My boyfriend won’t hold hands with me. Am I overreacting?

To preface, my boyfriend does hold my hand sometimes. He’ll hold my hand in the car, or even in public, but it’s on/off and I notice sometimes when there’s people around he’ll let go of my hand. He also has two rules: no holding hands on campus or at church (we’re both Christian college students). We’ve had discussions about hand-holding many times, and one of the reasons he’s given is that he’s not used to it since I’m his first relationship. It doesn’t change that I still feel hurt whenever he drops my hand or refuses to hold it on campus. It feels so silly to even worry or feel disappointed about, but all I want is to feel connected to him and show affection in that little way by holding his hand. I also have anxiety, and it helps to hold his hand when we’re in public sometimes. But I often have to restrain myself because he doesn’t like it.

Last night, we went to an event that was hosted by our school (but not on main campus), and he still refused to hold my hand. I got very upset and was on the verge of tears for the majority of the night. I ended up even crying in the bathroom. All I wanted was to have fun and hold hands with my boyfriend. It sounds really stupid and childish when I say it out loud, but that’s how I feel. We ended up having an argument about to later that night and I just feel hopeless. I never thought I would have to beg for affection in a relationship. In my past, guys would beg to hold my hand but I was never that into it. Now, I found someone who I genuinely want to express my affections to and he won’t accept it. I feel really unhappy a lot of times because of this, but I don’t know if it’s just dumb and if I should just get over it. Does anyone have any insight to this? Similar situations?

My boyfriend won’t hold hands with me. Am I overreacting?
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