How do I get him to be affectionate?

Dear Dr. Patti:

My boyfriend of 15 months is very different from any man I've ever met -- very creative, talented and loves to talk. Communication is very important to him. He's not much of a hugger or kisser, though, which is hard for me. I am a very affectionate person and want the same in return. He's a great guy and I love him a lot, but I'm missing passion and desire from him. He says I need to be more alluring to him. I don't know what to do.



Dear K:

Seems that you have a terrific partner in this man who's there for you with the ready word -- except that he doesn't or cannot say the words you really long to hear. As you may know, I am a strong advocate of open, honest communication in relationships, and believe that is the foundation for their success and well-being. Without that a couple may never achieve a depth of intimacy and a lasting mechanism for working out the kinks when they occur.

Perhaps he's afraid of real intimacy or doesn't believe you when you tell him that this is an important part of the relationship to you. It may be that he "hides" from the demands of the relationship by avoiding physical intimacy. I am particularly suspicious of his comment about your needing to be more alluring. Unless you are not keeping up your end on the hygiene, attractiveness and fitness scales, it's his responsibility to find desire for you. You could up the voltage of your intention to be more alluring to by dressing in sexy attire, talking dirty to him at times, or even engaging in outright sexual seduction. But my sense is that he's not taking responsibility for his side of the coin. If you cannot find a solution to the tension you feel, you may have to reevaluate whether this is the right guy for you.

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