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Lovingyou.com > Love Advice & Tips > Love Advice > Boyfriend doesn't like talking about his feelings
Boyfriend doesn't like talking about his feelings posted: 05/05/10 at 7:02 AM

brokenstar85  [more]
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Don't even know where to start with this... it's not a dealbreaker or an end of the world situation, but it bothers me a little, so I thought I'd ask and see if anyone had anything to say that might help.

Basically... my boyfriend won't say that he loves me. We've been together for 14 months - though 8 of those have been long distance. In that time he's said it about five times: two or three of those times have been when I have said it first and he has responded in kind, another time was when I actually sent a text message that said 'Do you love me?' and his response was 'Yes, I do.' The only time he has ever said it of his own accord was back in August when we were talking on IM.

He can be pretty reluctant to talk about his feelings a lot of the time. He uses humor to deflect away from answering serious questions and stuff. When I say 'I love you' he responds in a positive way, but I sense that he is uncomfortable with the word, and so I don't say it very often.

I want to make it clear that I don't doubt that he loves me. I really don't think he is avoiding it because he doesn't feel that way about me, but more because he's uncomfortable expressing his feelings. I think he expresses it in different ways, with physical affection (not just sex) and doing things for me. And part of me feels as though I should just be happy with that, and accept that he's not good at talking about his feelings and that's just how he is. But sometimes it does make me feel insecure. It's not as though I want to hear it all the time, just hearing him say every once in a while, because he wants to, would mean the world to me.

The problem is, if I talk to him about it... I really suspect that he's going to feel as though he has to say it to make me happy, and I don't want that. I only want him to say it if he wants to.

What do you guys think? Is it too much to want to hear from my boyfriend how he feels about me? Is some sort of compromise possible? If it is something I have to deal with, I can deal with it - there are worse things than a man who is reserved when talking about his feelings. But I would like to try and resolve the issue, if it is at all possible.

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posted: 05/05/10 at 10:59 AM

TheStupid  [more]
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Most guys don't like to talk about feelings, nor are they good at talking about it. Read Men from Mars and women from venus.

Using humor to deflect is a typical sign of insecurity.

I would suggest you to enjoy his action rather than words. Aceept him as the way it is.

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posted: 05/05/10 at 4:17 PM

brokenstar85  [more]
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I'm familiar with Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I've talked to other women about it, and the general view does seem to be that men are no good at talking about how they feel.

I guess I'm just a bit envious, because my sister's boyfriend is very romantic and they are always saying how much they love each other (so much that I think she gets a bit fed up with it at times!). My aunt's boyfriend is the same, he writes her letters and cards, calls her just to say he loves her. Even my best friend's husband, who is also reserved about his feelings, tells her he loves her and buys her flowers every so often. Gifts and stuff I don't have much use for, but it would be nice to actually know that I am special to him.

It also kind of puzzles me that he'll happily talk about us trying for a baby soon, but he can't seem to say, 'I love you.' I always thought the first one would be harder to say.

If I have to accept him this way, so be it. I do love him, and I can deal with it. I guess I'll just maybe have to look to my computer games, books and fantasies in order to get my dose of romance.

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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone."

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posted: 05/05/10 at 4:42 PM

pink.fairy89  [more]
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I think it is something you just have to accept; especially considering you don't want to talk to him about it. I know where you're coming from though; my boyfriend is kind of the same. We're in a long distance relationship, and things are generally different when we're apart than when we're together. I think he's more able to express himself (tell me he loves me) when we're at a distance. There's only been one occasion when we've been together where he's been the one to actually initiate the "I love you". Generally if I say it he does return it, or at least (positively) reflects that in some way. He initiates things a bit more when we're apart, but still not too often. However, lately, he has been ending our phone conversations with a "love you" some of the time. It was surprising at first; but very welcome .

Anyway, sorry for raving on about myself; but I mostly just wanted you to know you're not the only one. A lot of people around me are constantly being bombarded with "I love you's" and romantic gestures from their boyfriends, and I know how difficult it is at times to not wish that your relationship could be the same.

Just think, at least we're lucky enough to know that our boyfriends love us. Sure it would be nice, but we don't actually NEED that as reassurance as such. And like you said, there's always other things to satisfy the romance.

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posted: 05/05/10 at 9:50 PM

TheStupid  [more]
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I would not worry too much about others. I have seen enough sweet talking couples to be very skeptical. They often behave they are dipped in honey but next thing you know they may be sleeping with someone else at the same time.

Enjoy what you have and pay attention to actions not words. I do understand we sometimes need to hear the words.

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posted: 05/07/10 at 6:21 AM

Sedative  [more]
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My partner is similar. If your partner can express it other ways then I would recommend that you focus on that i.e. his actions, the effort in the relationship, listening etc. I started a general chat with my boyo about how we express ourselves in the relationship once, nothing personal just made out I was curious and spoke about the different 'languages' of love (you can google them if you're interested). It gave me an opportunity to tell him I express and feel words the most. He was able to say that he shows it in his actions but since then hes been a little more verbal with his feelings so maybe it gave him some encouragement. Maybe you could try that but if not at least you've got a genuine guy which is miles better than someone who is just saying sweet things without necessarily meaning it ;-)

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posted: 05/08/10 at 5:37 AM

Midian  [more]
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It's true, there are plenty of men who are romantic and talk about their feelings openly. Not sure why people speak of them like some rare novelty, they are definitely out there.

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posted: 05/08/10 at 6:07 AM

banarabbyt1  [more]
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My husband is the total opposite- he expresses his feelings all the time and all the time is saying "I love you."

BUT when we first were together he wasn't this way. And I'm a very affectionate person, and I found that over time when I would tell him "I love you" he'd always say it back. And then he started saying it himself.

Do you say I love you to him? If not, I'd start saying it more often, the more often we do something, the easier it becomes, if it starts becoming natural to him, he might surprise you and start saying it himself. Just because he says it after you say it first doesn't make it any less meaning, specially if you KNOW he loves you.

Give it a try- you might be surprised at how things change after time.

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posted: 05/08/10 at 6:58 PM

brokenstar85  [more]
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pink.fairy89: Thank you for your response, it made me feel better to know that it's not just me in this situation. Youa re definately right, at least we are lucky enough to know that our boyfriends are in love with us, whether they can say it or not.

TheStupid: I get what you are saying. With the examples I gave, with my sister and my aunt... well, their boyfriends may be romantic, but one has alcohol problems, the other is a violent drug addict. So when I look at it like that... as you say, sometimes we need to hear the words, but overall I appreciate that while my guy has trouble expressing feelings, it could be so much worse.

Sedative: I really like the idea of just having a general chat with him and seeing if that makes any difference. I don't expect him to change, because I love him the way he is, but it would be nice if he was a little bit more verbally affectionate. But even if nothing changes, as you said at least he's not one of those guys who just says sweet things and doesn't really mean them.

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"Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me, either. Just leave me alone."

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posted: 05/08/10 at 8:16 PM
Sugar Cookie  [more]
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At least he has said it unprompted (the IM). I agree with bana that the more you say it to him, the more comfortable with the words he will feel. He seems to have a hangup on the actual words, but you say the feelings are there, so just give him more time. I wouldn't put pressure on him by asking him point blank, "Do you love me?" because that will just put him on the spot and makes it sound like you are doubting his feelings about you and the relationship. So just say it in a casual way and maybe just use the word more often (ex. I love that shirt on you; I love you because you are so funny!) If you say it with a compliment tacked on, it will lessen the scariness of those three little words by themselves.

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