Being affectionate with your partner is typically considered a good thing, but this is a case where there definitely can be too much of a good thing. Sometimes, affection can feel over-the-top and the recipient can start to feel suffocated by loving gestures. It can happen if someone is just not that affectionate themselves or because they're not feeling as affectionate ataparticular time, whether they're stressed about work or maybe because they're questioning the relationship.
If you're an affectionate person, don't worry — being affectionate is a natural, lovely thing. Physical touch is one of Dr. Gary Chapman's five love languages that describes one of the five most common ways people express love. But sometimes — especially if your partner has a different love language and isn't naturally affectionate — affection can feel overwhelming. And that's when things get complicated.
Unfortunately, rather than just asking for space, a lot of people will just try to hide the fact that they're getting annoyed or frustrated. And if you're being overly touchy-feely, your partner may start craving some distance or some alone time but not know how to ask for it. "Many people feel hurt when their partner asks for alone time because they see it as a personal insult or a sign of disrespect for the relationship," certified counselor Jonathan Bennett tells Bustle. But if your partner is feeling overwhelmed, it might be exactly what they need. Of course, the best thing you can do in this case is communicate with them and get on the same page, but sometimes it's not always clear why they're acting standoffish.
If you get the feeling that something is off with your partner, but you can't figure out what it is, here's how you can tell if they're feeling a little smothered, according to experts.