Dear Gems from Jen,

I recently went out with a JDater. We spoke on the phone three to four times before the date. Because we felt we knew one another, it was a bit awkward when actually meeting. Do we shake hands or hug?
Anyway, during the date,  we were sitting on a couch in an Asian fusion bar/restaurant. We are talking and enjoying ourselves, when he reaches over and puts his hand on my knee. It didn’t stay there for long, but I felt it was inappropriate and really didn’t know what to say. It happened a couple of other times. How can I handle that without seeming witchy?

Dear Den,
I know this can seem like a touchy subject, no pun intended.  I think this really does boil down to your comfort level and boundary setting. Meeting for the first time is really all about where you are willing to let things go.  Some women have no problem hugging when meeting a date for the first time, while others would prefer to begin with a handshake and let things progress at a slower pace.
I’m curious as to why you didn’t either ask him directly to move his hand or nonchalantly move it off of your knee. Setting boundaries from the get-go is a very important part of the dating process. I realize most of us women are taught not to be rude, and asking someone to not touch us when we are feeling uncomfortable can feel rude, but in reality it is anything but. It is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. If we do not set boundaries for our own personal space we can be left feeling taken advantage of. If a date thinks you are witchy for respecting yourself, then he is not worth your time. Any man who is sincerely interested in more than just a casual encounter will respect the boundaries that you set for yourself, no questions asked. 
Before any date, make sure you tell yourself what the boundaries are and stick to whatever you have set in place. Make a deal with yourself and do not let anyone put you in a position where you will have the potential to feel uncomfortable.
Gems from Jen