Why Am I Not Affectionate Anymore?
Have you noticed a change in how you interact with friends, family, and loved ones? Were you once an affectionate person and lately you have noticed that you are not as affectionate as you once were?
Becoming less affectionate or not wishing to be affectionate can happen to anyone and usually, there is a deep reason for this change.
In this piece, we look at the many reasons that may have led you to lose touch with your affectionate side and show you how to rediscover this side of yourself again.
Reasons Why You May No Longer Be Affectionate
There are a number of reasons that may cause you to shut off and no longer wish to be affectionate.
These reasons for this change could be internal or due to a change in your external environment, be it the place itself or the addition or loss of a certain person.
Below we look at a number of possible reasons in detail.
If you have recently been involved in a traumatic experience, then this can be the reason why you are not feeling affectionate. This trauma may be verbal or physical.
Words can often leave just as much damage on a person as a physical action.
Trauma could include someone invading your personal space and making you feel uncomfortable or it could even be that someone stole something from you. In some cases, it could be something more sinister.
It is important to recognize and process what has happened to you so that you can move forward without being weighed down or burdened by what has happened.
As a result of trauma, you may not want people in your personal space or any unexpected physical interactions such as a hug or a pat on the back from a loved one, family member, or friend.
Try not to let it bother you if people are offended by your lack of affection.
What you are experiencing is very real and you should surround yourself with people who can support you as you go through this healing process, however long that may take.
Change In Environment
A change in your environment can be just as jarring as trauma.
It may be that you have suffered a loss and no longer have someone who you considered a safe space is no longer there, leading you to build walls to protect yourself from crumbling or getting even more hurt.
You may have moved to a new place or into a new home and this can take time to adjust and so of course you may be feeling a bit on edge which often means you are not prioritizing being affectionate or being open to affection from others as your body feels as though it is on alert until it adjusts to the new surroundings and can relax.
If you are having problems in your relationship often intimacy and affection are the most affected elements of any relationship. Perhaps your partner has changed, you have had an argument or there has been infidelity.
It’s important to recognize what has led to the issues in your relationship and why you are trying to keep your partner’s romantic gestures and affection at bay.
Be open with your partner and let them know how you are feeling. No means no and your partner should be understanding of how you are feeling.
In most cases when you are not feeling affectionate you are trying to subconsciously protect yourself.
Perhaps you are feeling uncomfortable in your body, received a negative remark, or you are feeling low, whatever it may be, not being affectionate is the best way to protect yourself from unwanted attention or physical contact.
How To Get In Touch With Your Affections
Try to find a balance between being affectionate and showing affection. You shouldn’t show affection all the time. Showing too much affection can lead to arguments.
Journaling is a fantastic way to keep in touch with your feelings and also acts as a support for maintaining positive mental health. By journaling, you may be able to identify when and why you lost touch with your affections.
You can also track your emotions to see how they are influenced by certain weather, times of the year, or events.
Take time to show your body love. By rebuilding your relationship with your own self you will be in a better position to reconnect with your affections and also relationships with others.
The desire for change comes from within and only you have the ability to take the first step to help yourself, others around you will follow your lead.
Speak To Others
Talking about your feelings can be scary at times, especially if you haven’t talked about them before. Talking about your emotions and fears can be very helpful. It helps you deal with your problems and move forward.
It is important to talk only when you feel ready, don’t force yourself into an uncomfortable position to speak.
When you are ready it is helpful to talk to family, friends and loved ones to get support to get through how you are currently feeling.
If you still feel uncomfortable talking about your feelings, then you should seek professional help. A good counselor or psychologist can help you understand your feelings and give you advice on how to handle them.
Always remember that there is no right or wrong answer.
There is only one thing you can control in any situation, your reaction to everything else. Remember that talking about your feelings will help you work through your barriers and enable you to reach the goals you wish to.
Take Small Steps
Give yourself time to heal. It may take some time to identify the reason why you are not feeling affectionate and the healing process can take periods of time, depending on what has happened to make you feel this way.
Set yourself small attainable goals to allow you to progress along your journey. It may be holding hands or giving someone a hug, these may seem small but they are big steps in your journey of reconnecting with your affections.
There is a huge range of reasons why you may not be feeling affectionate. The most important thing to say is that being outwardly affectionate is not a requirement for anyone.
Some people may wish to show affection privately and this of course is completely natural.
Affections are a hugely personal thing and so it is important that you connect with them in a way that is comfortable for you.
Self-love is the pool our affections come from and if this pool is dry then this may be where you need to start. Celebrate your journey and celebrate you.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT (license:115130)
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: December 2, 2022