Ask Wendy

How Do I Get My Boyfriend to Talk About His Feelings?

Friday, August 16, 2019
get back together
Hey Wendy,

I’m dating this guy and we get along very well. I’m loving spending time with him, the sex is great, but I’ve come to find difficulty in communicating with him.

He doesn’t talk very much about his feelings, instead, he likes to show me how he feels through his actions.

The problem is that I also have difficulty communicating my feelings at times. As long as I’m paying attention, it works, but sometimes I’m afraid I’ll miss something or I’ll interpret his actions the wrong way.

For example, I didn’t think we were exclusive after the first month of dating because we hadn’t had the talk about it. However, after a conversation with a friend, I was made aware that he considered us exclusive. I asked if he thought we were exclusive and he immediately turned the question back on me and asked me if I wanted to be exclusive.

How do I go about talking about feelings without rushing things? Or do I just wait for him to open up?

Chels V. – Online

Hey Chels,

This seems like a wonderful growth opportunity for you! Ugh. Don’t you just hate it when people say things like that to you? Saying it anyway.

All kidding aside, using your words can make you feel exposed, but all the best, juiciest parts about being in a relationship happen when people choose to be brave enough to lean in and be vulnerable.

So, when can you talk about your feelings? Anytime you want to. You two are long past the first-few-dates phase, and if you know him sexually, I’d hope that you might consider sharing the rest of who you are with him at this point, too.

Go ahead and tiptoe in and see what happens. If there’s something you need, start there, such as asking for clarity on a situation. The exclusivity convo’s a perfect topic to explore further with him—wait until you’re both in a relaxed mood and then broach the topic. Try, “Hey, I was hoping we could talk about the exclusivity thing again tonight so that there’s no misunderstandings between us. Would you be okay with me sharing my feelings about it with you, and you doing the same?” See where it goes from there.

I wouldn’t worry too much about missing something or misinterpreting. You’ll know if you need to clarify something because it will needle at you endlessly until you do.

Words. I love words. Words are pretty great. The majority of us women really like verbal expressions of affection, but people aren’t always as willing to speak their heart—or at least not right away. So, you’re smart to watch for how he cares for you in actions. When he puts his hand on your back when you’re walking, when he takes your hand as you cross the street, when he makes plans for your birthday ahead of time—these are the actions through which he’s showing you he cares.

And if it makes you feel any better, most guys don’t talk about their feelings but rather show how they care through actions. To a guy, it feels easier and more legit that way.

You, my dear, are in the “new relationship” phase, which is a super fun space to inhabit. One of the things that makes it so hot is that no one is totally sure of anything, so try to enjoy it as best as you can, even with all the uncertainty.

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