You are familiar of what it feels like to be loved.
The actions taken by your exes in showing you that you were loved had a lot of similarities.
Those moments made you feel a certain way.
You never doubted whether you were loved.
There is a sense of security in knowing how love feels.
Past relationships have made love feel very familiar and comfortable.
The guy you are dating right now isn’t making you feel that familiar sense of love.
No longer do you talk to your lover and hear him tell you he loves you at the end of the call and you truly believe it.
No longer are you being held close whether it be in public or in private, sensing your lover’s desire to protect you and make you feel safe.
Not this new boyfriend.
He says he loves you but it feels like lip service.
A way to dissuade you from complaining or acting up.
Sometimes, it even feels like manipulation.
He knows what buttons to push to keep you quiet.
Complaining to him that you don’t feel like he loves you only leads to him reminding you that he tells you he does all the time and he isn’t seeing anyone else but you.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that being told you are loved doesn’t necessarily mean you are and being told there is no other girl, doesn’t exactly make him boyfriend of the year.
You are both in an exclusive relationship with each other.
Of course he shouldn’t be seeing any other girl besides yourself.
His excuses aren’t enough.
You need more.
So much more.
Unfortunately, your boyfriend isn’t in rarified company when it comes to how they show love.
They are misguided, yet, believe that they are doing it right.
How they treat you is what they understand love to be.
Looking into the history of your boyfriend, his previous relationships have the same tendency to be like this.
You aren’t the first girl who has complained about his deficiency in this department.
You can even go back as far as his childhood and there are numerous examples of how he was shown love in more of a repressive or conservative way.
These habits often start from a young age.
By the time you meet him in what is now present day, he has a warped understanding of what love is and how to show it.
When he tells you he loves you, he thinks he is doing what he is supposed to.
When he isn’t holding you close but is in your presence, he believes that is enough.
The distance is what he knows.
It’s been a part of his human experience for so long, he thinks it’s normal.
When he doesn’t seem to be listening to you when you are unhappy and just need someone to hear you out, he doesn’t see anything wrong with it.
Again, his physical presence there should be enough.
A relationship won’t work when one party feels left out.
Not getting your emotional needs met in this department only breeds more and more resentment.
Resentment is the breeding ground for arguments that become more and more explosive with the passage of time.
Soon, you don’t even remember the last time you both spent an evening together without getting into a fight.
You must talk to him about what you need.
Ignorance is bliss and as long as he believes he is doing enough to make you feel loved, he continues on like nothing is amiss.
Approaching this the right way is your only savior.
This is not about pointing fingers.
This is not about making him out to be the bad guy.
Simply put, this is about letting him know what makes you feel loved.
Tell him exactly what that is.
Get very specific in the actions you desire him to take.
Let him know you don’t expect him to do this all at once.
You are perfectly up to starting slow.
In fact, you would prefer that.
Start with something simple.
Perhaps a way you want him to greet you in the mornings or a manner in which you want him to end a conversation with you.
Not by only saying the obligatory, “I love you.”
Instead, following that up with telling you something about what he loves about you.
That’s a start.
All of a sudden, it doesn’t sound so obligatory and anonymous.
It feels like he is really addressing you when he says it.
Take these baby steps first and as time goes on, it gets easier for him to check off that list and get you to a point where you truly feel that he loves you.