How can I get it through my boyfriend’s head that I need intimacy in order for our relationship to feel like a relationship?

We’ve been dating on and off for 3 years and I know neither of us want to be with anyone else because we’ve always come back to each other and have been willing to work on our differences.
However, our relationship is really lacking in the intimacy dept to the point where I feel like we’re just good friends. We have sex quite often but sex is the only time he gives me physical affection and ever kisses me. I've stopped bothering with it now because of how much I’ve been rejected but anytime I go in for a kiss he dodges it and just tells me he doesn’t want to. I’ve asked about it and he’s told me he’s not a huge fan of kissing but I don’t understand how one never wants to kiss their significant other. He also never holds my hand or really hugs me and when I go in for that he dodges it too. I’ve brought up how I feel and he just shrugs it off because he doesn’t think it’s a big deal and I’ve just tried to let it go but it’s been bothering me and I really want to express how much it means to me.

I tried to make a compromise with him recently and it backfired. He asked if I would scratch his back and I responded by saying I would if he made out with me for 10 mins. He made it clear how much he didn't want to do that. He threw a literal tantrum & began making claims that he had eczema and that he was in pain. I really didn't expect such a reaction and thought it was an easy win-win compromise. So I was pretty hurt. I caved and scratched his back anyway because he was just so upset.

I know he loves me, he just doesn’t like to show physical emotion. Our relationship feels lacking and non romantic. The thing is is I just want him to do it for me because he knows it’ll make me happy because I do stuff for him like giving him massages without getting anything in return (even when I ask) because I knows it makes him happy.
How do I get my boyfriend to partake in more intimacy with me and have him understand it’s a big deal to me? I can’t seem to get through to him.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • You can't make our boyfriend be more physically intimate, and you can't make him understand that it's important to you. It sounds like he does not like any kind of intimate contact, except when having sex. Worse, it sounds like he is unwilling to take steps to help change, so your needs can be met. Your needs for intimate contact outside of sex are natural and normal. His actions, or lack of actions, is damaging to you, and hurtful. You can sit down with him on a slow evening and talk to him about this, how it makes you feel, how it hurts, and hopefully he will listen, and care enough to make some changes. If he won't, then you are left with two choices. 1) Remaining in hurtful relationship, with a guy who is unwilling to compromise, even to help meet such a reasonable and basic need as you have. And it is certainly hurtful for you to seek a kiss, and he turn away, etc. 2. Leaving, because you recognize this relationship is harmful to you, and will hurt more as time goes on. These are difficult choices, but if he won't change and compromise, they are the only ones you have.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • He sounds to have this idea that going all the way intimately with sex is enough but sometimes just a simple kiss or a touch of the hand is what you'd like. I'd explain this to him; yes, sex is great when you're in love but it's not all about getting it on between the sheets and as humans, we need/crave physical contact as a sign of affection and care. This may sound a bit bizarre but has he ever commented about a dental check up or your breath? Just a question when you said he dodges kisses, not that it's anything to go by but it was a thought. As for making excuses about having eczema, I'd confront him about that because he can't decide as and when he has a skin condition just to avoid physical contact, it's just odd and kind of unfair on you. Have you tried doing the same to him when he wants sex? Try and find a way to get your point across of what he's doing to you, by doing it to him. Sometimes its the only way.

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    • I will talk to him again but he is so childish sometimes and just brushes things like this off because he thinks things are ok and he's unaffected. As for the dental thing, I've been told I have a nice smile. I am currently doing invisalign and actually brush my teeth quite frequently so it can't be that. My lips can get chapped sometimes but I honestly don't think that would be what the issue is. He just struggles to express emotions and just isn't good with showing affection. Maybe he truly is uncomfortable but his reactions are a bit over dramatic and I wish he would be willing to try for me.

    • Yeah, definitely can't have dental issues if you're undoing orthodontic treatment! I would definitely speak to him in that case and try and encourage him to open up because it will affect your relationship long term if you can't go day to day with simple affections like kisses or cuddles.

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What Guys Said 6

  • Wow, while reading this I felt like I was in past relationships.. I never went eczema excuse though. Look. the on and off rarely works out. It's clear that original magic is gone. The best thing you can do is nothing. Why bother if you're just going to cave again?

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  • Tell him

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  • Sounds like he has issues with it and isn't willing to change or compromise. You need to figure out how much that is worth to you, and if you're willing to forego it in a LTR.

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  • Just dump him and find someone with whom you are more compatible. If you don't do this, your misery is your own fault.

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  • Tell him that you love him and you know he lives you, but you still need to feel a physical connection.

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  • Talk with him

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What Girls Said 1

  • If you don't end this, you will end up cheating on him.

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    • I don't think I could ever resort to cheating but I will admit I have fantasized about what it would be like for an attractive man to try to woo me and shower me in affection. I want to be with my boyfriend but I just want him to fulfill my wants and needs.

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