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Lack of affection

(28 Posts)
Lily405 Wed 03-Aug-16 17:46:02

DP and I have been together for less than a year and a half but live together. He's wonderful overall but is not an affectionate person. He does give foot rubs, will occasionally cuddle in the morning, and sometimes kisses me on the forehead before he leaves. But his physical affection is limited. He also does not say "I love you" regularly--maybe once every month or so. He's more apt to include it in texts or notes he leaves around the house.

We did have a disagreement about cleaning duties about three months ago. He wasn't doing his fair share. He apologized for it sincerely and has done his share (and often more) since the discussion without any requests or directions from me. We also discussed the physical affection issue and, while he made an effort initially, it tapered off relatively quickly. I don't doubt that he loves me. He can write rather sweet love notes, always asks if I need things while he's out, texts throughout the day with articles or information that he thinks I'd like, and is thoughtful when making plans or on holidays. He has started asking about engagement rings--what I want most in one, style that I like, etc. I know he's serious, and I do love him. But I miss the affection that I had in previous relationships.

Has this been an issue with anyone else? How did you handle it? Can a relationship work when one person wants more affection than the other person?

adora1 Wed 03-Aug-16 17:55:46

A year and a half and you feel neglected - Jesus, you should both be at it like rabbits, sorry not helpful but honestly, it's not looking good.

He sounds more like a flat mate, do you really want to marry your lodger?

category12 Wed 03-Aug-16 17:58:02

Is this a "love languages" thing? Or a not enough sex thing?

Lily405 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:00:33

Probably should have included that we are intimate regularly, usually every day or every other day. He's attentive to my needs/wants in bed, and I'm happy with that aspect of the relationship. I just don't consider it affection.

Lily405 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:00:41

We are intimate regularly, usually every day or every other day. He's attentive to my needs/wants in bed, and I'm happy with that aspect of the relationship. I just don't consider it affection.

Lily405 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:01:28

Sorry for the double post. blush

hadenoughofit37 Wed 03-Aug-16 18:27:12

If your getting it every other day, he's giving you what you want then there is no issue and no dead bedroom. Count yourself lucky.

MatildaTheCat Wed 03-Aug-16 18:30:27

Only you can know if you can be happy with a non tactile man. You can set up 'rules' like kissing hello and goodbye but he won't change,mits who he is.

After you've listed all his good points he sounds bloody marvellous to me. smile

pallasathena Wed 03-Aug-16 18:36:15

If you're looking for perfection...it doesn't exist. He sounds great.

5tardusty Wed 03-Aug-16 18:42:09

He sounds really nice. I think you might not realise what you've got until you left him, and may well kick yourself.

I think leaving you notes and showing you that he is thoughtful is definitely affectionate. If he wasn't brought up in a huggy, kissy, i love you type family (i wasnt) then it may not come naturally to him

TheNaze73 Wed 03-Aug-16 19:24:17

I know I must sound like a broken record sometimes but, I can't see what the rush is for people to move in together. All the mystique goes. After only 18 months, you've got a live in partner, who sounds highly attentive to me & you are talking about getting engaged. I suppose my point is, are you comparing eggs with eggs?? Were you living with the other guys after 18 months you talk about?? I see this as a contrast between security (which is sounds like you have to me) or excitement of someone who isn't as reliable or dependable, which is why you're comparing him to your ex's?
Do you know exactly what you want as this guy would tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people however, would probably not for some free spirits?

Lily405 Wed 03-Aug-16 19:40:14

I think leaving you notes and showing you that he is thoughtful is definitely affectionate. If he wasn't brought up in a huggy, kissy, i love you type family (i wasnt) then it may not come naturally to him.

I think this is probably a big part of it. I've met his family and they don't seem to be the most physically affectionate bunch. However, they do freely say "I love you" so I don't quite understand why it's so difficult for him in relationships.

You can set up 'rules' like kissing hello and goodbye but he won't change,mits who he is.

I like the suggestion but am a bit worried about setting up rules for him. I want him to feel comfortable with being who he is. I guess I just miss physical affection being a natural thing. It's helpful to hear that it is just who he is. My closest friend IRL tends to jump to the conclusion that he is selfish because he hasn't tried to meet that need. But it may be a matter of asking too much of him if it's not in his nature.

I know I must sound like a broken record sometimes but, I can't see what the rush is for people to move in together. All the mystique goes. After only 18 months, you've got a live in partner, who sounds highly attentive to me & you are talking about getting engaged. I suppose my point is, are you comparing eggs with eggs?? Were you living with the other guys after 18 months you talk about?? I see this as a contrast between security (which is sounds like you have to me) or excitement of someone who isn't as reliable or dependable, which is why you're comparing him to your ex's?

Moving in together was a natural progression for us. I don't regret it. It has been helpful in deciding whether marriage is a good idea. I really do enjoy spending time with him and love going to sleep/waking up beside him every day. I did live with one other person previously in a serious relationship. I didn't mean to come across as if I was comparing them. It's more that I miss being held, hugged, and kissed regularly. I do appreciate all of his good points. He's a lovely man. But it's sometimes difficult for me to feel loved and safe when the everyday affection is missing.

HJackman Thu 04-Aug-16 01:28:31

I know exactly where you're coming from Lily - my OH doesn't do affection. I do wish that just occasionally she'd just stroke my arm softly, mess with my hair, suggest a back rub - anything really. It's just not in her personality though, she gets annoyed if I do that kind of thing to her. She can't even fuss the cat for more than a few seconds without losing interest! At least I know it's not me ;)

We've been together 15 years now, so it can work.

FastWindow Thu 04-Aug-16 01:37:33

Love notes left around the house ?

Disagreement about unfair chore sharing, resolved immediately, with no further discussion - to your advantage?

Sex every day/ every other day?

LTB.

category12 Thu 04-Aug-16 06:27:39

I suggest you read a bit about the "5 love languages" - Google is your friend. To me, seems like he shows he loves you in lots of ways. Maybe if you look at it through the different love language lens it will help.

What you can't do is expect him to change fundamentally and maintain it. Only you know if this is a deal breaker.

HeddaGarbled Thu 04-Aug-16 09:52:49

He sounds pretty near perfect to me. If someone was touching me and telling me they loved me every five minutes it would drive me bonkers. He doesn't sound like he lacks affection at all. You just have mismatched styles/expectations.

SandyY2K Thu 04-Aug-16 17:59:07

He sounds like a good guy to me.

Not everyone is verbally affectionate. You get lovely notes, he's stepped up with the cleaning and you are intimate regularly. That would be great for a lot of women, but if it's not enough for you, that's all that matters.

I think you're looking for perfection and that's your right, but be prepared to wait a while for that if this ends.

You can't change him and a friend once said that you can't expect people to show you love in a way they've never received it themselves.

How do you show him affection?

Loveyoutothemoon Thu 04-Aug-16 18:16:00

He sounds good to me!

attsca Thu 04-Aug-16 19:00:27

I'd rather have a foot rub than a cuddle any day, he sounds nice.

Lily405 Thu 04-Aug-16 22:43:02

Thanks for the input, everyone. I do agree that he's very nice. I don't think I ever realized how important physical touch and affection are to me before this relationship. I can deal without the "I love you." I know it may seem like I'm seeking perfection but I do recognize that he's great. I just miss the physical connection outside of sex. At times I get a bit resentful and feel as if he is willing to touch me then but not when I need it outside of the bedroom.

How do you show him affection?
I have struggled with this. I write him notes as well, always ask if he needs things, and occasionally surprise him with things or experiences he has wanted. (Only small things or experiences that don't cost a lot as we don't have much money.) In the beginning, I often said "I love you" or hugged him. However, I have given up on that as it is hard to do it when it is not reciprocated. When I would say "I love you" about every week or so, he would say it back but as quickly as possible as if it was painful for him. So I stopped. I no longer really initiate physical affection either.

HeddaGarbled Thu 04-Aug-16 22:56:16

If you are sitting next to him on the settee and snuggle up to him, does he put his arm around you, move away or not react at all?

Do you ever hold hands when you are out walking? If you take hold of his hand, is he happy or does he seem uncomfortable?

Having said in a previous post that he seems near perfect, with your extra information, I do see how him not touching you unless he wants sex, may be an issue.

Lily405 Thu 04-Aug-16 23:43:16

Hedda Our settee isn't the most conducive to sitting next to each other but he has never put his arm around me when I have tried. Sometimes he'll make contact for a bit but then get up to retrieve something and sit in a different position. If I take his hand while we're walking, he'll deal with it for a short time.

He hates to cuddle after sex, immediately gets up, and leaves the room. While I don't need to cuddle every time we have sex, it has left me feeling a bit used.

HeddaGarbled Fri 05-Aug-16 09:26:45

Hmm, I'm starting to see your point. It's not just that he isn't spontaneously cuddly but that he actively avoids physical contact other than sex. Getting up and leaving the room after sex without a cuddle first would piss me off too.

category12 Fri 05-Aug-16 09:40:54

OK I have changed my mind - no post-coital cuddles, no more sex.

attsca Fri 05-Aug-16 09:51:27

Well it sounds rather worse in your subsequent posts, yes that is hurtful.

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