Relationship Advice

A Tiger's Stripes

unhappy young woman

I have been dating a wonderful man for about a year. He is generous, and we get along well. We are great companions. The problem is he lacks showing affection. I am an extremely affectionate and passionate person, and he is uncomfortable with hugging and any type of intimacy.

If I flirt with him, he will quickly change the subject or say to me, "You're bad." However, I have noticed he is extremely affectionate towards children.

Sometimes I am left feeling so lonely when even lying beside him, and I cry myself to sleep because I long for him to cuddle and hold me. I feel like we have been married for 50 years! I feel when he does hold me, it is forced and unnatural and out of duty just to appease me.

Instead of nights of passion, which I long for, I get the "Good night, Sally…Good night, Harry" syndrome.

We recently had a long conversation about this, and he basically said this is how he has always been. His last girlfriend of four months left him for this same issue. He thinks that love is not a feeling but a decision.

When I ask why he wants to marry me, he never answers that it is because he is in love with me. He answers that we are compatible. He asked me to marry him, but this issue concerns me.

Do you think I should suggest counseling? He told me he could mimic what I want, but then he wouldn't be real to himself. He also said he could do it for so long, then he would most likely revert back to his real self. Is there any hope for this relationship?


Mackenzie, he's thought about it, he's considered it. He accepts it and he is completely honest about it. This is who I am. I am not naturally affectionate. I could fake it, but it wouldn't last long, and I wouldn't be true to myself.

How much more honest could he be? Why would he need a therapist?

You think his affection for children is a sign he can be more affectionate to you. But it is most likely the near universal human reaction to youngsters, whether the youngster be child, chick, cub or kitten.

Thomas Paine said, "Individuals are often the last to hear what it concerns themselves the most to know." You think it's easier for him to change his personality than for you to find a new boyfriend. That's laziness and weakness on your part.

There is a lid for every pot, and you have someone else's lid. You'd like to use therapy as a welder's torch to reshape him, but you'd have more luck going to counseling to change yourself.

The world is getting freer and freer for people to be who they are. You like him, but you don't accept him as he is. You don't accept that love and mutual passion are missing.

He is not hurting anyone. Though he is not affectionate, if he finds someone who is right for him, that might change. Or it might not. But he has every right to be his genuine self. He also has counseling pegged dead right. There isn't a fix, a patch, a stickum or a cheat that will change him.

You are on a quest to find the right person. You won't get anywhere by refusing the quest. Concern yourself, as Tom Paine said, with what you most need to know.

Wayne & Tamara