Dear Dr. Love,I hope you can answer this question of mine, because I am stuck. I’ve been with my current girlfriend for only 3 months but I feel this sort of bond, a type of love that I’ve never felt before in my life. Before we got together we were very good friends and during that time I always wanted the chance to be the one that would be there for her.Well, I’ve been blessed with that opportunity and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but there’s just one thing. She says I’m too affectionate. For me it’s like I love to compliment on how she looks and how she makes me feel. I also like to sort of flaunt her because she makes me so happy and proud. But she says she doesn’t like all the complimenting because it makes her feel weird. Same with the flaunting and holding. She says that a simple’I love you’ pretty much covers everything.I understand I must respect her feelings and I do realize that maybe it is some sort of added pressure over complimenting, but at the same time I can’t help the way I feel and the way she makes me feel. If I do say compliments to her she tries to change the subject or just gets up and walks away. I don’t want to make her feel that way, but it’s hard to contain such feelings.Sincerely,Too Loving and Affectionate
There is no such thing as being too loving or affectionate. You may be too affectionate for your girlfriend, but you aren’t too loving in the abstract.You are in quite a predicament. Your girlfriend is apparently uncomfortable with displays of affection and you are very demonstrative by nature. To hold back and not express your feelings would be to deny your true self. To force your feelings on her will likely alienate her.So, what can be done?I think your friend needs to find out why she is so uncomfortable with giving and receiving verbal displays of affection. Try to talk with her and find out what her reluctance is about. Very displays of affection are normal in relationships and, in fact, according to a recent research by John Gottman, couples that share a minimum of five loving or positive communications per day have a much higher rate of satisfaction.So, my goal here would be to help her learn why she is so reluctant to give and receive verbal affection.There are many reasons why she may be reluctant. She may have come from a family in which such displays were uncommon. In other words, she isn’t used to doing so. She also may be uncomfortable with the level of intimacy( frightened to become too close) that is stirred by such communications.If I had to guess, I would say that there is some fear of intimacy at work here. See my Archives on this subject. She may also be feeling pressured or controlled by you. That is when you reach out to her, she may feel pressure to respond on cue.We won’t know what the issues are until you talk with her. When you talk with her, we will know more about what the issue is.Bottom line is that you are a loving man who should not have to clip his emotional wings. Hopefully, through discussion, we can help your girlfriend become more comfortable with intimacy so that she can soar to your level.Let me know what transpires through your talks.