How to get a boyfriend to talk about his feelings?

What is the best way to get a guy to talk about how he feels if he's not that kind of guy? My boyfriend doesn't like to talk about how he feels on a lot of topics (ranging from his past, to even present situations) especially when it comes to relationships. He seems to only express himself when he's drunk... but how do you get your boyfriend to talk about how he really feels about you without you bringing it up? I don't want to feel like he's only saying things because I asked him specifically... I want to know if he's serious or if he just wants a "lady friend" but he isn't good at talking about how he feels. Maybe that's my sign that this relationship won't work if we can't talk about our feelings? Communication has been our biggest issue during our almost 2yr relationship. Makes me feel insecure or needy to ask how he feels... I want him to just express it without me asking.


Most Helpful Guy

  • it is something which I believe is gonna be difficult and anyway won't happen overnight. If he does not talk about his feelings, in my experieence it's very likely that that is associated with a very deep seated, underlying fear, which he is likely not even aware of. The fear is not related to one thing only, but an example of it being (and very likely applies to your boyfriend too as this is a pretty typical case) his fear of not being a male if he has feelings and, worse, weaknesses. Males are socialized and gorwn up this way: a man is string, a woman does not want a weak man. So you can imagine in a sense, in this specific example I made, opening up isomehow could literally mean for him an identity crisis, which in his mind can play, unconsciously, almost as a life threatening situation. So, I believe it will take time, TRUST in you not to leave him if he opens up, and also a little bit perhaps changing his world view and the view of what a man is or is not supposed to be. Don't mock this and approach it with a sense of superiority or males are a bit dumb, because you would be the dumb one if you did so. The way you should approach it is a lot of UNDERSTANDING and compassion, patience and closeness

    • also you can't force him to change. but you may want to expose him to new sources of info. Likely he is now so detached from his feelings he really has got NO clue of what he feels, or he may have but it's a mist of foggy contradictory numbed emotions. I think he is in pain, gestalt therapy, and men's groups as far as I'm aware, are tools that can help him first getting back in touch with his feelings, &then to express them. He needs an awakening. You may want to try this book: no more MR nice guy

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    • The only thing that has come up where I would have shown "judgment" is his past experience with cocaine... I have no care to try it nor be with someone who does it and he knows this... since before we were together. But he says I'm too judgmental since I've never tried it. That's when I ask him if he can be sober (he drinks a lot & takes perscription pills) with me/any day or if there is a reason he has to be f'd up all the time? He says he just enjoys that stuff, makes him relax.

    • well, it sounds as if he does not want to change...

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What Guys Said 2

  • After 2 years of being in a relationship, it seems doubtful that he just wants a 'lady friend'. If he only expresses himself when he's drunk then it would seem he isn't that closed off from talking about his feelings, just that he has some hesitation towards it that is preventing him.

    Try getting him into a conversation about something that you know he has an emotional connection with and then drawing him out that by asking him questions. This will make him feel more comfortable in the conversation and is more likely to get results.

    You have to make him know that you are not going to judge him for what he says and will be understanding no matter what his feelings towards something are (as long as it is backed up by rational thought, of course).

    If all else fails then ask him outright why he doesn't talk about his feelings and try to understand. Maybe some counselling will be necessary if there is some kind of deep emotional scar from something that happened in his childhood?

    That's about all I can suggest. Good luck :)

    • Thx! I'll try to give it a shot with bringing something else up and going from there... I'm not good at that sort of thing (I tend to bottle things up just the same) but something I need to learn I guess. When we first met, we talked about a lot of emotional past and more recent experiences that we both just kinds go out in the open... now I feel we don't connect and avoid conversations all together. Appreciate your help!

  • Part of love is accepting a person for who they are. This is a part of who he is. Wouldn't your love be more meaningful if you can accept him for who he is rather then who he is not?

    • I agree... but if I don't know how he feels on things it makes me wonder if he feels anything towards me or if I'm just the "it" girlfriend for "right now"... guess you're right though... accept him for how he is or know its just the right one...

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    • I do take the relationship for what it is... since that is my only option. I do love him and feel most of the time he does love me back. I don't want to change him, just want to know/understand him more. I feel were still strangers at times because of lack of communication. 2 years doesn't seem like a long time to me but I am his longest so that must say something in itself I guess. he does shut down when I talk about how I feel on things in our relationship... changes the subject, etc.

    • Yeah that is tough. Two years is long enough to figure out how the relationship is going to be even into marriage imo. Obviously forcing him to try and express himself will just result in him being defensive and thinking your weird or controlling. :/. Best wishes!

What Girls Said 1

  • 2 years together, that is a long time, esp. if you are feeling like you aren't having good communication. That is the key to a good, healthy relationship. I know what I'm going to say will sound impossible, but hear me out. You need to get the two of you into couples therapy and learn to have positive communication skills between you.

    Talk to him. Tell him that you love him but you can't quite shake the feeling that you can't read his feelings for you because he doesn't talk to you. Explain that you would like for the two of you to be able to express yourselves better, and you think that is missing. Use a lot of I statements, not "You need to" or he will feel offended. Does that make sense?

    Hopefully he will see that this will help. Tell him that you only want to do "brief therapy." There is therapy called this, and it is what you need, only like 10 sessions. That's all it should take to

    get this in gear.

    Good luck my friend.

    • Thx DebiPie! I know he's not the kind of guy who'd be willing to do a couples therapy... I have expressed in the past our main issue is both of us are horrible at communication and assuming all the time... he tells me that if he wasn't happy with me he'd leave, except I don't believe that. In which, leads to him telling me I'm insecure and need to just trust that if he doesn't want me anymore I'd know. I just wish we talked like we used to... but that's when he says I need more girlfriends.

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    • I feel it is way too soon to even think of spending money on couples therapy... that to me is for relationships that have been exceeded 5yrs and/or getting closer to marriage... which we are neither of these... I know he'd laugh if I asked him to go anyways... I'd like to have our relationship get better without paying someone to hold our hands through the way... hopefully we can work it out or at least learn from it I guess...

    • Ah, there is no time limit on a relationship to go to cpls. therapy. And you shouldn't wait until things are falling apart and say hey let's go & try to put it back together. That's a what people seem to think. Also, it doesn't bother folks to blow hundreds on video games,etc. but to improve your relationship that you aren't happy with & could greatly improve for the rest of your lives, you wouldn't spend a dime...seems foolish. And no one will hold your hand. You 2 should be do that.