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How to Recognize the Real Signs of Affection to Know Someone Cares

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, most of us miss some of the most obvious signs of affection. How do you show affection?

Signs of Affection

We are all different, and that means that we all show signs of affection in slightly different ways. For one person it might be about the physical side of things, such as cuddling, kissing and hand holding, but someone else might be a little more verbal or emotional in their affection.

Is one better than the other? Of course not! Affection is affection, but it’s important not to miss out on the signs of affection, so you can clearly read when someone is letting you know that they care about you.

Avoid this common mistake

I show affection in a physical way. I am a very tactile person and that means I like to cuddle, touch, hold hands, and the like. Not everyone is like that, and for me, if I meet someone who is a little more held back physically, I can suddenly assume that they don’t care. Of course, this isn’t always the case. There are subtle signs of affection that most of us miss, and we often don’t realize until it’s too late.

Take my friend for example. She was seeing someone who held back in terms of PDA and general physical signs of affection.They simply weren’t a cuddly type of person, but they did tell her what they liked about her every day and checked she had got home safely after a night out. [Read: 17 gestures that are way louder than words when it comes to love]

My friend didn’t see the last few details, she simply zoomed in on the lack of hand holding and tickling sessions and assumed that they simply didn’t care about her in the same way. They ended up going their separate ways, and it was only a few months later when the truth finally dawned on her. This person did care, they simply showed it in a different way. [Read: 12 signs you’re being selfish in your relationship]

This is a mistake many of us make. I’ve made it once or twice too.

To help you avoid making these mistakes, let’s run through a few of the signs of affection that you might know, and a few that you might otherwise miss. By being aware of the more subtle signs, you can avoid parting ways with someone who actually cares about you more than you think.

Signs of affection in a physical way

Are you a touchy-feely kind of person? Do you love hugging, kissing, hand holding, joking around, play fighting? That’s the way that I show affection, but I also know people who are very cold in terms of physical affection. Does that make them cold in general? Of course not! It simply means they’re not comfortable with the physical side of things and that’s totally fine too.

We all have our boundaries and limitations, and it’s important to respect these on both sides of a relationship. However, if you have a problem with a lack of physical affection then that is equally a problem, and something you’ll need to think about and work out for yourself whether you can live with it, or whether you simply can’t.

If you have to walk away from someone who isn’t physically affectionate, even after discussing the problem, do not feel bad. We all have to do what we need to do in order to feel fulfilled in a relationship. [Read: 10 questions to ask before leaving someone you love]

The main signs of affection in a physical manner are:

– Regular touching for no reason, e.g. on the shoulder or arm

– Massages

– Playing with their hair

– Cuddling and hugging

– Holding hands, either while out in public or simply watching the TV

– Kissing, both on the lips and on the face in general

– Kissing on the forehead. This is one of the most gentle and tender signs of affection around!

– Tickling

– Gentle play fighting

[Read: 20 types of touch and what each touch means]

Basically, signs of affection physically are an excuse to touch the person that you can’t get enough of. Stroking an arm, playing with their hair, kissing their cheek simply because you feel you want to, these are all signs that you love and care about someone deeply, and you’re showing it in a physical manner. [Read: Skin hunger and the human need to touch someone]

But some people don’t want to touch, or they don’t want to be touched. Perhaps there is a reason for this like a past trauma. You will only find out the reasons behind it, if indeed there is a reason, by having an open and honest conversation.

Approaching this conversation with caution is the way forward. It’s never a good idea to jump straight in with “why don’t you want to hold my hand?”! [Read: 10 steps to tell your partner how unhappy you feel in the relationship]

Signs of affection emotionally/verbally

Another way of showing affection is less about what someone does and more about what they say. This type of affection isn’t done via physical means, like hugging, kissing, or touching. It’s about showing affection through caring about someone.

This could be telling them to text you to let you know they got home safely, cooking them a meal, asking if they had lunch, looking after them when they’re sick. These aren’t things we do because we want to, they’re things we do because we care.

When you go to the supermarket and you see the chocolate that your partner loves, do you buy it? You probably do, I know I would. You do this because you thought about them and you wanted to show them you care. That’s affection, albeit not in a physical way.

These are the types of signs often missed or overlooked, and the types of signs which my friend completely missed and lost a person over. Only later realizing how much she actually cared. It’s a common scenario, and one I hope you manage to avoid. [Read: 12 real signs of true love in a relationship]

Common signs of verbal or emotional affection:

– Saying “I love you” or “I care about you”

– Telling someone what you like about them, e.g. “I love your smile”

– Checking they got home safely

– Worrying about them when they’re not with you

– Asking if they ate lunch, offering to make them food

– Caring for them if they’re sick or tired

– Rushing to their side if they need anything

– Asking if they’re okay if something doesn’t seem right

– Buying small gifts ‘just because’

– Sending random texts just so they know you’re thinking of them

Many of these signs are overlooked, because they’re considered things we’re “supposed” to do for someone. The thing is nobody is going to do these things for someone they don’t care about. By actually letting them know that you’re doing them, you’re showing them affection. [Read: 8 ways to build a stronger emotional connection]

What your signs of affection say about your relationship

Sending a text for no reason other than to say “hi” is an initiation of communication. You’re thinking about them, and that should give them a warm glow in response. Think about the times you’ve received a text from someone you were close to.

Did it make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Did you get butterflies? Probably, and that’s because of the rush of knowing someone thought about you, someone you have feelings for.

The most obvious signs of affection are often the ones which mean the least. That isn’t to say that physical affection isn’t important, of course it is. Many people leave relationships because they’re not getting the right amount of physical affection they need to feel loved and fulfilled. The non-physical signs often show a deeper connection, like a worry about someone’s wellbeing.

[Read: The 15 ways public displays of affection can improve your relationship]

Do you show signs of affection in a physical way, or are you more under the radar? By figuring out where you stand, you can work out whether you and your partner both receive the amount of affection you each need.

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Nicky Curtis
Nicky Curtis
Having stumbled from one relationship drama to another throughout her 20s, Nicky is now somewhat of a guru in the crazy world of life and love. Telling it how i...
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