Post # 1
One of the things I find most irritating about my FH is his lack of ability to express himself verbally. I just need to vent a little about it and maybe see if I’m not alone here.
We are in a LDR, which doesn’t help things. But he always says “I’m just not a mushy, expressive guy” and says he will try harder (although he doesn’t) but that I also need to try just accept it too. He does what I call the “you toos”. I say something nice, he reflects it back to me. Me: “You look nice tonight babe”…Him: “Thanks. You do too.” Or Me: “You are so awesome!”…Him: “You’re pretty awesome too.” Like he can never just come out and compliment me or basically say anything sweet at all unless I say it first.
Sometimes I will get to a point where I need to hear something nice so badly that I will flat out ask him to say something nice to me. I get one of the following three responses every single time: 1- I miss you, 2- I love you, 3- I’m glad you’re my girlfriend. When I ask him to say something different than those three things, he says he feels too “put on the spot” and can’t think of anything. It kind of hurts my feelings.
I am very open and expressive and I just find this so irritating sometimes. Sometimes I feel like he must just not feel passionately about me or our relationship. Are lots of guys like this or did I just end up with an especially unexpressive, unromantic guy? Any tips on how to get him to open up and actually pay me a compliment without fishing or flat out asking?
Post # 3
Hmmm, I don’t know if there’s a way to get him to change unless you flat out tell him. You know how boys are – you gotta knock them over the head for them to remember anything.
I personally have the opposite problem – my Boyfriend or Best Friend is very in touch with his emotions, and I find it really hard to express myself.
I think you just have to remember that he truly does love you, he just doesn’t know how to verbalize it. Just tell him that you’d love it if he could say nice things to you without prompting. It doesn’t have to be a serious discussion. Do a pretend whine. That always works for me 😉
Post # 4
Hahaha–I could have written this entire post out word for word! He is very rarely the one to say “I love you” first. I’ll always say it and then he says: “I love you too.” The only time he ever says it first is when I’m pissed at him. His cunning plan to get back in my good graces is to come over, give me a hug, and tell me he loves me. 🙂
I also tell my guy to say nice things to me when I’m feeling down, and like yours it’s almost always the same 3 things. Ah well. I’ve had BFs before that have been really vocal and said really sweet things to me, so I don’t think it’s all guys. But I think a lot of them are this way.
For the most part I just put up with it. He has other good qualities. 🙂
Post # 5
This was my Darling Husband for 1+ years of our relationship. It took a lot of consistent communication, of making it clear to him that this aspect of the relationship was very important for me for him to start being more expressive. I think you do need to flat out ask him. Not “Honey, say something nice right now,” but more generally, something like “It makes me so happy when you compliment me or tell me how you feel about me. I know it’s not something that you’re used to doing, and you might not feel like it’s a big deal, but it would be incredible if you tried to do that more.” That’s the type of stuff I said 🙂
Also, it’s key to offer positive reinforcement every time he does it. Tell him how happy he made you (should be true, right?). Hopefully, before long, it’s second nature for him!
Post # 6
Men never communicate. It’s just how they are (generally). And a big plus 1 on the positive reinforcement. Men really respond to it, just like dogs haha
Post # 7
I thought this was going to be about men not communicating about problems in the relationship, which is normal. But in terms of expressing love, I am super lucky in that department. We’re all over each other and constantly praise each other. It may be a little much for some people (and we tone it down completely when we’re around people) but we both came to the conclusion that we grew up as only children and our mothers gave us way too much attention/appreciation, so we’ve grown to sort of need that as a means of communicating happiness/contentment.
It was probably just how he was raised and can be worked on. Talk to him about it. He should work through it and realize that ALL women need to hear some verbal expressing of love sometimes. Although I’m really big on SHOWING it too. I have had to lecture my S.O. before in the past about how his actions speak louder than words (like me having to twist his arm to do things I like, etc.. and that because we are different in many ways, that we both need to bend a little and that is what shows us that we love each other). It’s easy to say “I love you so much babe”. So if he shows you a lot by doing things for you or with his actions, that is very nice too and consider yourself lucky. It could be something simple like taking out the garbage without you asking…but then again you guys don’t live with each other so it’s hard to tell probably:/
Post # 8
My SO is the same way. I just got over it one day, like “this is just how he is, it doesn’t mean he loves you any less”. Sometimes when I tell him why I love him, I’ll then ask “why do you love me” and he’ll say “because I do” and I’ll playfully say “that’s not an answer, come on, no-one’s judging you, it’s just nice to hear sometimes” and then he’ll open up. Not a whole verbal avalanche, but little things, just a couple.
Best I can say is that men typically communicate way less than we’d like them too. But it doesn’t mean they love or respect us/our relationship any less.
Post # 9
I have to say that I’m very blessed when it comes to my SO and how much he expresses his love for me–it’s something I’ve never experienced before. In my last relationship, the guy NEVER expressed himself verbally and I just got used to it–but it was really hard not knowing how he truly felt. I think it really depends on the guy and I don’t believe you can really change anyone when it comes to how they express themselves.
Post # 10
There was a funny statistic I read one time (forgot the source) about the comparison of the amount of words spoken in a day from men/women. The # difference was HUGE lol like, women say around 1500 words a day and men were like 300. So that should tell you something..
Post # 11
I agree with some PP’s, you should just talk to him about it objectively rather than putting him on the spot, just to explain/let him know that it makes you feel more loved/better etc when he can say things of his own accord and that you really appreciate it.
I haven’t seen anyone mention it yet, but you should check out the ‘love languages’ thing–different people express love in different ways, some people talk about it, some people give gifts, some people express love through actions/helping and others through touch etc.
It might be helpful for you both to figure out you love languages & then based on those you might be able to open a channel of constructive communication (I think there is a free online quiz somewhere).
As for myself, my partner is pretty good about verbalizing his feelings–he certainly isn’t reading me sonnets in the moonlight while I listen from a balcony or anything, but he is able to tell me that he cares, misses me thinks I look beautiful etc of his own accord frequently.
Post # 12
Missmouse29, we actually have done the Love Languages quiz. It was very helpful and gave us some perspective. Obviously words of affirmation were not in his top 3. He expresses himself through physical touch and acts of service. The hard part is, we are in a LDR, so the physical touch and acts of service are pretty hard to do. And my top are quality time and words of affirmation.
I feel like once you know this about the other person, you should try to push yourself even if they have a different love language. FH knows this about me, we have had plenty of convos about how much it means to me to hear sweet words and compliments from him, even though it might not be something he’d normally do or is something he thinks is silly. I feel like he doesn’t even try. Like he’s like “yeah I know you like yo hear sweet things, but I don’t care enough to go out of my comfort zone to show you I love you in a way that is more meaningful to you”.
I’m sure it’s not exactly like that, but sometimes that’s how it feels.
Post # 13
@gr8tlexi: My husband and I are opposite. My language is physical touch and acts of service and HIS is touch and words of affirmation. It’s pretty interesting. I make an effort to TELL him more and more that I appreciate and love him, though sometimes I feel like I’m just saying it because he said it first (which isn’t true, he just beat me to the punch, but I feel like that sometimes). I think you’ll need to lay out for him that it would mean a lot to you if he made more of an effort to remind himself.
But other than that, try not to push him much. To him, coming up with the words is kind of like speaking a foreign language. Try to be patient.
ETA: I know exactly what you mean about feeling like he doesn’t care about the relationship. I sometimes feel like that since he knows how much an unprompted vacuuming means to me, yet I still need to prompt and when I thank him he says “well, it needed to be done”. Sigh. Getting there! 😛
Post # 14
He is great at verbal and non-verbal communication when it comes to showing/telling me he loves me, to discussing problems we have etc. In fact, sometimes he makes me talk when I am upset even though I want to stew.