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Wedding Woes

Are YOU verbalizing your needs or just hoping he'll 'get it' eventually?

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend of a year is hardworking, attractive, family-oriented, adventurous, and kind, but I feel like our intimacy has been lacking since the beginning. He is a reserved person, and I believe his love language is spending time with your significant other, whereas mine is very much physical and verbal affection. He does little things like touch my back when he walks past me, put his arm around me out in public, hug and kiss me goodbye in the morning, but that’s about it. We have sex every couple of weeks (we spend six nights out of the week together), but we don’t really cuddle. He doesn’t really express his feelings toward me or compliment me besides “I love you.” The sad part is, when he does touch me, I now feel angry and resentful.

After six months together, he said he was sorry we hadn’t had sex in a while and that he wanted to make sure that I didn’t feel he wasn’t attracted to me. He is just always tired from going to work at 4 a.m. When I’ve talked to friends about this, they think that I need to make more moves myself, but I feel like the lack of verbal and physical intimacy has left me feeling too insecure. To be honest, I feel the most insecure about myself I’ve ever been. I don’t really like to change in front of him and constantly want to go to the gym. I don’t want to tell him he needs to be more intimate with me if he does not want to, because then how natural is that? However, I don’t think I can continue a relationship where I feel like I’m not good enough or angry at him when he has no idea. Do you think we could work this out even if we have different love languages?

—Intimacy Issues

Re: Are YOU verbalizing your needs or just hoping he'll 'get it' eventually?

  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Well it certainly won’t work out if you keep refusing to communicate with him. 


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    mrsconn23STARMOON44short+sassycharlotte989875
  • You absolutely have to talk about this.

    I've gone through this at times with DH and we both need to use our words more.   You can't blame just him for something that takes two if you aren't being very clear with what you need.  

    Only then if after using your words and being emphatic with them can you make a decision regarding whether or not you two are a good fit. 
    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • Talk to him out loud with words and get some therapy for your insecurity. 
  • You must talk to your boyfriend about this.  There's no other way to fix the problem. Be direct and emphatic about your needs and how it's making you feel that you don't have sex often, etc. If he's not receptive, or if you find nothing changes, then you'll have to decide if you like everything else about your boyfriend enough to live with this.

    Everyone has different needs when it comes to love and sex, and while your boyfriend sounds like a good guy in a lot of ways, you may just not be compatible in that regard. It's okay to decide that you want someone with whom you can be more physically and emotionally intimate.
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    short+sassycharlotte989875
  • You can’t expect him to read your mind. If you need more than what he’s giving you, you need to speak up. 

    The “if I have to ask for it means it’s not natural” is 1) unrealistic and 2) unfair. People have different sex drives. Sex drives change with any number of factors! You can’t expect him to always initiate (and you shouldn’t always be the one initiating either!) Telling him he you need/want more intimacy doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to do that with you. 

    I agree with everyone else about talking to him. But I also think LW needs to do some work around what being in a relationship looks like in reality vs what it looks like on TV. Because it’s not all passion and each other knowing exactly what the other person is thinking, wants, and needs every minute of every day. 
  • You know, this is only a year in and she says it's from the beginning.  I feel like this is a "more than 4 people" issue.  I feel odd about how she lists his "attractive" qualities and then says "this issue has been an issue since the beginning."  I feel like she's trying to convince herself to stay in spite of this issue.  And she just doesn't have to.

    Also, I think she's weaponizing the "love languages", [as an aside, I feel like I see this more and more] in this relationship.  She seems to identify his, but I don't see how it's hard to merge "cuddle" and "significant time together."  K always wants way more physical intimacy than I'm always capable of, but we snuggle together watching TV or movies, or just hold hands walking in the park and I'm able to satisfy them mostly, while they respect my "I need my personal space" as well.  

    I think she needs to figure out if she really wants to work at this relationship.  Her last question kind of makes me think she doesn't, so validated LW, you don't have to stay with him if you feel incompatible.
    charlotte989875STARMOON44mrsconn23banana468
  • VarunaTT said:

    Also, I think she's weaponizing the "love languages", [as an aside, I feel like I see this more and more] in this relationship.  She seems to identify his, but I don't see how it's hard to merge "cuddle" and "significant time together."  K always wants way more physical intimacy than I'm always capable of, but we snuggle together watching TV or movies, or just hold hands walking in the park and I'm able to satisfy them mostly, while they respect my "I need my personal space" as well.  


    I agree.  The love languages are meant to be a guide to help you and your partner find the 'sweet' spot where y'all feel the most loved and secure in your relationship. It's not meant to be, "Buy me things, touch me, say nice things to me or else you're not fulfilling me because you're not speaking my 'love language'/meeting my 'needs' all the time and I think you don't love me."  

    To the second part, we're the same way.  DH would be so happy to constantly have physical contact with me if we're just hanging out, but I get 'touched out' easily.  I have been trying to be better at making an effort and stopping for more than a second to give him a brief kiss or whatever and letting him put his arms around me for a minute or two or laying in bed 5 min longer just snuggling or telling him to come sit with me when I've sat down first to watch TV/veg on the couch. 
    charlotte989875short+sassy
  • Well, it's not letting me copy for some reason, but I like "touched out" phrasing a lot, @mrsconn23.  I'm going to start using that, it sounds so much nicer than, "I need my space!!!"  :smiley:
    charlotte989875mrsconn23banana468
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I love to cuddle with the hubs, but it doesn’t last long.  With his acid reflex he likes to lounge upright and my neck can handle a cuddle from an upright person for so long.  Then we pretty much go or ways after my stiff neck can’t take it anymore.

  • Little things become big things LW - use your words!
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    short+sassy
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