I Want More Attention
Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Female
My boyfriend and I are very much in love. I don't doubt his love for me. The Problem? I am very affectionate and open with my feelings and he is very quiet and withdrawn. He shows his appreciation for me in his way, like huggging me while he is glued to the television, but I love to communicate and speaking seems to cause him physical agony. I wish I could feel mored connected to him. I love him madly. What do I do?
One of the most important things you can learn in life is that people are naturally different. They want different things, they grow up with different influences. Maybe you grew up in a family that was very touchy-feely and you felt this was normal. Maybe he grew up in a family that was very hands-off and he thought that was normal. For him, maybe his hugs he gives to you is a big change for him and requires a lot of effort. Maybe more contact, to him, would feel overwhelming and scary.
This sort of compromise takes place in every part of a relationship. Two people rarely have exactly the same sex drive, exactly the same need to hug, exactly the same desire to talk about things. They rarely have the exact same desire to bike X miles a day or watch Y hours of TV. They have to compromise.
So you need to realize that your boyfriend is giving you what to him is a loving amount of attention. You aren't going to get the much larger amounts you associate with "love". You need to readjust what you feel is important on a day to day basis. You can also be sure to instigate things instead of sitting back and waiting for him to do them. Go to him and snuggle with him. If you gently and slowly increase the contact each week, you might slowly get him used to a higher level, over time. But you need to accept him the way he is - not assume he's "broken" and that you can fix him over time.
-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com