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Why Isn't He Affectionate?

Updated on September 5, 2017
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Natasha Pelati has published three books of poetry and writes on real-life experiences with the help of psychology.


Women love to be loved and held and we assume that every man that comes along will treat us like a princess and shower us with romance and undying love and affection. Why not?

However, men don't think about things the way that women do. Some will hold your hand in public where others wouldn't dare. There are also claustrophobic people who will avoid holding you all night because they feel trapped. It's not because of you, but because of their "space" issues.

For other men, it's because they were not brought up to be affectionate and some do not understand women and what they need.

Whatever the reason, it's important for you to understand what's behind your partner's behavior so you can both learn how to better meet the needs of the other person in the relationship.

In this article, I'll go over five of the main reasons why your boyfriend or husband might not be showing you affection.

Five Reasons He Might Not Be Affectionate

  1. He's comfortable in the relationship and has forgotten that he needs to continue showing you he cares about you even though you're already together.
  2. He grew up in an unaffectionate family and never learned how to express his feelings towards those that he loved.
  3. He's just not very affectionate and has never really expressed his feelings in relationships.
  4. There is an unresolved problem in your relationship that is putting distance between you two.
  5. He's seeing someone else.

1. He's Comfortable in the Relationship

In this scenario, your boyfriend was affectionate when you first met him, but it's started to fizzle out.

When people are comfortable in a relationship, they tend not to do things to impress their partners anymore since they've already "won" them.

As a relationship matures, men tend to become lax with their displays of emotion. You run out of things to say and the "spark" that you felt when you started dating is no longer there. As a result, some men stop showing affection.

It does not mean that you are not loved. I am sure that at times you also tend to get irritated or annoyed, but in general, being comfortable is a good sign. Try reigniting the spark by taking on new adventures or going out a little more in order to feel something again.

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2. Lack of Affection From Family

Some families are close and full of love where others tended not to show their love. A man from a family that was not affectionate might not know how to act that way now.

In this type of relationship, it could take forever and a day for you to show him how to be affectionate as it is often difficult for guys to open up and show emotion if they have a "cold" background.

Giving him love and affection might give him a reason to do the same, but it will take time as it is something he has not experienced before.

I also find that guys who did not have any sisters tend to be less affectionate. This is because boys growing up with sisters are more in tune with women's emotions as they got to experience the tears, love stories, and tales of broken hearts.

3. He Has Never Been Affectionate

If you started dating a guy that has never been very affectionate, then the chances of him being that way now are pretty slim. If you wanted someone who would be more open about how he feels about you, and he has told you that he isn't like that, then why would you be with him?

Some men just cannot show affection, either because of their childhood or because of past issues, and many of them have just not felt the need to be affectionate.

If you are expecting him to change, he won't!

Guys that haven't shown open with their feelings from the very beginning of your relationship are naturally not the hugging type, and if you want to stay in this relationship, then you will have to focus on other things that he does. Expecting him to suddenly become affectionate or waiting until the moment he changes will only make you feel lonely and unloved.

4. Unresolved Problems in Your Relationship

If you've been dating for a while and your normally affectionate boyfriend has suddenly stopped holding your hand, cuddling, or telling you sweet things, it could mean that your relationship is in need of a spark or that there's trouble.

Don't jump to conclusions and assume that he's seeing someone else, but do take a look at your relationship and see if there is something that has caused problems.

It might be as easy as changing things up and rediscovering each other, or it could mean that you have other problems that you need to talk about.

Communication is important and you should be able to let him know that you need affection and ask him why there isn't any.

5. He Is Seeing Someone Else

A relationship that has been filled with affection and is now without it could mean that there is trouble you need to address immediately.

When guys are not interested in kissing you or holding you or do not want to show affection for you in front of friends or in public (even though they had no problem with this before), it might mean that they are having issues of their own or that he is seeing someone else.

Think about whether he lacks intimacy and interest in the bedroom no matter what you try. Has he always been this way, or is it a recent development?

If he has no interest in you whatsoever, then you need to approach it in the right way and find out what's really going on before it's too late.

What If He's Affectionate With Others, but Not With You

A guy that has always been affectionate towards you and has suddenly stopped but shows other people that he cares about them is NOT INTO YOU!

Perhaps he feels that you did something wrong or maybe he's just not interested at all. It could be caused by being stuck in a rut, stress, or just a spark that is missing. In general, however, if he is a natural hugger and is giving affection to everyone but you, he is not in love with you or has fallen out of love with you. His interests are elsewhere and getting him back could be a major challenge as he is already probably too far gone.

If you've communicated with him and it still doesn't change, then it is perhaps time to move forward and find someone else.

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How to Get More Affection From Your Boyfriend

There are two basic ways that can help you get the emotional support you need in a relationship.

  1. Ask him about it. Bring it up in a non-confrontational way and tell him about the needs that you have in a relationship.
  2. Give him the kind of love that you would like to receive back, regardless of how you feel about his lack of affection. There's a chance he will reciprocate automatically.

If you've tried to get back the spark, shown him all the love that you can, and told him how you feel, and things still don't change, then waiting for affection is going to be a long and tiresome task.

Being in a loving relationship means that your partner knows you well and understands by now that you need affection, love, and adoration. If the positive attributes are just not enough, the only thing left to do is to understand that you deserve to be loved and adored, and there will be someone out there that is willing to put you on a pedestal and shower you with affection.

Having to try to get his attention all the time means that he really is not that interested. It's time to move on.

Basic Ways to Show Affection

If you're a husband or boyfriend and wondering what you can do to show more affection, here are some good places to start. It can be learned, but it does take time if it is something that you have never experienced.

  • Hug and kiss your wife or girlfriend every morning when you wake up
  • Kiss her before you leave for work
  • Ask her how she is doing and listen to what she has to say
  • Hold her hand when you are walking
  • Give her a hug while she is washing the dishes
  • In the bedroom, many women appreciate emotional intimacy. It's a crucial part of feeling connected and wanting to be close physically. In bed, let her know how much you admire her, give her a massage, or hold her before being intimate.
  • Never roll over and go to bed after an intimate moment! Give her a kiss or a hug, let her rest her head on your shoulder, and take some time to communicate with her.

Women need to feel loved and even if you do it once a day, it is important to show her that you do love her. All it takes is one kiss, one hug, or one question about her day.

What's Next?

Affection is necessary for you to be healthy, happy, and at peace in the relationship so that should you grow older and have kids of your own, you will be able to hug and hold them, giving them love that they can pass on one day too.

If it is an endless battle to get your boyfriend to show you affection, then consider surrendering and moving forward to find someone who can.

Hopefully, however, you will be able to talk through it and both of you can get what you want out of the relationship.


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    • profile image

      DD Cantrell 3 weeks ago

      My boyfriend is not physically affectionate most of the time. We have on going deep conversations all the time, we do things to please each other, but little hugging, no cuddling and he rushes thru sex like he wants to get it over with and gets offended when I say I am not satisfied.

      He's going thru a financial crisis and attributed it to that, I'm trying to be patient.

      Am I fooling myself or could being patient pay off?

      He's a really kind, classy and caring man.

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thats great! Hugs and kisses are free and always welcome.

    • GreenPrince profile image

      Prince Edike 3 years ago from Philippines

      I love to hug my girl and kiss her every time. Sometimes she demand more.

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Hahaha they say if you hug a tree it will make you feel better!

      I also have some huggers and others not, im not a hugger but i do enjoy being on the receiving end

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      My husband is an engineer and just wired to be a non-hugger, and my daughter is the same way. I've resorted to hugging my cats and my mother.

    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      Thank you!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      A powerful hub and leaves much food for thought.

      Now looking forward to many more by you.


    • Tashaonthetown profile image

      Natasha Pelati 3 years ago from South Africa

      I'm not a serial hugger but I do hug people at the appropriate times. Most of the time it is a handshake for people i don't know.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      I hug someone when most necessary and a hand shake works well too. Some people don't show affection and that sounds cold to me.