a young adult, you might have other reasons why you don’t like being touched anymore. As an adult with a partner, your reasons might be completely different.

As young adults, we still haven’t figured ourselves out. In this process, we stumble upon our insecurities, traumas, and how we function that have impacted us since our childhood.

While as someone with a partner, we realize our struggles are different, so our reasons for feeling this way will be different. I’ll be discussing in detail what these various issues are in the next section.

For couples

It doesn’t matter if you’re married to your partner, in a live-in relationship, or are in a long-term relationship.

When you have been together with a person long enough, your connection goes through different stages and emotions. Some of the issues that any person might face when been together with their partner for long are:

Lost feelings

As hard as it might be to accept this, but many people lose feeling in a relationship. It doesn’t matter even if they’re married. The reasons for losing these feelings might be different. They can be anything like realizing how different you and your partner are, which many people don’t realize until they start living together.

In cases like this, the person who lost their feelings for their partner still cares about them and wouldn’t want them to get upset. Sometimes the sense of comfort of being with someone is also a binding force.

So even if they have lost feelings, they still want to be with you for their personal reasons, but this loosing of feelings shows up in ways they don’t want to be touched anymore.

They would avoid any sexual advances from their partner, to the extent that they might start staying late at the office or hanging out more with their friends. One way or another, this will become an issue.

There are only two ways to handle such things. Either you rework your relationship and learn to love your partner again or get separated from them for good.

Stress

A young woman is stressed while she sits on the sofa after having an argument with her husband.

Stress is a pretty big factor that can take over all aspects of your life. Primarily generating from your work life, this stress definitely takes over your personal life with your partner.

In this fast-paced life, we tend to give more value to our work-life than our personal life. When we forget to distinguish between the two and tend to overwork ourselves or bring work home, our partner gets affected the most.

Stress makes you pull away from your partner and not show any interest in them, both physically and mentally.

Whenever your partner wants to be sexually involved with you, you won’t give them any attention. You might pull away from them because there’s already so much going on in your head.

You can only be attentive to your partner’s needs when you feel good mentally and physically. Therefore, there needs to be a balance between both your work and personal life.

There might be times when you’re stressed about your work, but if it happens often and for long, then you need to find a solution that works for you and your partner.

Touch equals sex

When you get with your partner initially, your love language is often presented in the manner of touching.

Everything is exciting, and the initiation of touch can be romantic and sexual too. But over the years, getting physical with your partner in a romantic way gets lost somewhere. The only time then when you initiate touching becomes a sole sign of having sex.

This exciting and romantic experience gets transformed into a pressured and negative one. It’s prevalent among couples who have been together for years and especially for couples with children.

So many years into the relationship, the non-sexual physical affection vanishes only to remain for whenever one desires a sexual encounter.

That romantic touch is gone and which is why one person in the relationship starts feeling an aversion towards a physical contact of any kind. Open communication with your partner about your feelings can solve a lot of issues.

If it can’t solve via communication, then couple’s therapy works wonders. At the end of the day, efforts are needed to sustain any relationship successfully.

Postpartum depression

A new mom who's experiencing postpartum depression is sitting next to her baby's crib tired and unhappy.

If your partner recently had a baby and is feeling the baby blues, there’s a higher chance of them going through postpartum depression.

While most people still believe this term doesn’t exist, it does happen, and only those who suffer from it can feel how difficult it’s to go through something like that.

It causes severe mood swings, exhaustion, and a sense of hopelessness. It might become so intense for some moms that it becomes difficult to take care of their babies and themselves.

It’s a severe condition where the symptoms can interfere with their ability to function. Your partner has no interest in anything when going through postpartum depression.

During this time, it’s entirely understandable for them not to like your touch. Even if it’s not sexual, but for comfort like a hug, they might even avert from that.

Your partner will withdraw from everything and everyone. It’s vital to get the proper treatment within the right time, including medication, therapy, self-care, and more.  

Young adults (18+)

You discover a lot about yourself when you grow up. Starting from your early 20s to your late 20s, you mature and learn a lot about yourself, including your likes and dislikes.

Your feeling of not liking being touched by anyone is entirely valid as you might have your childhood issues, traumas, and phobias. So let’s get into them one-by-one:

Haphephobia

It’s a legitimate phobia where people fear being touched, so much so that it can be overpowering or even painful for them.

It’s more than not liking when a stranger gives you a hug or invade your personal space. It can have a paralyzing effect and take over a person’s life entirely if not treated early.

Physical touch to such people can result in panic attacks, hives, nausea, hyperventilation, to name a few. Some researchers believe people are born with it.

A change in brain function may also play a role or be caused by a past traumatic experience. There are therapies and medications available for people who have haphephobia.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

People who suffer from OCD either have obsessions or compulsions. A person with OCD might also despise other people touching them.

For example, if a person with OCD is obsessed with cleaning, they would hate germs and anything that brings germs. So if you suddenly try to get touchy with them, they won’t like it because they fear you aren’t clean according to their standards.

They also fear when a specific situation isn’t under their control. So, if you try to get touchy unexpectedly, they wouldn’t like that and would feel they have no control over what you do.

OCD is a mental illness and isn’t just about biting nails or keeping the house clean. A person requires professional attention to get treated for their OCD. This is because it can seriously harm their relationship with other people.

Sensory Processing Disorder

SPD is a condition that affects how your brain processes sensory information. It can affect all your senses or just a particular one.

It means you’re overly sensitive to stimuli that other people are not. So, SPD could be affecting your sense of touch, making you extremely sensitive to someone else’s touch.

Children are more likely than adults to have SPD. It’s just that adults have developed ways to deal with SPD that lets them hide the disorder from others.

Mainly developing in childhood, if a person gets an early treatment, they can become better soon. But if left untreated can create problems such as not liking the touch of other people.

Asexual

There are a group of people who recognize themselves as asexual and identify themselves as having little to no sexual attraction. Although the kind of attraction they feel varies too.

One person might be okay with hugs, cuddles, and kissing. Others might not even like someone hugging them. This isn’t similar to abstinence or celibacy because asexuality isn’t a choice.

This isn’t a medical condition that can be treated. Asexual people just don’t feel sexually attracted to any person, the degree of which might vary.

Someone who identifies themselves as asexual doesn’t mean they don’t want to have a romantic relationship. Others might be okay with having sex, while some might even be repulsed by sex. It really depends on person to person.

As a young adult, you’re still discovering a lot about yourself, so it’s crucial to figure out your sexuality by learning about it from trustable sources.

Learn to ask yourself the right questions and be truthful with yourself about your identity.

Trauma or abuse

A lot of things change if you’re burdened by trauma and abuse. There is a strong link between not liking anyone’s touch and abuse or trauma. It could be because of something you recently faced that left a profound impact on you, without you even realizing it.

Sometimes, we tend to move forward by trying to forget anything unpleasant that happened to us. However, the only healthy way to move forward is to acknowledge something and deal with the emotions that come with it.

Other times we’re burdened by our childhood trauma or abuse. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Most people who suffer from this, as a result, don’t like to be touched at all.

They might have suffered from sexual abuse or trauma at a young age.

Treatment includes psychotherapy and medications to manage symptoms that can be pretty severe depending on person to person. This is absolutely not something you can solve on your own or try to solve for someone.

Professional help is a must for people who suffer from trauma or abuse of this kind. Unfortunately, you can’t expect them to recover quickly as this takes time and is a work in progress for them.

Not liking being touched outside of sex

Not everyone is built to be touchy-feely all the time. You can’t expect a person to love being touched all the time.

For some people, sex is the only way they will allow someone to touch them. They don’t like when someone gets romantic or physical with them, even with a hug. This is a choice that people need to learn to respect because there’s nothing wrong with it.

People might have many misconceptions about such a person, including lacking affection as a child.

Still, even with a loving and caring family, some people just don’t enjoy any other physical touch outside of sex. In the end, this could even be a personal choice of someone, and we need to respect their boundaries as people around them.

FAQs

Is it normal to not like affection?

Every person has different levels of affection they show for other people. While some people might show a lot of affection, others not so much.

There’s nothing wrong with being either person because, at the end of the day, that’s who you are. You don’t need to change for anyone, but you need people in your life who accept you as you are.

Why am I uncomfortable with physical affection?

It could be because of multiple reasons, including your past experiences and the kind of person you are.

Both combine and make the person you are today. For example, your past might have been painful and traumatic, or you could just not be a person who likes physical affection so much.

What does lack of love do to a person?

People who have experienced a lack of love in their childhood tend to be hungrier for it in their adulthood. They crave skinship and an intimate kind of love. They are prone to be more lonely, less happy, and most likely to experience depression and stress in general.

What is intimacy avoidance?

The fear of being intimate with others, including sharing a close physical or emotional relationship with another person.

To summarize

There could be end number of reasons why you must not like being touched anymore. For different people in different stages of their life, their motives could vary. If you’re a young adult, you must still be exploring your life, yourself, likes, and dislikes.

This is the stage when we focus solely on ourselves. So if you have faced any traumas or want to explore your sexuality, that could be the reason behind you feeling this way.

On the other hand, when you get serious with a partner, you have different struggles that make you feel this way. Falling out of love and postpartum depression are some of the issues that make people not liked being touched anymore when with a partner.

While one’s self-reflection can solve some issues, others might need professional help. But finding a solution as soon as possible is necessary not to let people around you suffer for long.