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My Boyfriend Won’t Hold Me or Cuddle Me

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From the U.S.
i have been with my boyfriend for almost a year now and i know he has a problem being intimate, but it is getting ridiculous. he says its because he was raised differently and he is stuck in 50’s mentality. he is not affectionate aside from the good bye kiss when he goes to work and the holding hands (sometimes) when we go to the store. we don’t really have sex either, which as been an issue from the beginning but i am working through it. sex is maybe once a week if that. when i raise the issue about sex he shrugs it off. he wont hold me or cuddle. ( but he will cuddle the cat or hold it and show affection.) when i confront him about that he says i am being too needy. i don’t know what to do anymore. it makes me feel lonely in my own relationship. am i too needy or is it him?

My Boyfriend Won’t Hold Me or Cuddle Me

Answered by on -


It’s just true that different people have different levels of sexual energy and different sexual needs. The question here is not whether you are needy or he is abnormal. The question you need to be asking is if you want to be in a relationship with someone whose sexual attitudes and behaviors are so different from your own? Is the rest of the relationship so satisfying and wonderful that you can give up the level of physical intimacy you would naturally want?

If, when you talk to him about it, your boyfriend is as distressed as you are, the two of you might benefit from some couples therapy to help you get physically more comfortable with each other. The way we are raised certainly has a strong influence on all of us. But part of growing and maturing is to re-decide if we want to continue on the path our parents set for us or if we want to go in new directions. Change is possible. Some people do it on their own. Some people appreciate a little help from their friends, a doctor and/or a therapist.

However, if your boyfriend doesn’t see anything wrong with the situation, it’s unfair to expect him to change. It’s equally unfair to yourself if you can’t picture the next 50 or 60 years of more of the same.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Boyfriend Won’t Hold Me or Cuddle Me

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Boyfriend Won’t Hold Me or Cuddle Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 30, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 31 Aug 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.