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My Boyfriend is Uncomfortable with Emotions

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  • #333799
    rocketgirl
    Participant

    6 months into this LDR, my boyfriend admitted that he is uncomfortable in dealing with emotions and is not great at expressing how he feels through words because of the societal pressure of manning up. He thinks emotions are a sign of weakness and therefore, nothing is wrong with him.

    Is this worth pursuing?

    #333837
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    rocketgirl,

    It’s been 6 months since you’re in this relationship. They recently told you that they are not comfortable at expressing emotions. You’re questioning whether or not you should keep going with them. I didn’t get some part of your question. What was it directed at?

    Are you having an internal conflict due to their belief of emotions being a weakness, and fear their capacity to handle a romantic relationship with this attitude. Or is there something that doesn’t add up in your mind about them, or you two’s chemistry overall.

    LDRs are quite strenuous. It’s also easy to overthink, since you cannot see that person that often you cannot judge each other’s moods or personalities in general. There’s so much going behind the curtains. Make sure you’re not overthinking.

    My advice would be: If you’re genuinely concerned about their existence in your life, ask yourself if you would like to keep going (plus the effort) Try having another personal talk with them then, if your mind says yes.

    (I wish the best for you. Apologies for something that shouldn’t have been mentioned)

    Bless you

    Regards,

    Javairia

    #333847
    Valora
    Participant

    If you’re dating in the U.S., you’re going to find this is a very, very common belief among men. Most men do not verbally express emotions but do it through actions instead.  For instance, my dad has only told me he loves me maybe 3 or 4 times in my nearly 38 years of life, BUT he has always been there when I needed him, goes out of his way for me, listens to me when I talk to him, and is always happy to see me and happy to talk to me, therefore, I know for sure that he loves me without him having to say it. I don’t believe he would feel comfortable expressing feelings through words, and I can say the same for a lot of guys I know.

    So what I’m basically saying is that if this is something you’re not okay with, that’s okay. It simply narrows your dating pool, at least in some countries. I do think lot of men are getting better at embracing emotions these days, but many were raised to “man up” as your boyfriend said, and I wouldn’t ever expect their views to change. It’s what they were taught from childhood, and those beliefs tend to be deep-seated and hard to change unless they actively work on it, and most men won’t because it’s socially acceptable (and encouraged) for men to be this way.

    So your only options are to not pursue him and find someone who expresses emotions verbally or accept that he won’t and look for signs of his emotions in expressions and actions. Long distance relationships can make this harder as well because he isn’t there in person to show you how he is feeling through actions, but you can usually tell how someone truly feels about you by paying attention to what they’re NOT saying, like in the example I noted above with my dad.

    #333851
    Valora
    Participant

    If it might help, what is an example of something you were wanting him to express through words? Maybe we can find an action he’s shown you that would give you your answer that way.

    #333859
    Inky
    Participant

    Hi rocketgirl,

    This LDR may not work. You have to be even MORE emotional to keep the relationship going if it’s long distance. When you see each other all the time, you can ironically get away with not showing as much emotion.

    Make sure this manning up thing isn’t just an excuse not to work on the relationship.

    I’m biased, and I think everyone knows how I feel about LDRs: Good Luck!

    Best,

    Inky

    #333895
    Peggy
    Participant

    Hi Rocketgirl,

    Everyone has emotions.  When someone does not express their emotions, they go inwards and begin to cause problems such as depression.  Encourage your boyfriend to talk as much as he can – you’ll be able to tell through his voice whether he is happy, joyful and loving which is fine.  When you pick up those other vibes, just say so.  If you are sensing sadness or anger, say so.

    Also, if you talk about your own emotions, he will receive the cue from you that it is OK to express yourself (himself) in that way.

    It may take a while before he trusts you enough to open up, but if you care for him enough, you’ll be able to stay the course.

    Good Luck

    Peggy

    #334217
    rocketgirl
    Participant

    Javaira: Thank you for your two cents! It’s mostly a concern for me because primarily I respond well to words of affirmation, which in this case is not being satisfied due to 1.) distance 2.) difference in love language. To be quite fair to my partner, he is consciously trying to be more vocal about his feelings and emotions. I agree with the overthinking part. I have a tendency to do this and the distance just adds to it.

    Valora: Just had an a-ha moment when you shared that bit with your dad. Maybe my BF is triggering this response because my dad is somewhat expressive and I wanted him to be more like my dad which is unfair to him. I will be more mindful of this! To answer your question, my BF is more hands-on when we’re together and his love language is really service which I appreciate.

    Inky: Absolutely agree. Good thing he is more receptive now after I opened up about how I’m feeling.

    Peggy: Yes to being patient and working on it together.

     

    Thanks, everyone!

     

    #334223
    anita
    Participant

    Dear rockegirl:

    Your boyfriend is afraid to feel and to express “weak emotions” because he is afraid people will take advantage of him or hurt him otherwise when he is weak. Probably because it already happened. And it happens, people hurting other people every day.

    So don’t hurt him, don’t hurt his feelings, make your relationship a safe place for him and for you. Within that safe place he may relax over time and not be afraid that you will hurt him when he feels those soft but strong emotions of affection, longing, need, attachment.

    anita

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