Love Languages off track?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2011
Love Languages off track?
6
Tue, 07-23-2013 - 3:52pm

I've been reading about the five love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, & physical touch) and I'm starting to feel that my boyfriend and I are mismatched when it comes to these love languages.  I'd like advice on how to approach this subject with my boyfriend and explain what I need and understand what he needs.  The problem is that we don't get much alone time due to the fact that he has a 15 year old son at home and who is constantly being brought along on our "dates."  I feel one of my love languages is quality time and we don't seem to get much of that!

My boyfriend is CONSTANTLY giving me compliments.   He texts me at least 5 times a day telling me how beautiful I am, how lucky he is to have met me, ect.  At the beginning of our relationship this was a wonderful, new experience for me (didn't have it in past relationships), however, as time as gone on it now seems a little ridiculous.  Sometimes he'll text me saying, "he knew it....I don't like him as much as he likes me, or I don't think of him as much as he thinks about me."  To me this seems like emotional bullying and I don't appreciate it!

If he puts his hand on my knee and I move to get comfortable or he tries to hold my hand but I pull away to get something out of my eye he acts totally offended and says things like, "sorry I didn't mean to bother you!"   This past weekend, we were antiquing in a very hot and crowded building.  He kept coming up behind me, pulling up my sweaty hair and kissing me on the neck....gross!  That was the last thing I wanted!  What I really wanted was to be left alone and an ice cold glass of water!

I'm assuming since he gives me compliments that his love language is words of affirmation &physical touch and I am on board in trying to give him more of that but I need to be able to express what my love languages are too.

Anyone else experience this or want to offer advice on how to approach the subject?

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-25-2013
Tue, 07-23-2013 - 6:51pm

I've been married to my second husband for 2 years, and his 17 year old stepdaughter lives with us. I had the same problem of her tagging along all the time at restaurants and other outings, since her school was a half hour away and she hadn't made friends in my area yet. I did communicate that I liked to do things without a teen sometimes, since they are always texting and talking on the phone, etc., and liked having adult only times together. You have to tread lightly, since that's they're child, but I would ask that once a week it be an adults only date. If he doens't comply, make plans with a girlfriend instead and say you need your "adult only" fix for the week. Luckily, time flies and there's a big difference between a 15 and 17 year old. Now my stepdaughter works in fast food and has a car, so she's hardly home. That time is coming soon for you. 

Your bf sounds like he's lacking in self esteem and takes things personally. Tell him you want to reserve text for fun, cute things, and that you don't want negative comments sent to you through text. Tell him that really irks you and if he has a beef with you, he can tell you in person. That way, you can comment on the facts of what's happened, and maybe bring to light that he's overly sensitive. Tell him what you need in the relationship, and if he cares, he should comply. Men need reminders, and always use the word "I" when asking something. That way it never sounds like the blaming "you" word, i.e. "You never . . ." You also need to be specific with what you want. They can be clueless about vague requests. 

If you find him to be too needy, clingy, etc. and he's getting on your nerves now that the newness of the relationship has worn off, then maybe you've outgrown the relationship. In the meantime, see if clear communication helps. Good luck.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 07-23-2013 - 8:02pm

He sounds kind of passive-agressive & annoying to me, but first I'd try to ask him for what you need.  When you were in the antique shop, did you say "honey, I know you're trying to be affectionate, but I'm really sweaty and hot right now so could you get me some water?"  I do know how you feel--some people just love to cuddle but after a while it makes me kind of antsy, like ok, just get away and stop touching me.  lol  I guess some time when things are quiet & you're alone, you could start a conversation and ask him what kind of things he would like you to do that would make him feel that you care for him--then you could move on to what you like.  All the texting would annoy me too--maybe you & I are the same person.  I always just felt that constantly giving compliments or saying mushy things is kind of meaningless to me--I haven't read the book but I'd guess my love languages would be quality time or acts of service--you know talk is cheap, but do nice things for me and I'd really appreciate it.  I'd also ask him how the 2 of you can get some alone time w/o neglectig his son--is his mom around?  Are there activities that he does?  Does he sometimes go to a friend's house?  I do agree though, soon enough he will prefer spending time w/ his friends rather than w/ his father.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Wed, 07-24-2013 - 11:31pm

Love Languages?  He is too clingy, too insecure, and that has nothing to do with language.....his behavior offends you, and you need to either tell him that you don't like what he's doing, or it's time to end the relationship.  If you don't want him constantly complimenting you (and you're right, after a while it means nothing - except of course that he's very insecure) then tell him that.  If you're sick of his child tagging along with you all the time, then tell him that.  I think you realize how insecure he is and you're afraid to give him any kind of criticism for fear of crushing him.  And that might be true!  His constantly grumbling that you don't love him as much as he loves you sounds like a scared little kid....INSECURE.  You have two choices, or actually three....live with his suffocating you, tell him to STOP suffocating you, or end the relationship.  Personally I'd pick the third choice.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 07-25-2013 - 11:04am

You know, your response just made me think of something.  In any relationship, if you could even measure love, and how do you do that, it's probably not equal all the time.  I think a healthy relationship would be where it's more or less equal how the people feel about each other, or at may sometimes one person is more into the relationship than the other but it goes back & forth.  I would think an unhealthy relationship is where the scale is tipped a lot where one person feels (even if it's not true) that they are really into it and the other person not so much--that would make any person feel insecure.  I think that's why a lot of people put up with relationships where the other person treats them badly and they are afraid to say anything--they are so afraid of losing that person.  But I wouldn't think that it would ever be good to actually tell the person "I love you more than you love me."  I mean, what is the other person supposed to say?  It gets annoying having to reassure someone and eventually you start thinking "well, you're probably right."  Being clingy & needy isn't attractive to anyone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-08-2011
Fri, 07-26-2013 - 6:10pm

Ok, so tell me what you think about this.  So I responded to the text "he sent me saying he knew that I wasn't thinking of him as much as he was thinking about me."  (and yes I feel very immature using text as our means of conversation but that is how it has gotten....already.....after only 4 months!)  I told him that his text made me feel uncomfortable and a little bullied into expressing my feelings about him when I wasn't ready.  He came back with a text that said he was only kidding. I told him never the less, his text made me feel uncomfortable and I would like to have a talk about this face-to-face.  He did not text me again for about 4 hours and then his text only said "no problem." 

The next day I invited him over to cook out and swim thinking we could could talk.  He brought his 15 year old son because he hadn't fixed dinner for his son and he knew his son would like to swim.  His son complained about the food not being what he wanted and then they both complained about the temperature of the pool.  It is hard to have an adult conversation when you're sharing the hot tub with a 15 year old.  (sometimes I feel I'm dating a 40 year old and 15 year old at the same time....weird!)  Anyway, at one point his son walked away from us and that is when my BF decided to bring up the text.  I told him again that I didn't think he was joking but that it felt as if it was his way to push me into being more like him...more open with my feelings.  (I'm not ready to really express more of my feelings because we've not had enough time to get to know each other, ALONE!)  Well, I could tell this upset him because he got very quiet, got out of the pool and didn't talk to me much the rest of the night.  In fact, he was a little snippy!

The next day there was abs ABSOLUTELY NO contact from him.  And to be honese it was kind of peaceful even though it seemed to confirm what I think he was feeling.

Today I got a text telling me he hoped that a medical test I was having went ok.  That was the only conversation all day today.

So, I'm assuming he's angry and hurt and his silence is his way of punishing/controlling me.

What do you think?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-27-2004
Sat, 07-27-2013 - 5:12pm

I think he's a royal pain in the neck, and you will never be able to have a relationship with him that doesn't include this manipulative behavior.