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Is it possible to increase affection?


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Just looking for some input on this topic. Are some people just not affectionate/passionate people? Currently on a "break" or "break up"...not sure which. But I think the main issue is he is not affectionate at all and I am. Maybe I am not bringing up my needs in a way to make him understand properly or I am and he just doesn't care, or he is just not that type of person.


Which if it is the latter, I would prefer him being honest and not saying he will make an effort and I never see it which leads to more resentment?

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I think affection can be learned. I'm kind of going through something right now that required me to do a lot of thinking regarding affection and intimacy. I'm in a fairly new relationship with someone who was raised a lot different than myself. I was raised with lots of affection, kisses, and hugs... I can't go an hour without hugging and kissing my kids, and they can't go an hour without coming up to me to ask for one either!


My boyfriend on the other hand was raised a lot different, his parents were not affectionate with him at all therefore he never really learned to be affectionate. Add that to him being pretty shy and an introvert, you get a guy who's fairly nervous when it comes to affection with me. In the beginning of our relationship I was online on forums racking my brain trying to figure out why someone who's madly in love with me can be so nervous and fidgety whenever I get physically close to him. Well, turns out he's not used to the affection, so I know it will take time for him to get more comfortable with someone as affectionate as me. In fact, if I compare how he used to be when we first started dating to now, I can say he has made a tremendous step forward with affection. He used to look pretty nervous when we were close before and had a lot of trouble doing things like consoling me, hugging me or just being affectionate period (he always looked like he wanted to, but just didn't have the courage... he's pretty shy so he had a hard time with that)... but now he's able to do it. This is after my constant assurance and leading him to be comfortable with it. All I simply do is treat him like how I want to be treated and he's basically just mirroring everything...


I think affection is affected by lots of things like how you were raised, comfortability, security and self-esteem. Those lacking in the security and self-esteem department may just be too insecure to be able to show affection due to their constant over-thinking and under-estimating themselves. I think that's why my boyfriend's problem is.


In your case, I think if you need affection, then your guy/ex should be understanding to that and should be able to at least compromise and make an effort to cater to your needs. No one in relationships should ever have to do anything, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't at least try. I learned long ago that people communicate their love in different ways... and affection doesn't necessarily prove love, or vice versa. That's why in my case I don't even bother to ask my boyfriend about his affection level with me... I just simply initiate it and he's always there when I need the closeness... it's not like he's going to push me away. That way, he's learning what it is that I like/need from him, and subconsciously he's picking it up and starting to mirror me... At the same time he's consciously finding out what I like and he's doing it to make me happy. Don't need to have the conversation, he learns affection, I get affection... Win/win.

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I don't think you can increase the amout of affection people show to each other.

But on the other hand, its largely because people show affection in different ways.

Some people are just more tactile than others

Some people do not like showing affection in public

Some people are willing to compromise on the levels of shown affection

Some people aren't!


To add... When I was growing up, as XxJustMexX touches on, I was constantly told we were just not a tactile family. We didn't do hugs and kisses AT ALL.

I've since learnt that actually, I like nothing better than hugging and touching when I'm in a relationship.

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There is a common misconception about people that somehow we are given the same capacity for demonstrating affection and choose to use all of it, some of it or none of it. But that is not the case. People have different capacities and he may be using all of his already. That doesn't mean he doesn't love - it just means he isn't as adept at showing it and trying to force him to do more will make him feel as if he isn't being genuine.

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I'll jump in on this one. I was raised in a family where there was always love shown, just not by hugs or kisses, EVER. Still, we knew we were loved. I have learned by this how to spot when someone loves me very much versus just liking to touch, kiss, etc... Some people do both with ease, I don't. I am uncomfortable showing affection physically outside the bedroom. Can people like me change? Well, I can be more physically affectionate if they want that, but I'm not enjoying it one little bit. I am warm with words, but not romantic. I don't particularly like to kiss, but I will sometimes. I am generous, faithful, passionate in bed, kind, supporting, all of that, but I'm not particularly affectionate. It doesn't mean someone doesn't love you when they don't hold you hand or kiss you a lot. Give the guy a break and accept him as he is. Do you want him showing you affection on the outside, but cringing on the inside?

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Being affectionate is a behavior, and therefore, can be learned. Everyone's capacity to show affection, however, is different.


I was raised in a family where my parents never showed any affection through hugs or even through words. After dating, I find myself loving to express and receive affection and intimacy. My ex wasn't affectionate when we first started dating. Like xxjustmexx's bf, he started mirroring my actions and by the end of our relationship, I would say he learned to be a more affectionate person, although not as affectionate as I am. Like I said earlier, everyone's capacity is different.


I would say my ex learned to be more affectionate because he knows it's important to me and gave his best effort to provide affection to the extent which he was willing and comfortable giving. If your bf isn't naturally an affectionate person and doesn't try even if he knows it's important to you, then maybe you should find someone who can fulfill your needs.

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Thank you everyone for the great responses. Very good valid points that has summarized the ping pong game that is going on in my head. I am all for 100% honestly and I think if I was just told, straight up its never gonna happen. Then I would be able to make my decision, either accept it or move on at that point.


I think when it comes to saying he will do it, that it doesn't bother him and then it doesn't occur is where I internalize the actions into he just doesn't care. He is thoughtful in other ways and I do appreciate everything he does. I am now at the point (I think him as well) where its just not good enough. I always feel hurt by the lack of actions and intimacy and this is creating other issues.


I just wanted to clarify also what I mean. I am not looking for hour long teenage make out sessions. lol- A kiss ( and not the kind my grandma use to give me), here and there....random hugs that have some passion behind it. If we are just watching tv, I feel like we always sit so far from each other. If I do move closer, I can tense the cringing that was stated above. This occurs both in and out of the bedroom. So the affection is also lacking in that area as well.


It sometimes feels like I am just a friend, that can satisfy a need here and there w/ no emotions and no bond.


I really appreciated everyone's replies but I think how gluestick pointed out, if he isn't trying to when he knows its important to me shows me alot. I would do anything for him, but I see its not that way in return.

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Sorry, he must negotiate or risk losing you
Or vice-versa - he may feel he is being asked to change himself into somebody that he is not comfortable being. No one is in the wrong here, it's just two people who have different styles.
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An important thing mentioned in other longer posts is that affection does not equal love. I've seen some horrible, lying, cheating guys make their gf's really happy just because they have their hands all over them all the time. Does this mean he loves her? No - he's cheating behind her back.

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I'm sorry you're going through this. I wanted to ask, have you asked him how he feels when you're the initiatior of affection? Is he ok when you're affectionate to him? The reason I ask is because you mentioned that cringing feeling you're getting when you try to be closer to him. I definitely know what you mean. My boyfriend used to be like this and I've written about it in many posts here. I'm not sure how different our situations are but my boyfriend is a really shy guy, so his reasons for lack of affection weren't really that he didn't want to do it, he just wasn't used to it and most likely had to do a lot with insecurity (fairly new relationship). Might this be your boyfriend's situation as well?


Anyway, so after a while of feeling the tension, I decided to finally put all my insecurities aside and thought about all the other ways he shows me he loves me. I then made a decision to just go ahead and be the initiator in most cases, which he then picked up and is now starting to initiate more often.


Before, he and I (yes, both of us, because I felt it too!) would feel a little tense when we were close. I realized that not only was he nervous to be close to me, but that nervousness was affecting me too because it was making me self-conscious, which in turn made me nervous to be close to him too. It was a viscious cycle. I decided to end it by just being myself and my confidence kicked back in. I decided that if I wanted affection, I was just going to take it. lol. Even though I would like to be the one hugged or kissed once in a while, I just accepted that he's not as affectionate as me and just decided that if I need a hug or kiss, I'll just have to be the initiator. By doing this consistently, his own affection level has definitely increased the past couple of months. I think by him seeing that it's just the way I am, he doesn't feel like it's "forced" because he sees that I'm naturally very affectionate, and that provides him with the comfortability and trust that he needs to be open affectionately.


I know it's a small chance of us having the same situation, but I thought I'd just throw that out there...

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Thanks JustMe for the reply.... I think you nailed it! It is very similiar and a vicious cycle and causing many insecurities within myself. I think that then turned into me (wrongly) just shutting down completely and not even trying. In turn I would also blame him and have doubts on where he stood all due to this. Although, he did other things to show his love. I felt "unloved" by the lack of, and would argue about every little thing, when this was the deep issue all along.


I think its worth a shot, I am going to just get back to being myself, as this is an important thing for me and just take it! lol I don't think my b/f is very shy however I don't think he really knows what to do in a relationship. He doesn't open up very much in regards to feeling, so I have never asked. I'm going to go read some of your prior post also!


Thanks again.... Hopefully its not too late.

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