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How to understand someone who doesn't verbalise emotions


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I’ve been with my boyfriend for 2.5 years now. Our relationship is wonderful. He is kind, considerate, very affectionate and sweet. The only time we seem to have any issues (from my side) is when I try to have a deep conversation with him (Talking about childhood, memories, dreams etc). While he can carry a conversation very well and we always have a ball joking around, he only seems to share Information when I drill him about it. Like for example, I come home from work & tell him a few interesting tidbits “she said this, he did this” (ok well, perhaps boring stuff, but he always listens and comments and is interested.). He never shares stuff from work or when he has been to visit relatives or been out with friends. I will ask him how his evening was and he will say “ok”. Not good, not bad just Ok. If I press him further he will tell super interesting things happened like his sister got engaged, or his mother shaved her head (true story!) but he doesn’t just tell me on his own accord. Sometimes I find out some stuff at a later stage and when I ask him why he will say he forgot. This stuff isn’t at all of interest of him and he doesn’t think about it any further once he has left the person.


We visit his dad quite often as he is unwell and sometimes I ask my boyfriend how he feels about his father’s situation (because I myself feel very bad for him and he’s on my mind a lot and I try to think of ways to help him/make him feel better). My boyfriend just says there’s nothing he can do to help so why even worry about it. My boyfriend sometimes seems totally emotionally detached. I sometimes ask if he in fact feels sad but just has trouble expressing it and he says no, he just doesn’t feel anything. He tells me he would love to make me happy and say he thinks this and that and has considered this or that but he just doesn’t think about things after they have ended (for example I have snapped at him before and apologised later and he was all like “It’s all good, I didn’t even think about it..”


We have had some issues with one of his best friends who got jealous of our relationship because my boyfriend didn’t want to go out on that many guys nights anymore (on his own accord) and thus his friend completely thrashed me with horrible insulting words. So the end result was that my boyfriend took my side and told his friend to apologise to me, the friend didn’t and now a lot of my boyfriend’s other friends have been cold to my boyfriend. I asked my boyfriend how he feels about the situation and he said he hasn’t thought about it. I asked why and he said because he hasn’t thought about it. He said he doesn’t feel bad about his friends being cold and he doesn’t feel good about it -- actually he hasn’t even noticed it – we are not invited out with them at all anymore, when we used to do something weekly with them. Sometimes I have the feeling he can’t express the two extremes: Happiness and Sadness. I’ve never seen him sad or angry (which is good), but I don’t really understand it. I am quite emotional and the right song can get me all teary and pondering.

Despite our differences we are very happy and my question is: Does anyone else know someone like my boyfriend? HE seems to live in grey and I would love to understand it better.



On a side note, what he doesn't verbalise with words he makes up with being affectionate (hugging, kissing, holding my hand etc.)

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hi Case_1983,


what *exactly* are you trying to understand about your boyfriend?

He sounds very different from you and sure, that isn't always easy to understand, but since you and your bf are otherwise happy together, it doesn't seem to be a problem?

I'm in a similar situation, I'm very talkative and my boyfriend will *never* start a conversation about his emotions, feelings, thoughts, unless it is necessary because of a conflict, but even then he needs a little encouragement.

He just réally doesn't like talking about stuff like that just because.

My boyfriend also doesn't like to overanalyze things, he's fast in forgiveness as well, doesn't dwell on things, and although I'm completely different, this is one of the things I appreciate a lot about him.

To me this seems to make us compatible. He keeps me to the ground and I sometimes shed some light about the complexity of human emotions.

BUT, if I would start to see him in the same light as I see myself, meaning that he is simply hiding his feelings instead of being not talkative about them and because he doesn't process these the same as *most* people do, that would lead to disaster.


I don't think your boyfriend lives in the grey, he just processes stuff differently and it seems to work for him.

Another thing I'd like to add, in the beginning of my relationship ( 7 months now) I wondered about the same stuff you wonder about.

I searched for meaning where there was none.


I also read into your story about the trashtalk of his friend and here you seem to focus on the fact that he doesn't think twice about not being invited anymore.

I would concentrate on the fact he stood up for you so sincerely and I think it's just lovely how he doesn't care that these so called friends don't invite him as often anymore.

Maybe he says he hasn't thought about it anymore, but maybe he also means: they act cold to me because of somebody who trashtalked about my girlfriend, they can go ** themselves, you know?

He seems to have his boundaries in check.

I would feel really appreciated because of this.


His love language is to show you he cares through the hugging, kissing, holding your hand etc..

It isn't through words and it isn't through sharing his inner feelings.

It's just how he's wired.


Look at his actions, it's all you need to know

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He isn't a deep guy....period. It isn't that tricky.


And --- as you have learned, if you ask a general "how was your day/visit"....you get the standard "ok/fine".


If you ask something more pointed ---- "so, what was the most unexpected thing you heard this time"....you will hear "shaved head/engaged" story.


You guys are very different. Either embrace it ---- or not.

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Thanks for your response mhowe and stay sound.


Of course I appreciate how he is. Otherwise we wouldn't have stayed together so long. I agree with you stay sound, we balance each other out and its definitely a good thing!

It's sometimes just confusing because we are so different. I will def look at his actions rather than his words in the future Thanks guys

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