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Is it normal for men not to be affectionate?


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Maybe if you read my other comment in the thread you’d realize I do. I’m not so old I come from the dark ages you know. Gee whiz I actually remember being 30. I have a son who is only eight years younger than her. I’m not so old I come from the Flintstones.

 

Never said you were. But the examples you offered were of people who are in their 80's-90's. And justified that as they are old it's ok as you have never seen them hug once, but as they are still alive and together - it's normal.

 

Totally irrelevant to the OPs situ.

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He is a great person with a big heart. He does sweet things for me all the time( just folded all my laundry and put everything away without me asking:) and he puts me first before anyone. He would drop anything for me at anytime if I needed him and he is calm, respectful and a hard worker. He is Willing to listen to me when I talk and never tells me I am overreacting and making a big deal of things ( even sometimes when i am). I love him dearly. The passionate side of me is just missing that very much and I feel guilty for that.

 

He sounds like a good lad. (But don't get used to the laundry thing ;) (Can you send him over to my place?)

 

Would you sit down and have a serious heart to heart with him? Tell him what's bugging you?

Have you brought it up seriously before with him?

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He is a great person with a big heart. He does sweet things for me all the time( just folded all my laundry and put everything away without me asking:) and he puts me first before anyone. He would drop anything for me at anytime if I needed him and he is calm, respectful and a hard worker. He is Willing to listen to me when I talk and never tells me I am overreacting and making a big deal of things ( even sometimes when i am). I love him dearly. The passionate side of me is just missing that very much and I feel guilty for that.

 

So , he brings some great qualities to the table. Was he raised in an environment that was not very affectionate?

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Prior to him were you with guys who satisfied that "passionate side" while not respecting the other sides? I ask because you should never feel guilty for yearning for any side of you to be satisfied. Romantic partnership isn't about suppressing certain needs and desires, at least in my opinion, but about committing to someone who meets the core spectrum of your needs and desires. Hard to feel guilty when you'e full, is all.

 

Aside from "Hey, babe, hug me more" have you had a real sit down about this stuff?

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It's not about what's "normal" or "men" at large. It's about this man you are engaged to and this relationship. This man is not a hugger and that doesn't make him abnormal or less than or whatever negative things you want to impute to him.

 

I would suggest that you read up on the 5 languages of love, not for the sake of changing him, but for the sake of YOU growing a little bit emotionally and learning to understand, see, value different languages of love. Even so, you really need to ask yourself if you and him can truly get your differences and meld harmoniously anyway long before you walk down the isle. In fact, you should both read it, talk about it and see if you can arrive at some mutual middle ground. If you cannot, if you continue to feel sh$tty for lack of a better word, then this relationship is the wrong one for you. Do some work on yourself and your relationship and see where you stand after that. Don't toss the baby out of the bathwater so to speak.

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I talked to him about it the other day. It was a heart to heart and I told him how much I love him and want to marry him but I feel like the physical part is hard for me to accept. I said I understand I am trying to convince you to step out of your comfort zone but I am not trying to change you. Even though in essence, I guess I am. He told me he is trying in that department it just doesn’t come naturally. We talked for a while and I said” ok I’ll shut up now “jokingly and he said “no, it’s good that we are talking about this.” So he is open to talk about it. Should I give it a few months and see if there is noticeable change? I don’t want to think like this but if it doesn’t I don’t think I can live my whole life with no passion. I just know this will always be an issue if it doesn’t get better. There have been other issues over the years. Nothing drastic -but we have worked on them together and they have improved.

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So , he brings some great qualities to the table. Was he raised in an environment that was not very affectionate?

 

Yes he was raised where they never spoke about issues and swept them under the rug. They never hugged or had heart to heart conversations. His father would kiss his mother but never hug her and he wasn’t there for her emotionally.

 

He has never told his mother he loves her in front of me but they have. A great relationship.

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Yes he was raised where they never spoke about issues and swept them under the rug. They never hugged or had heart to heart conversations. His father would kiss his mother but never hug her and he wasn’t there for her emotionally.

 

He has never told his mother he loves her in front of me but they have. A great relationship.

 

Then this is a foreign concept to him like it was to my husband. I would see if he is willing to at least try and work on it .

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I talked to him about it the other day. It was a heart to heart and I told him how much I love him and want to marry him but I feel like the physical part is hard for me to accept. I said I understand I am trying to convince you to step out of your comfort zone but I am not trying to change you. Even though in essence, I guess I am. He told me he is trying in that department it just doesn’t come naturally. We talked for a while and I said” ok I’ll shut up now “jokingly and he said “no, it’s good that we are talking about this.” So he is open to talk about it. Should I give it a few months and see if there is noticeable change? I don’t want to think like this but if it doesn’t I don’t think I can live my whole life with no passion. I just know this will always be an issue if it doesn’t get better. There have been other issues over the years. Nothing drastic -but we have worked on them together and they have improved.

 

 

Well that's super news! Everything you have written above sounds really positive.

 

Maybe you need to test the waters and be a bit more affectionate to him in social situs or at home. There's nothing wrong with you being the dominant one. He's clearly working with you and loves you and is open to working together on it, so you don't need to feel insecurity in this. He will probably respect you for it. Helping him out so to speak. Men find it tough to and there is huge pressure on them to take the lead in the sexual side of things.

 

When he's cooking dinner or just watching a movie or such, go up and plant a big smooch on him and walk away. Wink at him across the table when you are out with people. Grab his hand when you are out. Walk up to him a shop and casually put your arm around him. Flirt with him. Try to touch him more.

 

He sounds tad insecure in his masculinity with you. He needs you to guide him.

 

Try it for a month or so and see how he reacts to you.

 

BTW: Don't let his past define you as a couple. You are not his therapist. You are the woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with. Possibly the mother of his kids. Avoid getting into and becoming a 'shrink' to him. It's his job to work that stuff out, he's 32 not 15. It's not your role to turn into his mother or councellor.

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Can I be so bold to ask... Kissing and hugging aside. Are you happy in bed with him?

Do you feel you are on the same wavelength? Or does this issue move into the bedroom and always has been same?

 

To be honest not 100%. We don’t really “make love “ if you will. He doesn’t call me beautiful or sexy in bed. It’s almost like he follows my lead a lot. It’s not that it is bad. It just isn’t very passionate.

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To be honest not 100%. We don’t really “make love “ if you will. He doesn’t call me beautiful or sexy in bed. It’s almost like he follows my lead a lot. It’s not that it is bad. It just isn’t very passionate.

 

Ah God I am sorry to hear that.

 

But I am not surprised to hear it based on what you have said.

 

Forget about him for a moment.

 

What do YOU want in your life as a woman at this age of your life?

 

You don't seem very happy missy and possibly realising you are settling for a guy who is 'sweet 'and 'folds your laundry' and is 'nice to you'...

 

Is that really what you want? I sense you are quite a passionate person. With a lot to give.

 

 

 

BTW am not trying to be facetious but you can:

 

A: play a cleaner to do the laundry.

B: I imagine a lot of your friends have already told you are sweet and a really good, kind and nice person and listen to you.

 

But if the sex life and passion isn't matching up, you will set both of yourselves up for a lot of heartbreak :(

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I'm very much getting the same sense as Murphy. I remain curious about your pre-him experiences in romance—if there were instances where the passion meter was high but other needed meters were neglected.

 

It's so hard, and I feel for you. He's a great guy, you love him, have a lot pinned on him right now. Not saying this is the moment to crumple all that up and toss it away, but it is a moment to be honest about what you want from romantic partnership, and honest with yourself about whether you're trying to excavate something here that is not there to be excavated.

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Ah God I am sorry to hear that.

 

But I am not surprised to hear it based on what you have said.

 

Forget about him for a moment.

 

What do YOU want in your life as a woman at this age of your life?

 

You don't seem very happy missy and possibly realising you are settling for a guy who is 'sweet 'and 'folds your laundry' and is 'nice to you'...

 

Is that really what you want? I sense you are quite a passionate person. With a lot to give.

 

 

 

BTW am not trying to be facetious but you can:

 

A: play a cleaner to do the laundry.

B: I imagine a lot of your friends have already told you are sweet and a really good, kind and nice person.

 

LOL to the laundry thing.... i like someone who can take the lead and be more assertive. Nothing to crazy. I guess I just feel like every guy I have dated ( short term) that has been like that, has ended up being emotionally abusive or cheating. I guess I have this idea in my head that if a man is very passionate he probably is not a good long term partner based on my past.

 

I want to be able to have those intimate moments that make you closer. Retire and walk on a beach holding hands and always keeping the spark. That kind of stuff . I was never the type of person that had a goal to get married. I always worried what if we end up being bored together .That’s another issue though for another post! I’m just a firm believe in always keeping it alive and keeping that depth or it will just die. He is ok with how things are and i don’t want to take away all the good he does.

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LOL to the laundry thing.... i like someone who can take the lead and be more assertive. Nothing to crazy. I guess I just feel like every guy I have dated ( short term) that has been like that, has ended up being emotionally abusive or cheating. I guess I have this idea in my head that if a man is very passionate he probably is not a good long term partner based on my past.

 

I want to be able to have those intimate moments that make you closer. Retire and walk on a beach holding hands and always keeping the spark. That kind of stuff . I was never the type of person that had a goal to get married. I always worried what if we end up being bored together .That’s another issue though for another post! I’m just a firm believe in always keeping it alive and keeping that depth or it will just die. He is ok with how things are and i don’t want to take away all the good he does.

Your own baggage is something you have to deal with too before marriage.

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I'm very much getting the same sense as Murphy. I remain curious about your pre-him experiences in romance—if there were instances where the passion meter was high but other needed meters were neglected.

 

It's so hard, and I feel for you. He's a great guy, you love him, have a lot pinned on him right now. Not saying this is the moment to crumple all that up and toss it away, but it is a moment to be honest about what you want from romantic partnership, and honest with yourself about whether you're trying to excavate something here that is not there to be excavated.

 

This... the guy before him was extremely passionate handsome and we just clicked on that level and others. He ended up cheating

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My lord a certain someone in this thread is miserable. Particularly when it comes to matters such as this, nobody can tell you what is normal, much less who's recreationally sticking foreign objects of their rectal cavity.

 

Here's what happened. You stuck with someone who's barebones incompatible with you when it comes to the inclination and method of affection. Assuming this wasn't just a sudden revelation, it's kinda shame on you. You can scrutinize his lack of having a long-term relationship prior to you, but it doesn't seem you've learned a whole lot of lessons from however many you've had. Plenty of people simply aren't touchy people. Besides that, a whole lot of couples get out of the romance-novel face-to-face gazing, verbally gushing lovemaking session, at least as far as with any dependable frequency is concerned.

 

What you do is exactly as DancingFool suggested. In essence, you reflect on how he does show affection and appreciation for you. Is it worth it? That's the biggest question you've got to ask yourself. You're not wrong if it's not. You're you. He's him. If he's not a hugger with his own mother, while you obviously can't (or I'd hope you can't) extrapolate that in a romantic context, it's a pretty solid indicator of what his "bubble" is when it comes to his inclination toward routine physical affection.

 

If I were to go up and down the list of every detail and qualification in a woman prior to my marriage, I doubt my wife would have checked off every single box. What matters is the entire package. And beyond wishing she'd bring home a pizza every now and again, there's never been a moment where, at least in terms of her broader character, I never told myself, "I wish she was different in this way." Who she is more than makes up for whatever I might otherwise have conventionally preferred. Note that it's much different from "settling." The decision was among the most intuitive I've ever made. It never came down to a list of pros and cons. And if you're at that crossroads where that is essentially where you're at, I would at the very least postpone the wedding if you've got a date.

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This... the guy before him was extremely passionate handsome and we just clicked on that level and others. He ended up cheating

 

I guess I just feel like every guy I have dated ( short term) that has been like that, has ended up being emotionally abusive or cheating. I guess I have this idea in my head that if a man is very passionate he probably is not a good long term partner based on my past.

 

Ah, there it is: the little nugget I suspected was there, and was delicately trying to mine with some questions.

 

It sounds like, in pain, you swung your pendulum pretty far in the opposite direction—and, now that some of that pain has subsided, you're wondering if maybe you swung a bit too far. Which, ugh, maybe you have. Only you know.

 

I admit I'm biting my tongue here a bit, but I'll just say this: At 40, I've seen people commit to relationships with a fundamental missing ingredient—things they alternated between talking about with friends, talking out with partners, and sweeping into back rooms of the brain as Netflix played.

 

That missing ingredient is often sexual compatibility, and I've yet to hear a story about two people who were meh on that front for the first 5 years but found it at year 8, though I've heard plenty about people who break up at year 8 for that reason. I've also heard stories of people who have "learned to be okay" with it, but my own value system, which places a high premium on sensuality, can never quite compute those stories as fully honest.

 

So, what to do? Maybe just what you're doing. Real, open talks coupled with patience and honest observation—of how you feel. Your spirit will always tell you when you're full or empty. The hardest thing, of course, is learning to listen to it, especially when listening might require hard choices.

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Not much to add here except this: none of the men I was with before now were very affectionate... brief cuddles and kisses but that’s about it... the guy I am with now is very affectionate and even though I love it at times it kind of weirds me out because I am not used to it.

 

Not everyone has physical touch as their main love language but usually people that do need others that do as well.

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Ah, there it is: the little nugget I suspected was there, and was delicately trying to mine with some questions.

 

It sounds like, in pain, you swung your pendulum pretty far in the opposite direction—and, now that some of that pain has subsided, you're wondering if maybe you swung a bit too far. Which, ugh, maybe you have. Only you know.

 

I admit I'm biting my tongue here a bit, but I'll just say this: At 40, I've seen people commit to relationships with a fundamental missing ingredient—things they alternated between talking about with friends, talking out with partners, and sweeping into back rooms of the brain as Netflix played.

 

That missing ingredient is often sexual compatibility, and I've yet to hear a story about two people who were meh on that front for the first 5 years but found it at year 8, though I've heard plenty about people who break up at year 8 for that reason. I've also heard stories of people who have "learned to be okay" with it, but my own value system, which places a high premium on sensuality, can never quite compute those stories as fully honest.

 

So, what to do? Maybe just what you're doing. Real, open talks coupled with patience and honest observation—of how you feel. Your spirit will always tell you when you're full or empty. The hardest thing, of course, is learning to listen to it, especially when listening might require hard choices.

 

Bluecastle- you are very observant. I am impressed with how you hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

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This... the guy before him was extremely passionate handsome and we just clicked on that level and others. He ended up cheating

 

That does not mean that guys who are passionate (and handsome) are going to always cheat on you.

 

To be honest, from a quick speed read of this thread, I think you may have been hurt by previous relationships, so you went for somebody very much unlike your ex-BFs... but now you are realizing that your fiance lacks the qualities that attracted you to your exes in the first place.

 

Whilst I agree with the sentiment that "some people are huggers, some are not", physical intimacy is important, and it is possible that you are ultimately incompatible with your fiance. You focused on the lack of hugs and huddles, but perhaps out of modesty, did not mention bedroom issues until prompted. Collectively though, that is a significant red flag. It is quite possible that your fiance is just never going to be comfortable being the physical partner you need to maintain a healthy and happy relationship, for whatever underlying reasons that he might have.

 

For example I love cuddles and kisses, but I am a light sleeper, so for a good night's sleep, I cannot sleep cuddling a partner, sometimes I find having my movement restricted whilst trying to sleep to actually feel suffocating. Some girls do not feel comfortable/safe unless they are wrapped up in somebody's arms, and feel a need to cuddle as they sleep. This seems a minor issue at first, but ultimately it would make us incompatible if it is an important issue for both of us.

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Not much to add here except this: none of the men I was with before now were very affectionate... brief cuddles and kisses but that’s about it... the guy I am with now is very affectionate and even though I love it at times it kind of weirds me out because I am not used to it.

 

Not everyone has physical touch as their main love language but usually people that do need others that do as well.

 

Did you find that the guys that were not very affectionate, were emotionally unavailable to a certain extent ?

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Not much to add here except this: none of the men I was with before now were very affectionate... brief cuddles and kisses but that’s about it... the guy I am with now is very affectionate and even though I love it at times it kind of weirds me out because I am not used to it.

 

Not everyone has physical touch as their main love language but usually people that do need others that do as well.

 

I'm just not getting the sense—and correct me if I'm wrong, Nmr—that this is really about "affection" in the cuddle-while-we-cook sense. I think that's the Trojan Horse to speak the unspeakable.

 

Brass tacks, if I may: Do you think you'd be thirsty for more hugs and cuddles if you were more satisfied with what went down when the clothes came off?

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I'm just not getting the sense—and correct me if I'm wrong, Nmr—that this is really about "affection" in the cuddle-while-we-cook sense. I think that's the Trojan Horse to speak the unspeakable.

 

Brass tacks, if I may: Do you think you'd be thirsty for more hugs and cuddles if you were more satisfied with what went down when the clothes came off?

 

I think that if I were more fulfilled in that sense, I would feel more emotionally connected to him and I would be More willing to accept the amount of physical affection (or lack thereof) outside of the bedroom.

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