Affection in a relationship changing is only natural and can be worked through. Try to focus on the things that still connect you to your partner while also encouraging yourself that working on affection can help bring it back. - Ryan Smith, LPC, NCC
Intimacy and affection are considered essential components in any relationship. When it suddenly disappears or has been missing for a while, its understandable that it can confuse you. After all, you dont know what could be causing it. A lack of affection could indicate an issue within the relationship, or it might not be personal at all. In this article, we will cover some reasons why affection might be lacking in your relationship and provide you with some solutions to them.
- A Weak Emotional Connection
My Partner's Not Affectionate Anymore, What Can I Do?This website is owned and operated by BetterHelp, who receives all fees associated with the platform.
If youve noticed that affection is getting low in your relationship, you and your partner might be becoming emotionally distant from each other, or it has been happening for a while, and it hasnt been addressed.
When people think of the words affection and intimacy, most people tend to think of the physical aspects, which is especially true for the latter.
While they can have a physical component to them, in reality, they arent separate. This doesnt mean that people cant be physically and sexually active without emotions, but having an emotional connection often precedes anything physical in many committed relationships.
Basically, if there is no emotional intimacy, the physical aspects will probably go down with it, and to get it back, you will need to work on rebuilding an emotional connection.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to bond together, and things that you both enjoy. This makes things more meaningful for you and your partner.
If youve been together for a while, you might not have been going out on dates like the old days. Recall when you both were dating regularly were you both happier, adventurous, and possibly couldnt keep your hands off each other?
If this sounds like your relationship before, the dating helped foster the connection between you and allowed you to grow. 
Therefore, to rebuild this type of intimacy and affection, you need to make time for each other as you did before. This will increase your bond, and everything else should follow suit.
- There is a Lack of Respect
If there is a lack of affection, there is a good chance that some respect issues are going on. In fact, respect almost always precedes affection after all, its illogical to be affectionate to someone you disrespect.
Without respect, your partner might not give you any priority, will refrain from listening to you, or, worse, give affection to others, even if you are in the same room. Instead of giving and receiving love, feelings will be hurt.
Respect issues can stem from several different sources, and getting to the bottom of why they exist might require the assistance of a counselor or therapist, who can help you both communicate and be on the same page. That way, you can start to address the problem.
While knowing why there is disrespect and an absence of affection in the relationship is fundamental to resolving the issue, its just as important to plan out ways to start working on building respect. 
Here are some basics:
- Start acknowledging and listening to each others needs and concerns
? Act on these needs promptly
? Eliminate sarcasm, impatience, irritability, and contempt from conversations, especially during conflicts
? Learn how to show appreciation and gratitude, even for the small things
? Apologize and have forgiveness
When you start focusing on these crucial aspects of creating mutual respect in a relationship, you should see intimacy and affection grow.
- There Is Too Much Comfort
You may have read the headline just now and thought, How can there be too much comfort? Isnt comfort a good thing in relationships?.
Yes, comfort is something you should strive for, but this meaning is different, and it refers to getting trapped in routines, therefore creating a comfort zone.
After being together for a while, it is very common to stop courting your partner because the relationship has been established. When we begin dating someone, we tend to make more of an effort to show affection to each other so we can get comfortable and, hopefully, create a long-term relationship.
Unfortunately, after time has passed, affection is often put on the backburner and isnt maintained. Since its a gradual process, it might not be noticeable right away, but the absence of affection becomes apparent after an extended period.
This is also similar to the previous concept of how emotional intimacy can deteriorate because you arent bonding and going on dates as often as in the earlier stages of the relationship. Thankfully, this problem can be just as straightforward to fix.
Having too much comfort doesnt mean that you dont love and appreciate each other, so its a bit easier than trying to increase respect and build trust, and it just means that you need to be aware of specific things.
For instance, if you feel that the lack of affection has gone down because of a comfort zone, you need to have a stronger effort to bring it back into your relationship. If you still have dates and physical intimacy, you might want to consider spicing things up and making things more interesting.
While affection can certainly be addressed and improved, some individuals arent as affectionate as others.
It can mean many different things, which doesnt necessarily indicate that a person doesnt want to be affectionate with their partner; rather, there is discomfort with expressing it or struggling to demonstrate it.
A good example of this is taking a look at a persons upbringing. If someone didnt get much attention and affection from their parents when they were younger, this could have lasting effects on adulthood.
Although various histories and complex reasons can explain why there is an absence of affection, it doesnt always apply to everyone. Some people are just open and have an easier time displaying it. In contrast, it can make their partner appear like they arent as affectionate. Some people are just insecure and not confident in their ability to provide affection as much as they would like.
A lot of this can also relate to the comfort zone discussed in the previous section, and there will always be some variation between humans. Everyone has different boundaries, and while it isnt required to break them, it can be helpful to do so if things such as upbringing can explain an absence of affection.
Talking to a therapist can help you or your partner figure out why certain things might hold you back from being as affectionate as you can be. If you already know what the causes are, then a professional can help you find solutions specific to your situation and how you can overcome your restraints.
- History of Abuse or Mental Health Issues
Similar to how specific events can potentially cause a person not to be affectionate, people experiencing a mental health condition might also encounter the same problem.
It was previously mentioned that people who werent given much affection when they were younger could struggle with providing it as well, and this absolutely applies to situations where they were abused. Exposure to sexual media content at too young of an age can also have negative consequences as well. 
Although many abuses can happen at an early age, its not restricted to certain groups. It can happen at any age, gender, socioeconomic status, etc., and people traumatized by a previous relationship can certainly have difficulties showing trust and affection.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), it is estimated that 1 in 4 women and 1 in 9 men are subjected to domestic violence in the United States. Overall, 20 people per minute, which equates to 10 million per year, are abused by an intimate partner. 
These alarming statistics show that domestic violence is a significant social issue that needs to be addressed; however, its not the only one.
Mental health is another area that needs a lot of attention. Even prevalent conditions like depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can negatively affect a persons ability to be affectionate. When a person is stressed out and preoccupied with those emotions, its much more difficult to focus on intimacy.
If you or your partner has a history of abuse or struggles with a mental health issue that you think could be contributing to a lack of affection in your relationship, its important to reach out not only to those who are close to you but to a professional as well. Talking to someone experienced in helping others in the same shoes can give you the guidance you need to start healing.
My Partner's Not Affectionate Anymore, What Can I Do?
If affection and intimacy are lacking in your relationship right now, hopefully, this article has given you some insight into why its an issue and what you can do to improve it.
No matter how severe the reason for why there is a lack of affection, always remember that there are solutions, and Regain can help you every step of the way.
Regain offers online counseling and therapy to anyone experiencing relationship issues and has successfully helped individuals and couples overcome them. Online treatment is affordable and convenient, and it aims to be as stress-free as possible. It also gives you the skills to communicate better and manage conflicts so that you can work on essential parts of a relationship.
Although you might feel like you feel alone in your relationship regarding intimacy and affection, you dont need to be when trying to fix it. With the help available to you, you can have a more open and loving relationship and have a happier, fulfilling life overall.
Emily is a very effective counselor in our very first call she drilled down and uncovered some of our intimacy issues and gave us a game plan to help resolve them. She's timely, easy to talk to, listens but also gives advice (which I've found uncommon with some professionals). We'd use her again and recommend her in a heart beat.
Austa has been wonderful thus far. She has helped my partner and I during an unimaginably difficult time... She has also guided us in communicating effectively and setting appropriate boundaries in our relationship. I was hesitant to pursue counseling at the beginning, but I truly believe that it is making a difference for our relationship. Austa is easy to talk to and she is a great listener. I would wholeheartedly recommend her as a counselor.