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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Finding Intimacy and Affection in an Unaffectionate Relationship

    When two individuals join together in a committed relationship, they often strive to create a connection that is healthy and fulfilling in both the present and the future. Unfortunately, many times the reality is much different. For some couples, one partner may not demonstrate affection or utilize more traditional expressions of intimacy such as touch, verbal affirmations, or a general sense of caring. Without such demonstrations from a partner, a relationship can become strained and difficult to sustain over an extended period of time.

    Partners who are not receiving the expected love and affection should invest time in exploring their feelings. Are these expectations realistic for this person? Do you have any fear or insecurity regarding the love your partner does or does not offer? Attempting to analyze these questions honestly can lead to knowledge about why certain needs remain unmet. During this investigation, it is important to remember to be gentle and kind with oneself as negative self talk or guilt over understandable reactions can further complicate emotional resolution.

    Acknowledging disappointment and hurt can be especially challenging. By taking the time to experience and process emotions, individuals can make positive steps towards resolution. Constructive resolutions could include attending couples therapy, sharing feelings with the partner, renegotiating relationship expectations, or even questioning if this relationship is meant for the long term. It is also possible to address these issues on one’s own. Investing time in conversations with friends, practicing self care, engaging in activities that bring joy, or seeking out other resources like books, podcasts, and articles can offer considerable help.

    Creating an unbreakable bond without affection in a relationship is possible; however, it can require a shift in perspective. Partners may need to explore more creative ways of connecting than traditional intimacies to ensure mutual fulfillment. Emotional connection can be discovered through nonverbal cues observed between two individuals. Doing activities together, spending quality conversation time talking, focusing on how conversations make one feel rather than what is actually said, and using active listening skills can all contribute to development of a deeper understanding and mutual appreciation.

    Partners who are in a relationship where affection is not experienced should develop an individual plan to establish needed connection. These steps may mean setting healthy boundaries, engaging in self analysis and exploration, or beginning an honest dialogue with the partner. There is no easy fix, but the potential reward of growth, understanding, and an emotionally fulfilling relationship is well worth the effort.

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