Relationships

Boyfriend doesn't show affection...

Hi Ladies,

I need your advice! 

I have a new boyfriend and we have been dating for 3 months. My problem - he doesn't show affection. He will hold my hand while watching a movie at home on the sofa and he'll show affection in the bed when he knows it will lead to sex. Other than that, I get nothing.  He doesn't touch me, he doesn't hold my hand, nothing. I often reach out to him - rub his back, his arm, touch him, tell him how I am attracted to him, how cute he is, etc. In bed I snuggle up to him, etc, but it's never the other way around.

I've gently told him more than once that I often feel like I don't really know how he feels about me and I bring up the affection part. He always responds that "he knows, it's his fault, he'll try harder, he'll get better". But I've never actaully seen a change or seen him try.  Now, he does think that when he spends money on me, that he is showing me he loves me. I would much rather have his words and his affection over MONEY!

Is it a lost cause? Do I need to move on? I will say that I had been in a long term relationship for a very long time and am new to dating and honestly I wonder if I went about this all wrong from the beginning. I really liked him, maybe I tried to hard. Maybe I made myself to easily available. I don't know what to do from here. I feel ridicoulous bringing it up AGAIN!

 Thank you in advance for your advice!

 

Re: Boyfriend doesn't show affection...

  • You've been dating three months and you're already trying to change him? If this is the way he at three months - this is a good prediction of how he'll be for the duration of your relationship. Find someone who satisfies your needs and will give you affection. Trying to make someone be something their not is exhausting and DOESN'T WORK.

  • If the guy isn't giving you what you need, then just stop dating him.  He's a relatively new boyfriend - there's nothing to work on, and he'll be easy to replace.  Onward and upward!

    image
  • People express love in different ways.  Some people aren't physically affectionate as much as they are verbally affectionate or "gift givers," as you describe your BF.  (Be careful - there's a fine line between giving gifts to show affection and giving gifts with the expectation of getting something in return.)

    It ultimately comes down to whether you can be happy in a physically unaffectionate relationship.  What concerns me is that he a) is aware of your feelings, b) says he'll try harder, and c) doesn't.  That tells me he's not really respecting your feelings or trying.   

  • First, yes, people express love in different ways.  So I do feel some of this is on you to decide what you can live with.  He buys you gifts as his way - this is WHO HE IS.  Pay attention to what he's telling you!

    Yes, it would be nice if he really did try, yes, we could say he could respect you more and be more affectionate.  But at the same time, making a person change who they are for you is also selfish on your part. 

    He isn't an affectionate person. Work WITH this knowledge and decide what you can deal with.

    On another note- you say you're new to the dating scene.  Guess what?  You don't have to seriously date the first guy who comes along!  Date a few people casually.  Get to know them before they become a "boyfriend" and make sure they really fit your needs in a partner.

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  • You were in a long term relationship how long before you entered into this one? You might have jumped the gun and got into something that you're really not ready for. It takes time to heal and recover after a long term relationship. After me and my XH split I didn't date for a year because I needed to work on me and get myself together before I went back out into the dating world and working on me is a daily job...still to this day.

    Now, my last relationship was with a guy like you just explained. I was always the one making the moves or showing affection. I would talk to him about it and I would get the same reply. He would do something different for a couple days and then it was back to usual. Finally he opened up and told me that showing affection just isn't who he is. If that's how your guy is, you can't change him.

    If you're not getting what you need from this guy then you need to count your losses and move along. All you're going to end up doing is staying attached to this guy hoping that one day he'll come around and that very well could happen but the chances are slim. To me it sounds like you're wanting more than he is and until he's ready to give you what you want, you're wasting your time.

    Good luck though!

  • What do you want?

    Don't tell a guy that you want "to know how he feels about you".  Too vague.  Tell him that you are a physically affectionate person and that you want more hugs and kisses in private and public displays of affection (like handholding).  Ask him if that is something that he can give you.   Then listen to his answer - carefully.

    If he tells you he just isn't really physically affectionate, believe him.  He will never give you the kind of touching you see as a statement of affection.   Simply put, he may be a great guy, just not a great fit for you.

    Now, go and get a copy of 5 Love Languages and figure out what you need from a relationship.  Then you will have a clear idea what to ask for from your next boyfriend. 

  • It'a only been 3 months and you already need/want more affection from him?  You need to be single for a long time if you made yourself this vulnerable. 
  • image Karen2905:

    People express love in different ways.  Some people aren't physically affectionate as much as they are verbally affectionate or "gift givers," as you describe your BF.  (Be careful - there's a fine line between giving gifts to show affection and giving gifts with the expectation of getting something in return.)

    It ultimately comes down to whether you can be happy in a physically unaffectionate relationship.  What concerns me is that he a) is aware of your feelings, b) says he'll try harder, and c) doesn't.  That tells me he's not really respecting your feelings or trying.   

     

    This above.

    And you have been dating the guy three months. If he is not very physically affectionate NOW in the honeymoon stage (where hormones have you lusting all over each other) it is not going to "get better". And he is also showing you what his "efforts" will result in. No change.

    There is no need to settle for the first guy that comes along.  His lack of physical affection does not mean he is a "bad guy" - it just means he is not the guy for you (nor are you the girl for him).

     

  • You've been with him 3 months, he's not giving you what you need so it's time to let him go and find someone new. It's really that simple. It's not a case of "next time, play harder to get" at all--he's just not the guy for you.

    This is the joy of dating. As my old teacher said: "Men are like buses. If you miss one, another will be along in 10 minutes.". Dating can be liberating, you don't need to feel like you're bound to a guy "just because" especially if he's not giving you what you need/want. There are guys out there who will fall all over themselves to make you feel loved and adored--you'll find one.

  • IF it bothers you he is a cold fish, say goodbye to him. He won't change. Indeed move on.
  • It's only been 3 mo, just cut ties with this guy and find someone that you are compatible with.
    Hope is not a strategy.
  • image ReturnOfKuus:

    If the guy isn't giving you what you need, then just stop dating him.  He's a relatively new boyfriend - there's nothing to work on, and he'll be easy to replace.  Onward and upward!

     

    This, in spades!

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  • If you are having doubts or having problems that are important enough to you after 3 months that you're already writing it in a post...it's time to move on, he's not the one, you need more physical/emotional affection and he's not the type that's going to give it, find someone one who will.  When you're dating you SHOULD be picky!
  • Don't be with someone you want to change.  Maybe that is just his personality.  Don't take it so personal.  People can show affection in different ways, either deal with him the way he is or move on.
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  • He can manage to show you affection when he wants sex; so that tells me he knows how to make such gestures; and indicates to me that you are a booty call to him, not a 'girlfriend'. Lots of people are uncomfortable with public displays of affection, but he won't even put his arm around you in private unless he wants to get laid? Come on.

    This isn't something he doesn't 'understand'; he doesn't want to touch you unless you're laying down for him. Move on, there are much better men out there.

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  • IblissIbliss
    Third Anniversary
    member
    I agree with some of the people who have said people show love it different ways. Maybe spending money is how he shows affection. I have found you have to be very specific with men about what you want them to do. So come up with examples in the situation. So you are watching a movie on the couch and or try to cuddle but he doesn't do much: Ask him to play with your hair or put his arm around you. Tell him exactly with you need. It may be that he is trying but he doesn't know how. He doesn't know how to act, or to show affection. If he still doesn't respond to you specific requests then move on. Don't settle but do try to get satifaction from the relationship before just giving up and running on the next piece of meat.
  • People do show affection different ways. A book I read that I thought was really helpful on that subject was "The Five Love Languages" (I know it sounds really cheesy, and I was quite skeptical, but it was actually fairly good). He shows love by giving you gifts, but that's not how you interpret love (you like words of affection, physical touch).

     I agree with lbliss about giving him specific ideas of what you want. I know it seems really unromantic to say "hey, would you put your arm around me?" but for some guys (mine is one of them), although they want to please you, they just need specifics (it's not enough to say "I want you to be more affectionate," you have to give examples of when and how you would like them to do that).

     But if you talk to him about how you understand you have different ways of showing love, ask him to do specific things, etc., and he still makes no move to change, there are other fish in the dating ocean.

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