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emotional connections in relationships


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Hi I have been with my boyfriend around 4months. Our relationship is very playful and fun. We are pretty pro-active and like to do lots of things with our time, but we also like to have sex a lot, maybe after doing something out and about or before. I have noticed though, we never have serious conversations about our feelings. If I feel depressed about work or any issue, I don't feel like he could be the person I would turn to I feel like I'd have to turn to a friend. Not because he wouldn't want to listen per se, but because that just isn't the nature of our relationship.


We never talk about how we feel about each other either. He is forever looking into my eyes and kissing me, but never says anything like you mean the world to me or whatever. No mushy stuff comes out his mouth. What does come out his mouth is constant insulting banter taking the mick out of me and stuff. I realise he must like me or he wouldn't be with me. He calls me everyday and sees me all the time and is always planning things we can do together. But I am struggling to see the difference between a relationship and friends with benefits. I have been in a series of FWB prior to this guy, and they never discussed any feelings for how they felt about me. The difference with them was that they would not speak to me for days and only wanted sex. So my boyfriend is different in that he speaks to me all the time, but he does want sex all the time too. I just don't know what it means to be in a relationship I feel so clueless.


I think he thinks I should be reassured that he cares for me, likes me and sees long-term potential and love in me just because he wants to see me all the time and is pro-active. But I feel like I need more than that, I am not reassured by that. But is that my insecurity talking? I don't want him to be telling me everyday that he's smitten with me, but once in a while it would be nice to know we can be serious rather than just playful. I love how playful we are and that we always tickle and make fun of each other, but how am i supposed to know if there is an emotional connection developing? I am not a mind reader.


I spoke to him about it last night and he was pretty sad about it all and told me he does really really like me and doesn't want to lose me. But I just wish I didn't have to have a depressing problem conversation with him to get him to say that.

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This is kind of funny to me... not like, haha. But interesting.


My boyfriend and I have sort of the same thing going - though we've been through a lot together in the year and a bit we've been in a relationship, we do discuss our issues and work through them, and we're very open about our feelings towards each other. He struggles with depression and having been there myself, he'll always come to me first when there's a problem he needs to work through.


However, for whatever reason, I will not go to him. Now, I'm not one to go to other people about my problems as I tend to work through them myself and deal with them by reflecting rather than discussing. He's always said that sometimes he feels he doesn't know the 'real' me because of this and I've come to learn that it's my issue - but even in the event that I do need to talk, I'll always go to a friend, family member, or even a neighbour before I'll go to him. I know he cares because he lets me know in his words and his actions, we spend a lot of time together and there's a lot of sex as well, but I don't feel we're at that point where I can share all of my experiences and problems with him. In other words, he's like the 'fun time' guy and then everyone else is where I go for support.


I've thought a bit about this [as I tend to do] and I wonder if it's because I know he has his own problems going on, and he may not be emotionally stable enough at this point to help me through mine. Is it possible your boyfriend could be similar? Since you've tried talking to him about it, do you feel he's willing to be more open? It sounds like you guys do have a connection there that may take time to build upon. You guys have been together 4 months, and while it's long enough to say for sure there's a relationship, it's still fairly new and you guys are still getting comfortable.


I always say that you know someone by their actions. People show their feelings in different ways and some, like myself, aren't always so good at verbalizing them. It's easier to give time and show love, rather than expressing it with words that aren't always taken seriously when the actions don't match up.


I would see how it goes now that you've spoken with him about it - he more than likely does care about you very much given his reaction, and not that you should 'settle' and be left wondering, but also maybe you'll find his love in other ways. It's something he certainly should work on, but he may need a bit of time to learn how to really share his feelings. Just a different perspective.

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I'm like you as well. I won't go to him either because I don't think it's appropriate since he never comes to me. Then occasionally I will feel too awful to pretend otherwise and have a long discussion about how I feel, which is what I did last night. He told me when he feels down or has issues he will turn to his mum because he's close to her and she's a therapist. I felt sad by this like why can't he talk to me too? But he just doesn't want to because he has his mum. I told him I wouldn't feel like I could ever turn to him because for me, it has to be a 2 way thing and he didn't understand why and said why can't he just listen to me? I was very disheartened by this but was more sidetracked by the fact that we never discuss how we feel about each other.


I understand words can be meaningless and it's actions that are important. But I don't know what actions I should be looking out for? He calls all the time, he wants to see me all the time but that's all I've got to go on. I'm sure I could say the same about a few guys in the past who had no intention of being in a relationship with me so I'm struggling to see what is it that makes him, and relationships in general stand out?

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I'm sorry, it's difficult for me to explain my thoughts on this, but I'll try I can clarify if I need to, but here goes!


I think it's a case by case/situational thing. For instance - I'm highly introverted and borderline reclusive. I'm great with people, but it's not my preference, and most in my life have come to accept me this way. Some days leaving the house and being out in the world isn't on my to-do list, in fact it's quite draining for me. My boyfriend however, is very much the opposite - he loves chaos, people, loud music, basically everything I have come to loathe in my ripe young age. But here's the thing - I love him dearly, and when he wants me to be somewhere with him, no matter how painful, I go. The same goes for him, and if I want a walk at 3am - the 'dead' hour - or to spend a few nights in literally doing nothing, he's right there with me. Little things like that I wouldn't normally do for other people, and before we got together he was out partying every single night. My peace and quiet is something I value over all else, and he lives for craziness, but we compromise because we love each other. I wouldn't do that for a 'friends with benefits' type of relationship, and I doubt he would either.


Maybe that might seem like an extreme case, but I use it just because we are so extremely different in our disposition that yeah, it isn't often we go outside our comfort zones. I'm not saying it's the same for you, but look for things like that. Would he spend all his time with you, arrange for outings you'll enjoy, hold hands and kiss you lovingly if he didn't care for you? It's different for everyone, like I said - and maybe after you're talk he'll start letting you know more what you mean to him. He should be, but don't feel like there's no connection just because he can't open up yet, because I'm sure that'll come with time.

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My current boyfriend of 3 1/2 years also doesn't express his feelings for me often... he'll say he loves me from time to time, but I was used to men before him who were constantly telling me how beautiful I was, how they were so lucky to have me, etc etc.... I think it just depends on the guy in terms of expressing his actual feelings on the relationship. OH and my bf didn't officially ask me to be his girlfriend until we had been together exclusively for almost a year.... so yes not his strong point lol.


On the other hand, I feel that I could talk to him about any issue in my life, and he confides in me as well. I think it just depends how much this means to you-- if you're willing to wait, it will probably come with time. If not, then maybe you should move on.

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