7 Ways To Respond To A Partner Who Is More Touchy-Feely Than You, Without Hurting Their Feelings

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

If you are experiencing the type of relationship when one partner is more affectionate than the other, it might cause a bit of a disconnect. As marriage and family therapist, Dr. Jane Greer, tells Bustle, "The person who isn't touchy-feely may feel uncomfortable or awkward with the affection, while the person who is touchy-feely will feel deprived when they don't receive this attention. They'll feel like they're missing out on feeling loved and secure." Nobody who truly loves their partner wants their partner to feel that way. So what's the best way to respond to your physically affectionate partner when you're just not like that?

According to Greer, the goal is for the touchy-feely partner to find ways to express affection in a way that's comfortable for both people in the relationship. "It needs to be something [the person who is not touchy-feely] can learn to not just tolerate, but truly enjoy," she says.

If you're not the affectionate type, it's important for you to work with your partner to find the affectionate gestures that are comfortable for both of you. You can start by finding the small physical gestures that come most naturally to you. For instance, holding hands or a hug. Just allow your partner to initiate and go from there, letting your partner know if there's anything you're not OK with.

"Eventually, the touchy-feely person may start to reach out themselves," Greer says. "Part of this is helping them get comfortable with it."

So here are some of the best ways experts say to respond to a partner who is more affectionate than you, without hurting their feelings.