Dear Wendy Updates: Pecker’s Girlfriend Responds

In a new feature called “Dear Wendy Updates,” people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Pecker’s Girlfriend” who complained that her boyfriend only ever gave her pecks and not ever the passionate kisses she craved. I suggested she ask how he likes to be kissed and give lots of positive reinforcement when he kissed her the way she likes. Some readers suggested she might have bad breath that’s turning off her boyfriend. After the jump, see how she reacted to those suggestions as well as how things are going with her boyfriend these days.

You posted a response to my letter called “My Boyfriend’s a Pecker.” The answer, to me, felt like it just reiterated all of the things I listed in the letter that I had already tried and had failed. The commenters kept focusing on things like bad breath (which I asked about and is not an issue), and I’ll be honest, at first I was a little offended by the feedback given by the community but I realized that I maybe didn’t give enough background information. The answers didn’t get to the root of it for us which is, after a lot of reflection, that he is not a super affectionate person and I am. Also, he wouldn’t say this to me, but I am pretty sure body fluids like saliva gross him out. He’s also an only child and his family is not affectionate either. (His dad is an ex-powerlifter, if that gives you any hints at the amount of warmth in his parents’ home.) He rarely cuddles and he can’t sleep with me next to him at all. It’s almost like we’re having sex or we’re just being friends and there’s no in between. He bought a king size bed recently so now we can be physically in the same bed but really just be sleeping alone. Obviously, I really miss the old bed.

A few days after the article posted, I just tried to talk about it in a way that would get the point across that I really didn’t like the non-kissing behavior but in the least threatening way possible. I jokingly said that I felt like I’m “dating a chicken sometimes. You’re always just pecking me.” We had a laugh and I explained that I just needed more intimate kisses. He said he understood and wanted to make me happy. It was better for one night and then it just went back to the way it was. I know he really, truly cares about me so much and I don’t want this to affect our relationship, but … whenever our relationship isn’t 100 percent it ends up really, really bothering me and I feel like my needs aren’t being met. I heard recently that he is telling his friends that I am “the one” and as happy as I am with him right now, looking forward 10 years from now with a man who is not very physically affectionate completely freaks me out. I am really at a loss about what to do. He is very verbally affectionate and he is very generous financially with me. He took me on a cruise in May. I know that he tries to show his love in other ways but I am not sure if it is enough.

A friend of mine is breaking up with her boyfriend of three years right now and one of the big reasons is that he stopped being affectionate toward her and it contributed to her falling out of love with him. My partner and I were talking about why this relationship failed and I explained that because her boyfriend wasn’t affectionate toward her it really damaged the relationship over the long-term, even though he wanted to marry her and would “do anything for her” (basically where my boyfriend is at now). I was like, just because he was committed to not leaving her doesn’t mean that she can’t fall out of love. He replied, “Well, I’m not really a super affectionate person.” … An argument to suggest the strength of our relationship despite this. And I responded, “I know you aren’t. And I know we’re strong right now, but I have to say us having the bare minimum of affection between us is not GOOD for our relationship. If we’re ever in a rough patch it will be rougher because we don’t maintain that physical connection.” I’m hoping that he can take the hint and try to learn from my friend’s failed relationship but I feel the reality is that he is not affectionate and I am and I am going to have to make the choice about whether I will be getting my needs met for the rest of my life or not with him and it’s really bothering me. I really am at a loss for how to sort through all of this. — Pecker’s girlfriend

Well, since you were so disappointed in my — and the commenters’ — advice the first time, I’m not sure what you want or are expecting here. Maybe you just needed to vent and don’t expect a reply, but I’m going to give you one anyway. Basically, you summed up your whole challenge in the second-to-last sentence: you have to figure out if your needs are being met and if living with little to no affection from your partner is something you can deal with for the rest of your life. It seems pretty clear your boyfriend isn’t going to change — at least, probably not much — and, really, it’s unfair for you to expect him to. He is who he is. You asking him to be a lot more affectionate when it’s something he’s not terribly comfortable with is about as fair as him asking you to stop being so needy. Neither of you can help who you are. There are plenty of men out there who are naturally affectionate, just as there are plenty of women who are happy to have limited touching and kissing. The bottom line is you want something he can’t or won’t provide — it doesn’t make either of you a bad person, but it might make you a not-so-great match. The big question now is: how much of a want is it for you? Can you live without it? And most important: can you live happily without it. If not, I think you know what you have to do.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

Follow me on Twitter and get relationship tips and updates on new Dear Wendy columns!