When his hand is on your knee too soon

hand on kneeDG reader Toni asks:

I just had a second date with a man who, during the show, put his hand on my leg. I removed it. To me that is way more intimate than holding hands or a hug is — the kind of intimate “owning” thing that a serious other does — not someone I don’t know at all.

This has happened to me on the first date! On one level, you could be flattered that he felt so comfortable with and attracted to you he behaved as if you’ve been dating longer. Or you could be incensed that he was so presumptuous and ungentlemanly that he would think this was okay.

Yes, most of us would be in the second camp.

You did the right thing to remove it. If you wouldn’t be disturbing others around you, I would have also said, “We aren’t at that stage in our relationship yet.” That said, on a first date, I said to the man something like, “If we were further along in our relationship, then I’d massage your aching shoulder.”) He said, “Well, then let’s get to that point,” and started passionately kissing me, with little leading up to that. Ugh.

Back to you. Removing his hand and saying something without sounding pissy is important if you want to see him again. If you don’t, then let him have it and leave. But I find gentle but firm works well if you want to salvage anything. A lot of midlife guys haven’t dated a lot (of course there are many who have). If they haven’t dated much, their model is when they dated in high school or college. So they are much more aggressive than the situation warrants.

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5 responses to “When his hand is on your knee too soon”

  1. Toni Avatar


    thanks for your feedback…actually when we returned home after the theatre i said something like “you know when you had your hand on my knee…well, I’m slow in that arena,” and he didn’t really say anything. I gave him a warm hug goodnight and haven’t heard from him since….you know, it was such an uniequivocal reaction on my part – to remove his hand – that I can rest assured that it was the right thing for me…

  2. nysharon Avatar

    Hi Toni<
    When this has happened to me I put my hand over his, slid my other hand under his and held it for a few minutes. It is a gentle non-verbal way, and less awkward, to take the situation into your “own hands”. I personally don’t feel I need to give an explanation. We women have all kinds of issues around not asserting ourselves with personal space. You did good.

  3. Sally Avatar

    I find it very much depends on how attracted to your date you are as to how offensive or acceptable you find certain gestures. If I am not particularly attracted to a man then I would feel offended by placing his hand on my knee but if I was very attracted to him I would be flattered. What a shame there are no radars for human attraction.

  4. Eathan White Avatar

    I would have to say if you have the desire to remove his hand, you’re not attracted to him at all. I gentle touch can be just as simple as holding hands. I personally have touched a woman’s knee because it was the easier to touch than to search for her hand. This action also encourages a woman to make contact with me. If for some reason she doesn’t feel the same way, her removing my hand is a sign of this.

  5. Uwe Avatar

    I am a guy and this is the problem from my point. Most women want us to make the first move and we men have no idea when the time is ready. Is there a secret sigh so we can know when you are “ready”? Otherwise, it can only be trial and error for us.