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All you want is a little bit more affection, but your partner won’t give it to you.
So, how do you get them to?
We all show love in different ways and some people find it easier than others to be open with their emotions.
When you’re an affectionate person, it can be hard to understand a partner who isn’t. But just because they don’t show they care in the same way as you, it doesn’t mean they love you any less.
There could be any number of reasons why they are how they are, and you need to be realistic with your expectations. Some people just show emotion differently to you, and you’ll have to come to terms with that.
But there are ways that you can encourage your partner to be more comfortable with showing their feelings and in turn make you happier in your relationship.
Read on for some of our top tips on how to get your partner to be more affectionate.
1. Tell them what you want.
If you feel like your partner isn’t being affectionate enough, the first step is to talk to them about it.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship. Having an open and honest conversation about how and why you would like them to be more affectionate and how they feel about this is the start of you both working together to strengthen what you have.
What you’re asking them to do might not seem like a lot, but as much as we think our partners know us inside out, they aren’t mind readers. Being clear and open with one another about what you want to change saves time, miscommunication, and frustration.
Try to avoid attacking your partner with sweeping statements of “why can’t you be more affectionate?”
Instead, focus on tangible things they could start doing that would make a difference. It might be asking them to hold your hand while you’re walking or just giving you a hug once in a while.
I know you want your partner to be more affectionate without having to tell them what to do. But they could just need a helping hand understanding what it is you need from them.
With a little guidance, and after seeing how happy these small changes make you, your encouragement could be all they need to start being more affectionate on their own.
2. Keep your expectations in check.
In all the romantic movies and books, we’re painted a picture perfect relationship of an adoring couple and a whirlwind romance.
We might indulge in these fantasies during a particularly long day at the office, but when it comes to your own relationship, try to remember when to separate fact from fiction.
Your partner might be your soulmate, but everyone come in all shapes and sizes and with unique personalities of their own.
Not everyone will sweep you off your feet and declare their passionate love for you, and we shouldn’t expect it of them.
The romances we read about and watch are exciting because they are an escape from real life. But when you come back down to earth, you realize that them taking out the bins or starting dinner before you get home, even running you a bath one evening, is romance in its purest form.
No, it’s not horse drawn carriages and kissing in the rain, but it’s them showing you they love you and being affectionate in their own way.
If you’re expecting your partner to be more affectionate, just make sure what you’re wanting from them isn’t best left to your romance novels.
Be realistic in what you expect them to do to make you feel loved. Some things might be best left to your daydreams.
3. Be encouraging.
They might not get it 100% right, but any time your partner shows even slightly more affection, make sure you tell them how good it makes you feel.
Reinforcing positive behavior is, in its essence, a reward tactic to encourage more of what you want from your partner.
By positively responding and reinforcing your partner each time they show more affection toward you, they’ll be more likely to keep doing it.
The fastest way to make someone give up trying is to tell them they aren’t doing enough or not doing it the right way. They might not be as affectionate as you want them to be yet, but even the smallest change shows they’re trying to give you what you want.
If they are already self-conscious about opening up and being more affectionate than they’re used to and only ever get a negative reaction from you, they’ll stop trying altogether.
If they are trying to be more affectionate, but are still nowhere near the level you want them to be, rather than tell them how far they have to go, enjoy how far they’ve come.
Be subtle and encouraging, don’t bring out the fanfare every time they give you a hug, but just acknowledge that what they did made you happy.
The more they see how their affection brings you so much joy, the more they’ll want to keep doing it, with or without your encouragement.
4. Try to see it from their perspective.
What you’re asking from your partner might not seem a lot to you. So much so that you’re constantly frustrated and even baffled by how hard they find understanding something that comes so naturally to you.
We forget that just because we’re in a relationship together, it doesn’t mean you and your partner have the same thoughts, have had the same experiences, or show emotion in the same way.
There could be a reason why your partner finds it difficult to show affection as openly as you can. Constantly being told you’re not doing enough and that they are making you unhappy will gradually chip away at their confidence and their ability to do anything right in your relationship.
Think about how the way you express your need for more affection could be affecting them.
Talk to your partner about what you want and take the time to listen and understand their perspective of the situation. They might be willing to share with you how past relationships or experiences have affected how they now show their emotions and why it’s different to you, so take it on board if they tell you they’re trying.
There isn’t an overnight answer for introducing more affection into your relationship; it’s something you will have to persevere with and maybe even compromise on.
Just remember that for a relationship to work and stay strong, both of you need to be happy in it. Take this as an opportunity to grow together and become emotionally stronger as a couple rather than expect just one of you to do all of the changing.
5. Show them what you want.
The simplest way to encourage your partner to be more affectionate is to show them exactly what you want from them.
By showing them more affection, you’re giving them a roadmap to follow and letting them see for themselves how nice it feels to be on the receiving end of this loving attention.
Without showing them exactly what it is you want from them, they could be interpreting your needs in an entirely different way.
They might think they’re doing everything you’ve asked for while you barely notice a difference.
Even when something seems obvious to you, it might not be to them. By showing them the type of affection you want to see more of, they’ll be less likely to miss the point.
Take their hand in yours, cuddle up to them during a movie, give them a spontaneous kiss while you’re out and about. Whatever you’re looking for more of, the more encouraging you are with your own actions, the more comfortable they’ll begin to feel mirroring them back at you.
6. Make more time for each other.
Making time for each other is essential for any relationship, but if more affection is what you’re looking for, putting time aside to focus on each other without distractions can foster a more romantic and affectionate atmosphere.
Your partner might not be naturally spontaneous with showing affection or feel self-conscious about public displays of affection. Making sure you dedicate time to spend with each other creates an opportunity for them to give you the affection you need without embarrassment.
Life is full of distractions and, especially when you’ve been in a relationship for a while, carving out time just for each other can come second to all the demands of work and family.
Having a date night once in a while reminds you of the chemistry you have between you. The happier and more in love you’re feeling with each other, the easier they’re going to find showing you that.
7. Work out how you both show affection.
Everyone has different ways of showing that they care. Working out how both you and your partner show affection might help you realize that it’s less that they haven’t been giving you any, and more that you’ve just not realized when they do.
Spend some time reading up on the Five Love Languages and work out how you like to receive love and how you show it to others. This will help you get a better understanding of yourself and what it is you need from your partner.
It’s just as important to work out if your partner has a different way they naturally show affection. Perhaps to them, buying you a small gift while they’re out is their way of showing that they were thinking of you and that they care. But for you, gifts aren’t as meaningful as hearing them tell you they love you once in a while.
Being ‘affectionate’ can mean a whole range of things for different people and could be a source of miscommunication for you and your partner.
Working out how you both perceive affection will help you not only understand each other better, but also your own personalities and needs. You’ll learn how to be there for each other in a more meaningful way.
Wanting your partner to show you more affection can come from a place of fear that he will stop loving you and leave you.
It’s not just up to your partner to make all the changes; a relationship takes work from you both. If your need for affection really stems from your own insecurities, this is something only you can fix.
There is only so much your partner can do if you aren’t willing to work on yourself too. Eventually the pressure of your expectations will drive them away.
Some people are more affectionate by nature, but if you know your partner and know they love you, you’ll be able to come to terms with the fact that they don’t show their love in the same way as you.
As your relationship goes on, how they show their affection may start becoming less important as you feel more comfortable in the knowledge that they love you in their own way.
In turn, as time goes on, they might get more comfortable showing you they love you in all the ways you like to see it.
Relationships allow us to grow not just as a couple, but as individuals too. Over time, you’ll realize that it’s not how they show they care that matters, it’s that they do.
Still not sure what to do about the lack of affection your partner shows you? Chat online to a relationship expert from Relationship Hero who can help you figure things out. Simply click here to chat.
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