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How to Be Affectionate: 15 Gestures that Reveal Your Feelings Best

You love your partner, but when it comes to affection, it’s not your forte. But there are simple things you can learn on how to be affectionate.

how to be affectionate

Just because you may not be the most affectionate person doesn’t mean that can’t change. In fact, you can learn how to be affectionate with your partner and improve your relationship. Of course, you’re not going to change overnight and become this super romantic, lovey-dovey type. Everyone expresses love differently.

Some people don’t even like the idea of being physically touched. Affection may need to be shown in different ways. But let’s not get too much into detail right now. If you’re wondering how you can be more affectionate, then you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning what you can do.

How to be affectionate with your partner

I used to think I was the affectionate type, but then I met my partner. Now, he’s really affectionate and a romantic at heart. And though we get along very well and spend a lot of our time laughing and enjoying each other’s company, I could be more affectionate. This isn’t to say I’m an ice queen, but it’s easy for me to get wrapped up in what’s going on with work and family. Ignoring my partner’s needs.

[Read: How to show affection in a relationship if it doesn’t come naturally]

No one said being in a relationship was easy. It’s constant work and something I didn’t really understand until being in one. I mean, people tell you that relationships are work, but when you’re single, it doesn’t mean much to you.

Let’s throw a little love and affection toward your partner.

#1 How do you express affection? You are affectionate, just maybe not in the same way as your partner. And that’s fine. Not every couple matches perfectly in this department. What you need to do is find out how you and your partner both express affection.

Usually, there are five ways: acts of kindness, giving gifts, physical touch, quality time, and words of assurance. [Read: Understand your partner better by asking them these 20 questions]

#2 Talk to your partner. If you’re not feeling loved or your partner is feeling neglected, talk about it with them. You don’t need to become upset or angry; this is a moment for you to self-improve. Be honest with each other and see how you can work things out. [Read: How to create a deeper connection with your partner]

#3 Start being affectionate. You may want your partner to be more affectionate, but sometimes they need a helping hand. So, why not make the first move? Make your partner breakfast in bed, pack their lunch, or hold their hand when out on the town. It’ll show them you’re interested in working on things and give them ideas on how they can be affectionate.

#4 Show appreciation. You partner may be trying to be more affectionate but is struggling. And this is something you’ll need to be patient with. But, while they’re working hard, do show them you appreciate their efforts. You can do this by telling them or being more affectionate as well. [Read: The 25 sweetest romantic gestures for everyday life]

#5 Reward your partner. When they’ve shown affection towards you, reward them. I know, it sounds a little weird; they’re not a dog. But positive reinforcement can work wonders to promote affectionate behavior. By rewarding them, they’ll want to do it again.

#6 Be intimate. Everyone nowadays is so busy with work and family, they push intimacy to the side. But this is something you should focus on, if you want to know how to be affectionate. Even if you need to schedule a time for intimacy, do it. Sex and intimacy is a crucial part of a relationship. 

#7 Get flirty. When you’re in a relationship, sometimes you forget what it’s like to flirt with someone. Just because you’re together doesn’t mean you can’t flirt with each other. Flirting is not only fun, but it increases sexual tension and chemistry, taking you back to the beginning of the relationship. [Read: How to have playful banter and keep the flirting alive forever]

#8 Make time for one another. Some people aren’t into physical affection, but as I said earlier, there are other forms of affection. Regardless, you should be making time for your partner. Whether it’s a date night or going for a daily walk, it’ll give you time to reconnect.

#9 Reciprocate. When your partner is trying to be affectionate, reciprocate by doing something back. If they give you a back rub one day, then reciprocate by giving them a foot rub the next day. This won’t make them feel like it’s a one-way street. [Read: How to fix a one-sided relationship before it ends in failure]

#10 Accept their affection. Unless it’s making you uncomfortable, of course. But when your partner is being more affectionate, don’t reject them. This will only make them refrain from showing affection towards you. In other words, your plan will backfire in a big way.

#11 Get cuddling. Everyone needs to cuddle. Whether it’s in front of Netflix or not, just get into bed and start cuddling with your partner. Cuddling can not only get things going, but it’s a way to bond with your partner. [Read: Do guys like to cuddle? 15 secrets you probably don’t know]

#12 Be their biggest fan. If you’re in a relationship, your partner should be your biggest fan and vice versa. Being supportive of your partner is one of the biggest acts of affection. Don’t knock down an idea they have or squash their dreams. Push them forward.

#13 Ask them what they want. You may not be feeling the love in the relationship, but have you directly asked them what they want? You’re trying to be more affectionate, but is it in the way that they need affection? You have to ask your partner these questions.

#14 Check in with them. You may have started to be more affectionate, but it’s now been a couple of months. So, how is the relationship now? Is there something still missing? Or areas you can improve on? Remember, relationships are constant work. You should always be checking in with your partner and seeing if their needs are being met, and vice versa. [Read: How to stop being codependent for a healthy love life]

#15 Ask for affection. If you want a back rub from your partner, ask for it. If you want your partner to give you a kiss, ask them for one. This doesn’t mean you’re desperate. It’s showing them what you need at that moment. It’ll help give them an idea of what you need from them.

[Read: How to be more affectionate in your relationship and show them you care]

Everyone loves receiving affection from their partner. But not everyone is naturally the affection type. Try out these tips for how to be affectionate with your partner.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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