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Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine?

Can children detect on some level when love is not genuine? An example would be when a parent is affectionate to spite their own parents as if to say "This is what you were supposed to do with me," rather than doing so out of a genuine feeling towards the child. Acting the part without the emotion and connection to back it. Can this be perceived by the child and perhaps effect their emotional development? If so, to what degree could this hinder them in the long term?
posted by mrflibble on Jan 1, 2014 - 22 answers

The Once and Future(?) Friend

What are some good resources on interpersonal communication that I can direct people to that they can read on their own time? [more inside]
posted by eviemath on Oct 7, 2013 - 11 answers

How to date someone who is new to dating

I'm seeing a guy who hasn't done much dating. I can't tell how much of our dynamic is his lack of familiarity with dating, how much is just differences in our relationship preferences, and how much might be differences in upbringing. So what I need are some tools for figuring that out. Without using the phrase "Love Languages." [more inside]
posted by tulip-socks on Apr 23, 2013 - 45 answers

"Dogs' lives are too short... Their only fault, really."

I love my dog. Every once in a while, I feel utterly heartbroken that I will most likely outlive him. While it doesn't happen often and it's not overwhelming, and I realize that it is perfectly natural to be sad about something like that, can you give me advice about how to turn these thoughts into something positive? [more inside]
posted by halogen on Jan 7, 2013 - 42 answers

Why do I hate other people's love?

I have extreme negative reactions to witnessing public displays of affection (PDA) or overhearing sex (e.g. anger, disgust, heart racing, crying). I get that I need therapy, but what kind should I be looking for? [more inside]
posted by Manlee Forresiddy on Nov 30, 2012 - 11 answers

How do you gently let someone know that they're being too friendly and affectionate with you?

How do you gently let someone know that they're being too friendly and affectionate with you? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Mar 24, 2012 - 28 answers

I LOVE YOU LET ME TASTE YOU

I love my new kitty, Agent Cooper, beyond all reason. He's 1 year old and was a stray, and he's been living with me for a month now. The problem is, he's a biter. I'm pretty sure it's an OH MY GOD I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, CHOMP! kind of bite, but I want to be sure I am reading, and handling, his behavior correctly. [more inside]
posted by pazazygeek on Feb 20, 2012 - 27 answers

What should I do about my cat's love bites?

How should I respond to my cat's playful nipping? [more inside]
posted by brina on Dec 4, 2011 - 11 answers

"I love you, bro."

He gets to call me "sis," but "bro" is taken by bros. What affectionate term can I call my brother? [more inside]
posted by Pwoink on Nov 29, 2011 - 70 answers

Fixing dismissive text messages

I feel silly asking this, but please help my robotic text messaging style convey more warmth. [more inside]
posted by mossicle on Nov 26, 2011 - 25 answers

Oh boy..Do you love me?

What should be his reply when I ask him "Do you love me?" ? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Oct 11, 2011 - 51 answers

I need love.

How do I adjust to not needing affection and validation all the time? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Aug 26, 2011 - 16 answers

i end up feeling like an ignored puppy.

RelationshipFilter: Am I asking too much in asking for nonsexual, nonjokey/tickly affection? [more inside]
posted by inmyhead on Jul 16, 2011 - 32 answers

Why is my child selectively affectionate with family members?

Why is my three year old opposed to affection from certain family members, including his father? Is this typical for his age? Is there anything I can do to make this situation better? [more inside]
posted by mudlark on Jul 14, 2011 - 30 answers

How can we stay physically close while his circumcision heals?

How can we stay physically close while his circumcision heals? [more inside]
posted by daysocks on Jul 13, 2011 - 5 answers

Is my SO's behavior extreme stoicism? Or disinterest?

How do I figure out if my SO is a stoic or disinterested? I get relatively minor red flags that may or may not add up to a big one, and I do not want to stay in a relationship with someone who is not as interested in me as I in them. Possibly over-analysis inside. [more inside]
posted by Hey nonny nonny mouse on Nov 4, 2010 - 48 answers

"Of all eloquence a nickname is the most concise; of all arguments the most unanswerable." - Wacky Bill

Under what circumstances can you assign someone an affectionate nickname? [more inside]
posted by foursentences on Oct 31, 2010 - 41 answers

Why does my cat hate my chest?

Odd cat behavior question. Can anyone explain to me exactly why one of our cats will simply NOT climb up on me in the bed? Even though she's all over my girlfriend.. it has both of us perplexed. There will be all sorts of background information inside. [more inside]
posted by darknemus on Aug 16, 2010 - 20 answers

Do I need to change my unaffectionate ways?

Do I need to change my unaffectionate ways? [more inside]
posted by hellameangirl on Apr 15, 2010 - 26 answers

clingy women rule?

Is it possible to persuade my new girlfriend to be more clingy? Yeah, I know, strange... [more inside]
posted by TheOtherSide on Dec 2, 2009 - 25 answers

Help me stop holding back.

How can I be more affectionate? I always worry that any of my attempts at affection come across as clingy, and this probably makes me seem distant. Also: how to let go of my inhibitions, and love hard? I keep worrying about getting hurt, and tell myself that if I don't fall completely in love, then I won't get hurt badly. [more inside]
posted by Xere on Sep 6, 2009 - 10 answers

Chihuahua knows the nose

Why does my dog want to eat our snot? Straight out of our noses! [more inside]
posted by arniec on May 5, 2009 - 18 answers

Let's get physical, but not that kind of physical...

I've just left a relationship in which I was having great sex, but not experiencing enough non-sexual physical affection from my partner. It really made me aware of how much I need physical contact such as hugs, and knowing that there's a living body near me. How can I get more of that feeling of physical affection without actually hooking up with someone? [more inside]
posted by pipstar on Mar 14, 2009 - 27 answers

silly, clueless girl in need of help parsing male behavior

Public physical contact: what does it mean? (silly overanalyzing girl filter) [more inside]
posted by faeuboulanger on Mar 4, 2009 - 25 answers

How can a somewhat solitary guy meet a need for hugs and human contact?

How can a somewhat solitary guy meet a need for hugs and human contact? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 19, 2008 - 13 answers

To A Near-Disabling Extent, I Wear the Opposite of Rose-Colored Glasses

I see the world, and all in it, as something vicious and ready to attack me, and that influences far too much stuff in my life. Help. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Dec 8, 2008 - 30 answers

A kiss is just a kiss

Am I fair in blaming a snail's-pace relationship on my weak ability to show affection? [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Jul 15, 2008 - 24 answers

Toucha-toucha-toucha touch me

How do I go about finding platonic physical affection? [more inside]
posted by Ndwright on Jul 11, 2008 - 33 answers

My cat's gone mad with love!

My cat demands constant affection. When she doesn't get it she screams and pushes herself against me. It is cute for short periods of time but recently she has become even more vocal and more needy. It's to the point that if I'm on the phone she is screaming in the background. If I have company she is in their face trying to get attention unless I am constantly petting her. How can I help her and help my sanity? [more inside]
posted by aburd on Jun 14, 2008 - 19 answers

Help me overthink sex and romance.

What are some good books/essays/articles about human sexuality, sexual and romantic relationships, and sexual or otherwise affection-entangled activity - with an emphasis on the theoretical? I'm thinking more along the lines of Judith Butler than The Joy of Sex - so suggestions should be at least vaguely academic. (Things like Leaves of Grass count as vaguely academic). [more inside]
posted by bubukaba on Mar 10, 2008 - 21 answers

Word for affectionate squeezing hazard?

And I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George! Somewhere I read that there was a specific word in some language to describe the feeling of restraining overwhelming affection because the urge to hug and squeeze with all one's might could actually harm the subject, e.g. puppies, infants, petite girlfriends. I've searched all over with no luck. Ring any bells?
posted by Tubes on Apr 23, 2007 - 27 answers

Blame the caffeine for all the 5 a.m. phone calls

[Insecure Female Filter] Help me feel less clingy when asking for affection from or even just displaying it to my more stoic significant other. Back story & lots [more inside]
posted by Phire on Jan 2, 2007 - 17 answers

I Need Love! (Boyfriend withdrawing affection.)

My depressed boyfriend is withdrawing affection; I'm miserable. [more inside]
posted by Teevee's Bella on Dec 28, 2006 - 66 answers

Reading into my cat's nose bumps

Just curious. If I am sitting on my couch, or lying on my chair, sometimes my cat will come up to me and bump noses with me. I recognize this as a sign of affection or a friendly greeting. Sometimes, it is a prolonged (4-5 second) nose bump.....Now if I should happen to approach my cat who is an another part of the room, and initiate a nose bump, will my cat look at it as a greeting/ form of affection, or will she be thinking 'what is this guy doing?'... Is it a two way street? Or do they only accept affection in forms of scratching their head and behind their ears?........is the prolonged nose bump their way of being super affectionate? I have researched several websites on cat behavior, but havent found a answer close enough to what i was looking for....
posted by TwilightKid on Dec 19, 2006 - 43 answers

I actually said, "honey, will you just hug me for 5 seconds?"

sameoldrelationshipstuff filter: Like many of us, I have fears about my relationship. Does she really love me? etc. One thing that's starting to drive me crazy is that I want more affection than she wants to give. I know everyone is different, blah blah blah, but just so I can have some perspective, can you guys tell me: how often do you smooch your sweety? Do you tell him you love him every day? Do you expect a hug when he gets home from work? If he asks you for some attention - do you give it to him, or run the other way? Help me understand what is normal - or at least average!
posted by anonymous on Nov 7, 2006 - 17 answers

How do I show affection?

I have a female friend who is having a hard time. I'd like to show my affection and support. Unfortunately, I'm a guy, so everything risks to be misread as attempts to hit on her. That's not what I want. Also, I'm not really good at these things. What should I do?
posted by anonymous on Aug 14, 2006 - 17 answers

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