No matter how much you love your boyfriend, your relationship will suffer if he is not affectionate enough. Every other aspect of your relationship may still be exciting. You may spend a lot of time together and have the same intimate conversations. But affection is important to you. Getting him to be as affectionate as he was, will make your relationship new again.
What It Means
He can be less affectionate for several reasons. In her article “My Partner Has Been Less Affectionate Lately – What Gives” on Science of Relationships.com, Samantha Joel, M.A. points out that as time goes on, men tend to be less passionate. It is only so long that your partner may still see this as a “new love.” If you have a healthy relationship, the decrease in passion will be offset by increased friendship and attachment. He may also just be getting lazy, not realizing that he has to keep passion alive for you to be satisfied.
Life in the Way
Samantha Joel also points out that the demands of life may cause your boyfriend to be less affectionate. Stress is one common cause. Have you noticed an increase in stress regarding money or family issues? Another possible cause is a change in his feelings for you. If that is the case his behavior is likely to change for the worse in other ways that you will notice. If he is also distant for example, then his feelings may not be as strong.
First, you should address the issue by talking to him about it. In her article “Five Ways to Fix an Unaffectionate Spouse” on HitchedMag.com, Dr. Karen Sherman points out that women tend to have a better sense for the health of their relationship than men, who will often miss the obvious cues until his partner brings them up. Remind him of what you need. Also ask him why he thinks that he is being less affectionate. If he responds positively to your bringing up the issue and is willing to work on it with you, then he probably still has strong feelings for you.
If you want your boyfriend to be more affectionate, you have to reward him when he is affectionate. In his article “How To Give Your Date a Cookie” on PsychologyToday.com, Jeremy Nicholson, Ph.D. outlines the four steps to doing so using what he calls a “cookie,” which is a special favor only given after you see the behavior you want to encourage. First, make sure that you understand exactly what types of affection you want. Second, give him something that he wants soon after he is affectionate, for example a new sweet smile that warms his heart or a playful tug on his ear. Be sure to only do this special favor for him after he is affectionate in the way that you want him to be, otherwise it will confuse the message.
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Nina Edwards holds a doctorate in clinical psychology and has been writing about families and relationships since 2000. She has numerous publications in scholarly journals and often writes for relationship websites as well. Edwards is a university lecturer and practicing psychologist in New York City.
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