My (33f) boyfriend (33m) tells me that I shouldn’t expect loving words in return.

We have been together for almost 3 years. It’s not uncommon for me to share sweet words of affection with him via text messages while he’s at work or while we’re apart. He sometimes he replies, but sometimes he just ignores my messages or doesn’t reciprocate the warmth and affection. For example, I recently sent him a message telling him how much I loved cuddling with him last night. I said it’s not always easy for me to ask for affection, but he was trying to get better and I was grateful that I was able to ask for, and receive, some massages last night. I told him that being with him like that is soothing and comforting, that I loved him, and that I wish we could spend time together like this every night. His response was “you are doing very well”. Now, I’m glad he answered. Sometimes my messages are just ignored. For example, I recently texted him, “I love you. Have I told you that lately? Man, I love you so much!” and got no response. But when I mention the fact that I would like my warmth and affection to be returned in a warm way, he tells me “you shouldn’t do something nice just to get a response from someone”. At first this caught my attention and I thought he was crazy… but after hearing it a couple of times, I’m a bit mad. Isn’t it healthy and okay to expect a partner to respond to your love and affection in an equally loving and caring way? Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much or if I’m correct in thinking it’s unhealthy for him to get defensive about returning affection. I don’t always immediately recognize healthy or unhealthy emotions/reactions due to my upbringing, so I would love to have other perspectives on this. Is it healthy to expect loving words to be answered in an equally loving way?

We have been together for almost 3 years. It’s not uncommon for me to share sweet words of affection with him via text messages while he’s at work or while we’re apart. He sometimes he replies, but sometimes he just ignores my messages or doesn’t reciprocate the warmth and affection. For example, I recently sent him a message telling him how much I loved cuddling with him last night. I said it’s not always easy for me to ask for affection, but he was trying to get better and I was grateful that I was able to ask for, and receive, some massages last night. I told him that being with him like that is soothing and comforting, that I loved him, and that I wish we could spend time together like this every night. His response was “you are doing very well”. Now, I’m glad he answered. Sometimes my messages are just ignored. For example, I recently texted him, “I love you. Have I told you that lately? Man, I love you so much!” and got no response. But when I mention the fact that I would like my warmth and affection to be returned in a warm way, he tells me “you shouldn’t do something nice just to get a response from someone”. At first this caught my attention and I thought he was crazy… but after hearing it a couple of times, I’m a bit mad. Isn’t it healthy and okay to expect a partner to respond to your love and affection in an equally loving and caring way? Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m expecting too much or if I’m correct in thinking it’s unhealthy for him to get defensive about returning affection. I don’t always immediately recognize healthy or unhealthy emotions/reactions due to my upbringing, so I would love to have other perspectives on this. Is it healthy to expect loving words to be answered in an equally loving way?

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