How To Get Your Partner To Be More Affectionate In Public, It Can Be A Touchy Subject

If your love language is physical touch or you live for cute nicknames and quick kisses — being lovey with your boo when you're out on the town may be super important to you. If you're dating someone who is a little private, or your partner tends to keep their feelings (and hands) to themselves when you're out, it's natural to wonder how to get your partner to be more affectionate in public.

You and your boo may like all the same movies or have the same taste in dive bars, but if you navigate PDA differently, it can be easy to feel like you're speaking different languages. Of course, talking to your boo about your needs isn't always easy. Opening up about your expectations and preferences can be a great way to get on the same page with your partner, before any feelings of disconnect pop up. Being open and honest with a boo can take some serious vulnerability, but letting your partner know how to best support you ultimately means getting more support from your boo.

If public affection is important to you, here are three ways to get your partner to understand where you're coming.

Start With Some Positive Affirmations

If public affection is important to you and it's not something your partner usually does, instead of telling your boo that they're doing something wrong or listing the things that they could be doing better, consider sharing how loved you feel when they do act affectionately in public.

"Let them know that when they are loving, compliment you, open the door, etc., you feel closer to them, you are reminded how much you love them," Dr. Joshua Klapow, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist and Host of 'The Kurre and Klapow Show,' tells Elite Daily. Reminding your boo about all the things that you like about them, or really noting the times you feel most loved, can be a great way to start a conversation about the things you need in the future, without putting pressure on them to drastically change.

Be Direct

Of course, if you know that holding hands is important to you or if kissing on dates would really mean something to you, Dr. Klapow shares the importance of stating your direct needs, rather than asking for more general affection.

"The trick is to simply show them what they can do versus what they are not doing," Dr. Klapow says. "Holding your hand or giving you a hug makes you feel loved and cared for." According to Dr. Klapow, directly noting the actions that you're looking for can encourage your boo to make small changes in their day, without making them feel like they're letting you down.

Use "I" Statements

In addition to being direct about the type of affection you crave, according to Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin MS, LCPC, Certified Imago Therapist, and co-founder of The Marriage Restoration Project, taking accountability for your own feelings is a great way to encourage your partner to be more lovey in public.

"Take ownership of your feelings instead of criticizing what they are doing wrong," Rabbi Slatkin says. "We can share with our partners our needs in a loving and safe way by telling them how we react or feel when they do a particular behavior." Rather than "You're not affectionate enough," try saying something to your partner like "I feel so loved when you hug me on the train." Zoom the focus in on the actions that would make you feel more loved, not on what they're doing "wrong."

Framing conversations around what types of actions that make you feel most cared for can be a great way to encourage your partner to be more affectionate in public. Although it may feel intimidating to ask for what you want, if public displays of affection are important to you, there's nothing wrong with talking to your partner about your needs. You deserve to feel supported and loved in all aspects of your relationship — no matter who else is around.