My friends boyfriend is often in my personal space

A bit of a background story here, my (f) friend(f) of 2 years has a boyfriend of about 5 years who lives in Florida. They visit each other multiple times a year and are set on getting married one day soon.

This year for Christmas he was in town and my friend and I thought it would be fun to exchange gifts and hang out and drink some beer. They always tend to get a little PDA-y in front of me (usually his initation) which is fine bc they're in a relationship. I'm just the type of person who is sometimes easily uncomfortable with that stuff but who am I to police others on my personal issues.Some of the PDA including smacking her butt, grabbing her hips from behind and such.

Sometimes tho, he will get in my personal space, both in front of her and not. He is Dominican, and having latino family myself, I understand different countries have different culture surrounding stuff like that. Sometimes it's like touching my hip or the small of my back or just sitting kidna close briefly and I can't tell if I'm just super aware of these things because of my own discomfort surrounding it. I have a history of automatic distrust and discomfort of men, so maybe I'm just automatically projecting bad intentions onto him because of my past and maybe it's just the cultural difference. But a part of me feels weird still even taking this into account.
I slept over that night and she had to get up and work the next day, and I was alone in the house with him but I made sure to stay physically far from him to avoid any unwanted interaction. She really loves this guy and maybe her leaving us at the house is a sign that I'm overreacting, because she is the jealous type when it comes to other girls. And maybe her trust is well placed, but I can't shake the feeling that it isn't well placed. She's told me many times about how toxic their relationship used to be and how they both have changed, but what if it hasn't changed? I'm not planning on saying anything to her and just avoiding it altogether. They want me to take another trip with them to Florida this year(we did this last year) and I'm dreading the idea of it solely because of these types of interactions with him that happen every time we all three hang out.

Is It Normal?
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  • you need to tell them both that you're uncomfortable with him initiating this type of physical contact with you. nothing will change if you don't openly communicate. it's a pretty simple conversation to have, as awkward as it might feel in the beginning, and if he refuses to stop or oversteps your boundaries continuously, that's a pretty bright red flag and i'd advise your friend to reconsider her options.

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