Jump to content

My girlfriend is not affectionate!


BlueXno

Recommended Posts

I've been dating this girl for 18 months now. She's a really sweet, smart, caring, gorgeous person. It seems things have always been a little shaky between us, we trust each other 100%.

 

In the beginning we had a lot of arguments, she was very flirty with me, and affectionate enough. Roughly 6 months into the relationship her affection level dropped to nearly non-existent, but our emotional connection and arguments have gotten much better. I talked to her about the lack of physical affection, and she said that's how she is, she's very affectionate in the beginning of a relationship, and as she feels comfortable in the relationship she settles down. That less affection to her is a more mature relationship.

 

I let it slide for a while, and brought it back up months later and told her I really need physical affection. We found stuff about the five love languages, and we came to an understanding of what each of us needs (which is drastically different, our lists are almost inverted). I tried my best to show her love in every way possible, in my opinion through all 5 languages. She has never complained to me about being bored or tired of the relationship.

 

About 6 months ago, I felt there was no improvement, and I attempted to end the relationship. She became hysterical, begged me back, swore she would change, etc. So I gave it another shot. She managed to complain and cry about how lousy me trying to break up with her felt, and she kept this up for a month. So here we are 6 months later, and I feel there were no real changes. I can see she tries to be more affectionate, but it's fake, and taxing to her. She's cold by nature, and I'm very warm by nature.

 

We both have a lot of stress, we're both nearly 25 and in graduate school and working a lot of hours. So stress is not on our side. I feel empty and alone inside. I brought this up to her again a few weeks ago, and she took it well, no argument, no tears, it was very mature. However, she cried to me about it on the phone later, complained I didn't like who she was, and how being affectionate is taxing. She's a very anxious person too.

 

I'm not going to do anything now, if I stay with her or split with her, I think I'll wait until the summer just to make sure to give it some more time and to make sure I don't harm her studies. I don't want to take away her support in the middle of the semester.

 

Does anyone have insight into this type of a relationship? Is there any hope of her truly becoming affectionate? I don't think I can live without affection, it has been long enough that I'm flat out depressed. The forced affection is nice in a sense, I know she cares, I know she tries, but I still feel empty inside. Am I expecting too much? Should I call it quits? Does anyone think things will suddenly get better over the summer? Finally, if I do try to break up, she'll go hysterical on me and harass me (given the previous attempt), so what do I do?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 73
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Wait until the summer, so a break up doesn't affect either of your studies. When school is out, break up with her, and get her to understand why it's not working for you. Tell her that you want something that she's not comfortable providing, and it's wearing on you and you both deserve a relationship you're happy in.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

this has bait and switch written all over it. She was affectionate in the beginning gave you what you needed then she waits, several months into the R to tell you that's not how she really is. There is no changing this, you're just not compatible in this area. Best to split with her when the summer comes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The problem is that you are wanting her to act against her nature and she can't do it (or won't do it on a sustained basis). If the sort of affection you want is a necessity for you in a relationship then you are with the wrong girl and will either have to accept a less-fulfilling relationship or break up with her in order to find someone more compatible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Blue,

(I AM NOT A SHRINK, I JUST DATED ONE FOR FIVE YEARS!)

 

As a matter of fact I do have some insight into your situation. I would say that your lady is emotionally unavailable. My ex is too. Typically, they have to be in control or they go into panic mode. Showing affection requires vulnerability so they opt to just not go there...or if they do go there, they are just going through the motions and cut off from their emotions. These people seem to hook up with partners (and of course typically EU people are men..but there are TONS of EU women too) who are very available emotionally...they seem to be drawn to them..I believe thinking that they are going to learn how to access their hearts and feelings just like the partner. Beware. I have been ripped to shreds by EU people. They are very hypnotic. We all like a challenge, but it gets to the point where it becomes downright abusive to have a relationship with someone who can't express their love.

You could try Couples Counseling..if she is open to it...It is not hopeless..but usually EU people had a bad parent (typically, mother) who didn't nurture them properly....so they close off their feelings as a defense mechanism. My ex (a therapist herself!) denies that she is EU...of course...she just hasn't met the right guy yet...blah blah blah...Often they will keep you jumping through hoops to please them, and as a consequence you get insecure and needy..she gets turned off..thinks you're a wuss...and dumps your ass...then they find a new victim....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like my boyfriend could've written this about me. I'm just as your girlfriend is. I'm very affectionate in the beginning but I taper off. I'm still affectionate in my own right but not to his degree. He tells me he loves me (what I feel like) constantly. Constantly is relative here though. Anyone else may thionk the amount he tells me that is healthy while I feel it's too much. He also wishes I'd initiate sex more but I feel like I do. However, saying "wanna do it?" is not initiating, according to him. I love him to my very bones but honestly, this is just how I am.

 

How is your relationship otherwise? Is this the only issue? How is your sexual relationship? Your asking her to change who she is, but has she asked you to be less affectionate? Is there a way to compromise? Do you feel she honestly loves you or is affection your witness to that? You say you can tell she's making an effort but that it seems forced. Of course it seems forced! She doesn't know how to be affectionate! But she's trying. Maybe you can try to stop looking at her lack of affection as a basis on how much she loves you? See if it carries less weight?

 

One last question. How is she with others? Is she affectionate with her friends and family? Or is it all around?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure I'm in the exact same situation as you bungalo, but similar enough. She did have a semi-abusive mother and neglectful father, and they both did not nurture her. So right on the mark with that. She thinks she's very in touch emotionally, but I think you are right about being EU. She wanted to become a therapist too (note to self, avoid therapists), but changed fields. I have felt myself become much more insecure than before, I just try hard to hide it from her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In response to hersmudders, sexually it went as fast downhill as the physical affection. Actually sex was more or less in lieu of physical affection a lot of the time. She initiated sex quite often, I was a virgin before meeting her. Again, same response about feeling comfortable and not wanting it often. It went from daily the first few months to once a month now. She says she would like it to be a few times a week, but doesn't have time. I understand the stress, lack of time, and how it can kill a libido - not mine, but I can imagine at least.

 

As far as other qualities. She's very therapist like, always a good listener. As far as love languages go, I don't notice her doing any of the 5. My big one is affection, but I don't notice any time spent together (well duh, she has no time, so that's ok for now), but on breaks and weekends she opts to see friends or family and cuts out time together by more than half a lot of times. There are no gifts or acts of service, and the only sign of love i get is her texting every once in a while "I miss you" or "I love you", which is nice.

 

She's cold with everyone, and by far the warmest with me, she actually hugs me, she doesn't even hug her own mother. I'm not trying to judge her on the lack of affection, but I still don't feel loved. She says she loves me, but that's about it. Even Valentine's Day, I bought her candy, a card, took her out to dinner, and we watched a movie at home. She would have rather played a single player video game to relax more, and didn't understand why I wanted to watch a movie on the couch instead, and gave no gifts, no romantic gestures, just an "I love you" - which again, is nice to hear, but is getting shallow without anything else.

 

Sorry to keep ranting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was in a relationship with someone who wasn't affectionate. We are now divorced. There was sex, just no affection. After awhile, I had little interest in sex. In the day to day, I would try to hug him or ask for just a hug and he basically reacted with "what's wrong" or "what do you want?" He would seldom kiss me. For some people, that's okay, but its something I needed. Now I am in a relationship where hugs are given freely. We do have awesome sex, but cuddling on the couch together is just as satisfying.

 

I don't think its necessarily a bait and switch - to some people, they have sex early or are more experimental in the beginning. To others, the hugging and touching and physical affection is what they do in that infatuated state.

 

I would say that right now, you guys aren't married. You have told her you desperately need it, and I think that she doesn't know how to change. It could either require counseling or putting up with hugging and she'll eventually warm up to the idea.... or more so, you guys just may not be compatible. The problem in my marriage was not just about the affection but other things - and he was always thinking "what's wrong" with me. The truth is, nothing was wrong with me - we were just incompatible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@abitbroken: Yeah, at least my girlfriend doesn't treat me like I'm insane or that something is wrong. She understands what I need, but she doesn't know how. I don't know if she would be open to counseling, though there is little time to go to it. I'm not sure if she's use to hugs or use to me just needing hugs - but this extends to all physical interactions. She actually is disgusted by spit, and therefore hates kissing, which explains why she only pecks me on the cheek if I literally put my face in front of her lips.

 

Is counseling worth it? Does it work? Can someone really change? I almost don't want to bother with the money and time if it won't work. I've been unhappy for a year now, and I feel like I should move on. Given spit phobia, little affection, and virtually no sex now - is there really any hope? Is counseling some miracle cure I really need to try?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How was your relationship with your parents? Were they affectionate with you? Very open? My boyfriend is close with his parents. Says "I love you" to them even! That's a foreign language with my parents. We're not an affectionate family. It's awkward when it does happen, so very forced and just strange for all parties invoilved.

 

Does your girlfriend dislike holidays and anniversaries? I'm that way. I think v-day is a crock. My boyfriend got me a nice card and I got him one but I very heavily emphasized there will be no celebrating that day.

 

It sounds like a lot of it is stress/time and just how she is. I have a hunch she'd probably be better at it but just feels stressed and overworked, like she doesn't know hjow to just "be" in the moment, especially b/c you said on weekends she tries to juggle seeing everyone. It could be very draining on her, on top of the fact that you aren't feeling very happy in the relationship.

 

How much longer till you're both done with school? I wouldn't break up with her. See if she's able to make a better effort once the circumstances change. And I definitely second the couples counseling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hersmudders: My parents are very affectionate. I'm Greek, so we all hug and kiss on the cheek, etc. My girlfriend doesn't seem to actively dislike anniversaries or v-day, she thinks it's nice, but is more or less absent minded about things. She's not romantic, hates surprises, thus she doesn't like to receive or give romance or surprises, which I like a lot.

 

She wasn't much better over winter break, which was 3 or 4 weeks long. I still had to work every day, so she had plenty of down time, time to hang out with friends, etc. I plan to at least give it a few weeks of summer break to see if things improve.

 

I also don't complain to her about how I'm unhappy, I told her once last week, and that was the first time since winter break. I try to be as supportive as I can. I handle stress and work quite well (it just turns into stomach aches for me), so I can easily be supportive when stressed, but even over breaks it's not much better. Last summer, 3 months of no school, nothing improved and I was going crazy with all the free time we had and didn't do anything with. It was after summer I tried to call it quits. I'll definitely give her a few weeks, maybe a month of summer to see if things calm down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hersmudders: Oh, and I'm finishing up school by December the latest, but she has another 3 years to go at least, possibly up to another 5. So this stress and lack of time won't end for a long while. I can live with summer and winter only time to be happy, but I haven't been happy the last summer or winter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your Situation is so similar to mine it's freaky. I'm sure she can sense your insecurity. This is the domain of women, they are extremely perceptive. They usually can tell what a man is thinking and feeling. I know it scares the sh** out of me too.

The reason your g/f toyed with the idea of being a therapist is what is known as the wounded healer archetype. She is trying to fix herself by fixing others. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Many turn out to be wonderful therapists. Like I said, if she is open to couples counseling then you guys may have a shot. If not, it's going to be a real battle. You could try the Harville Hendricks book: Keeping The Love you Find. It has great exercises in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Blue man...you are killing me man...She actually is disgusted by spit, and therefore hates kissing, which explains why she only pecks me on the cheek if I literally put my face in front of her lips. My ex had this strong hangup about bodily fluid so you can imagine how this would mess up sex! You asked if counseling worked? Yes it works, if BOTH of you are committed to working on the relationship. Saying you don't have time to me is very LAME. If your relationship isn't a PRIORITY in your life, then I question how much passion you have. Careers, goals, education, are all very important..but when it's all said and done..what's the most important thing? Family!..as in your loved one(s)!!! If not, then rock on..maybe someday you'll change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Blue man...you are killing me man...She actually is disgusted by spit, and therefore hates kissing, which explains why she only pecks me on the cheek if I literally put my face in front of her lips. My ex had this strong hangup about bodily fluid so you can imagine how this would mess up sex! You asked if counseling worked? Yes it works, if BOTH of you are committed to working on the relationship. Saying you don't have time to me is very LAME. If your relationship isn't a PRIORITY in your life, then I question how much passion you have. Careers, goals, education, are all very important..but when it's all said and done..what's the most important thing? Family!..as in your loved one(s)!!! If not, then rock on..maybe someday you'll change.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know if there's anything you can do.I have this mantra that says "don't go looking for fish at the butcher's". I'm Greek like you and I am also very warm. I can't be around cold distant people, I feel restricted somehow. Don't feel guilty if you decide to exit because it means you will both have a chance of finding a more compatible partner. I know how hard it must be if you feel an emotional connection..but it's all a risk either way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's the way that I look at it. You can go with the top and try to be right. Label her emotionally unavailable and waste YEARS of your life trying to change her even when she states "this is how I am." Then when it ends, you are bitter, frustrated, and hoping that she'll change and come back to you. It's one thing if she wants to be more open, but if she doesn't then YOU are imposing your will on HER.

 

Or you can go with DN's advice and be happy. Recognize that this is who she is and it's clearly not compatible with who you are and what you want. You have tried your best, but this is not enough for you.

 

Is it better to be right - and struggle to change her - or to be happy - and find someone that suits you? There are soo many women who would love to be with someone like you. The question is, are you interested in finding a soulmate, a partner who compliments your very spirit?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@bungalo: It wasn't too harsh, so no worries, I'm actually very difficult to offend (not that I think I'm great, but that I just take things in a good nature or try to at the very least). You ask if it's a priority for me. Well, by this summer it will be 2 years I've been with this girl. I think that is a lot of time to try and work things out. I agree, lack of time is a lame reason. My main fear is that it will be true to what Ms Darcy posted. Just years of wasted time since she is who she is and I cannot change her. I understand compromise, or learning how to do something, or learning how to cope with something - I think that all would be helped with counseling. I doubt that a person can change a personality, change how you relax, or change what you need in life with counseling. I honestly feel like this is just a personality mismatch, or bad chemistry, whatever.

 

@Ms Darcy: I don't believe in sole-mates, but I do believe there are many people who are compatible for each other. So not one person, but there is such a thing as "good enough." I also know relationships take work. I guess what I don't know when to quit in a sense. I fear I try to quit too early, but in my previous relationship I quit too late (my ex cheated on me and dumped me), so I don't know. I really would like to just find someone that makes me happy, and we just click. I feel like I'm walking on eggshells in my current relationship, it's a lot of work to cheer her up, and she has a difficult time cheering me up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@hersmudders: I was just thinking, since you say you are this way and in a similar situation. How does it feel from your end? Do you think it's worth staying together with someone like me who is obviously not happy with how things are? I've really tried to make her happy, but I feel distant, she tells me she feels distant, and I don't know anymore. Seeing as you are most similar, what would you want in her shoes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it is not in her nature to be affectionate, then there isn't much that you can do to make her change. It is part of who she is.

 

Do I think you're expecting too much? No, not at all. I'm a very affectionate person, and I expect my mate to be the same way. If this is what you're looking for, then I don't think you're being overly demanding either.

 

Question is - Are you willing to continue this relationship, knowing that she may possibly never change?

 

Sometimes people change because they want to change. I don't think it's wrong for her to be the way she is, nor do I think it's wrong for you to feel the way you feel.

 

However, if you're looking for one thing, and she can't offer it to you, then you have to ask yourself whether or not it is worth it in the long run.

 

Just my opinion, if nothing has changed as of yet, I don't think that it will change by the summer, just my $.02.

 

Hang in there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...