Love is a complicated subject, and it becomes even more complicated if the person you love isn’t showing clear signs of affection. My husband (then boyfriend) started out exactly like that. He was shy and rarely touched me. It wasn’t because he didn’t love me. That’s just the way he was. He wasn’t showy and he didn’t like public displays of affection.
Here are nine things that I took to heart when I got used to my inexpressive partner.
1. Love does not always require physical touch.
A kiss isn’t the only way to say “I care” and a hug isn’t the only way to show how much you missed a person. My partner’s presence was always appreciated, even if he didn’t snuggle with me all the time. As long as we’re together, no matter what we’re doing, we know that we are in love.
2. The small things have the biggest impact.
When my partner wrote me a heartfelt letter on our first anniversary, it meant a lot to me. It was a long, handwritten piece which he wrote on pretty stationery. It was simple, childish, but it was the sweetest thing. It may not be worth much in terms of money, but it was truly valuable to me because I know that he spent time, thought, and effort to write such beautiful words.
3. “Sweetness” is a whole new concept.
What’s sweet to others will no longer be the same thing for you. When our relationship first started, I thought that my partner was so unaffectionate that he couldn’t show any sweetness. But his sweetness was really with his words and other gestures, like making me a cup of coffee when I’m pulling an all-nighter or buying my favorite cupcakes when I have menstrual cramps.
4. You will get asked a lot by well-meaning friends and family.
“Is your relationship on the rocks?” is what I frequently hear when I bring my partner to family events. My friends also tell me that my partner might not be happy anymore that’s why he’s avoiding me physically. In truth, my partner and I were the only ones who could understand his lack of physical affection. He may not always want to hold hands, but he will make sure I feel special whenever we’re together.
5. Your relationship is often seen as platonic.
Plenty of times, my partner was mistaken for a brother or cousin. There have even been times when I was hit on in front of him, and vice versa. It’s an advantage, in a way, because I know which girls are interested in him. What’s great about him is that he never makes me feel insecure around them.
6. You get plenty of perks in lieu of physical affection.
I’m not materialistic and neither is my partner, but he likes to give me nice things to make me feel really special. On our third anniversary as a couple, he gave me a gorgeous pearl necklace that was absolutely amazing. Five years later, I still hold the necklace very dearly. He is also great at cooking which totally compensates for his lack of affection. When we fight, instead of hugging me, he cooks my favorite pasta dish to say he wants to make up.
7. You will grow to become more mature.
Young love is exciting but it’s also immature, filled with physical yearning and sexual impulse. We started dating in our mid 20’s and he was very mature. It’s not all about sex, but rather about your life together. He taught me to look forward to our future and that’s exactly what we did. Now, we have been married for three years and it’s the most wonderful experience.
8. Your time together is always special.
I have learned that his presence alone makes up for his lack of intimacy. He loves to talk about our future, especially our dreams together. He always makes complicated issues simple and amicable which helps us understand what we both want to do. Our time is spent sharing our deepest desires, which I think is more meaningful than just physical affection.
9. When physical affection happens, it’s magical.
On the rare occasions that you do touch, especially when you make love, it’s a magical experience that’s truly memorable. You grow closer to each other and learn a little bit more about yourselves which ultimately strengthens your bond. You are also able to prove that your love doesn’t need constant physical signals to be genuine.
Although it can be hard at first, loving someone who isn’t expressive may take time to get used to. In the long run, you will also understand why it’s not necessary for your partner to always hold hands or cuddle when you’re together. Love can be expressed in many ways, from a simple smile to a generous act of kindness. It doesn’t have to always be physical. It can be emotional, mental, spiritual, and psychological.
How do you show your partner how much you love them?
Featured photo credit: 12 Things To Remember If You Love Someone Who Doesn’t Easily Show Affection via google.com