She says that she's in love, but when the two of them are together he hardly seems to care. Even though your friend's boyfriend tells her that he loves her too, he's seriously lacking in the affection department. If she's sad or upset because of his seemingly cold shoulder, giving her supportive advice that guides her in the direction that's right for her is a friendship must.
Understand the Past
Your friend's relationship woes may not actually come from her current situation. In a past relationship, her boyfriend may have had physical intimacy issues, such as a girlfriend who refused to show him any affection. He may have even experienced some type of trauma from his childhood, according to clinical psychologist Seth Meyers in his article "Fear of Intimacy in Men: Cause, Relationship Problems, Tips" for Psychology Today. Tell your friend that she should ask her guy about his past issues, making an effort to better understand how his former flames or childhood are impacting his ability to show affection.
Even though your friend is upset over her guy's clear lack of affection, remind her that she needs to respect his boundaries. Each person comes into a relationship with their own boundaries, knowing what is and isn't acceptable to themselves, according to the article "Am I in a Healthy Relationship?" on the TeensHealth website. For example, your friend's boyfriend may not believe that it's appropriate for unmarried couples to show physical affection to each other. This doesn't mean the he isn't in love with her or doesn't care about her. Help her to understand that she needs to talk to her guy about his boundaries and respect them. This conversation should also include making sure that their boundaries are compatible or acceptable to one another.
While "He's just not that into you" isn't something your friend wants to hear, it's an idea that she needs to consider. If her guy has clear commitment issues, his lack of love -- or at least "like" -- may be to blame. Ask her to evaluate his level of commitment. If he is choosing a relationship with her because he has a true caring attraction towards her, he will take the time to call her, show her emotional support and pay attention to her. On the other hand, if he's only with her out of a sense of obligation, he may view time with her as a duty. In doing this, he may not only back off physically but also keep an emotional distance or not care about contacting her.
Does your friend's guy even know that there's a problem? He isn't a psychic; he may not even realize that he isn't giving her what she needs when it comes to affection. Help your friend to see that she needs to clearly communicate her issues to her boyfriend. Advise her to talk to him about the lack of affection in an open and honest way. Give her an idea or two for starting off this type of conversation. For instance, she could say "I love you, but I don't feel like you care about me when you won't hold my hand or hug me."
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