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My newer bf hates to talk about emotions doesn’t say many loving things


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Hi all! I need advice. My friends give it but need more please. My bf and I have been together now for just 4 months. He is very slow to move in relationships. Very cautious. He has been broken up with several times for the big lifetime relationships I’d say. We are in 50s.

I know he likes me but I’m so scared as to how much because I like him a lot &falling for him. I don’t want to go through such pain again in relationships so I’m trying to be mellow. Usually I go faster and my past relationships have with me too

He used to tell me nice things like he’s crazy about me I’m so cute he’s got a huge crush etc but nothing really anymore. I’ve asked him about it and he says it’s hard for him to talk that way and always has been. (He told me his ex wife and ex gf ended it. He said He guesses he got lazy). He said he’d work on it to tell me more but really hasn’t. Our little monthly anniversary just came and he said zero(when he had months prior). Ik I sound so childish but I’m yearning for signals. He asked me “do I show you I care ?” That is a big yes. He and I get along, have fun, laugh, have met each other’s families, he’s taking me on an annual trip soon he’s done with best friends for decades. However I’m the next in line after his wife and after his ex gf. Lol. I cannot ask him about where we stand anymore. I’ve done it twice and he talks, but I feel he gets annoyed too. He likes when I’m confident. He does show me lots of affection as do I. He likes to take care of me. Etc. It’s just that yes I’m insecure too and feel like I like him more than he does me simply because I don’t get the words from him. (He used to tell me that stuff in beginning) I do get the actions though.

I just hope he and I are on the same page. When we first got together he told me he wants a to find someone and fall in love. He hates the dating thing. So do I. He even had me take the love language test when we first met! My first one is words of affirmations. Ik we are still very new. I couldn’t imagine him saying ily to me:(Thank you.

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... and here is the warning sign...

 

He told me his ex wife and ex gf ended it. He said He guesses he got lazy [\I]

 

When people tell you who they are, believe them. If he did not change for his ex-wife and he did not change for his ex-gf (and we can be sure that both those ladies likely tried), chances are he’s not going to be able to change for you either.

 

What he is saying is he is not an affectionate guy and he gets lazy. What that means is that in order for a relationship to be successful with him, he needs to date someone who is lower-than-average on the neediness scale. Someone who is confident and doesn’t need too many affirmations.

 

It sounds like you are average to higher-than-average on this scale.

 

Take an honest look at things. Can you be happy with what he’s giving now (or less? Because it usually diminishes with time). If not, you may wish to leave sooner than later.

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Well put by RedDress.

 

Four months is still so, so early—too early to know where it's all going and too early to be looking back to how things were in the "beginning" with bittersweet nostalgia. This is the beginning: time to be opening up slowly, enjoying each other's company, relaxing into things without fretting too much about what it will become, and seeing if you're compatible for the longer haul.

 

Something is giving you pause, understandably. If what you need to feel secure is someone who is super effusive, showering you in love sonnets and singing your praises daily, than you might not be with the right person. He is offering plenty, by the sounds of it: spending lots of time with you, integrating you into his world, his family and friends. But if that isn't registering with you, if you need more to feel comfortable and secure, it's better to accept that than to try to extract something from someone they don't have to give. That's a recipe for frustration on all sides.

 

I think one of the greatest gauges of compatibility is whether you feel calm around someone—not just when they are around you, doting on you, but just a sense of calm living your life alongside them. That comes in many forms, for different people, and it certainly helps to come into things with a sense of calm in our own skin rather than a feeling of itchiness, agitation. Still, the general feeling is pretty universal: what one person gets through someone giving space another gets through someone singing from the mountaintop at sunrise and sundown. It's generally not something that can be forced or "worked on," but is there or isn't, and these early months are kind of about seeing if it's there or not. At the moment it sounds like you are longing for a calm this connection is not providing.

 

This is a beautiful time, the early months. You can still be honest about everything, without having to blame anyone—not him, not yourself. But you need to be really honest with yourself right now. If you need more you just...need more. That's okay. Just as it's okay if he needs someone who will be totally stoked (and totally calm) by being invited on a major trip without fretting about when those three big words will come, of even if they're coming. What's not so okay is to ignore those needs because you're petrified of losing someone, since those blinders only hold for so long and it's no fun when reality pokes holes in them.

 

I do get the feeling that you are driven a lot by fear in this—that fear was your navigator, romantically, even before you met him. That's a tough way to go about all this, a bit like taking a road trip but white-knuckling the wheel so hard you fail to enjoy the scenery.

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It's only been 4 months. Give it a lot more time or at least a year.

 

Also, keep in mind, some men are simply not talkers and not generous with their compliments. Silence is the sincerest form of flattery.

 

Actions speak louder than words. Other men are all talk and no action which IMHO is worse.

 

He doesn't want to move fast and you need to respect his pace. He's slow and cautious which I think is smarter. This is not his first rodeo. He's wary and jaded. His ex wife and ex gf ended it. Does he have kids? He's burned out. It stands to reason that he just wants to have a good time with you, travel, includes you and you should enjoy the ride!

 

Change the way you think and become grateful. Count your blessings. Once you appreciate him for who he is, be grateful and you'll be happy. If he's an honorable man who treats you with respect and love, you struck gold! If you can trust him, you struck gold again. There are so many men who will tell you what you want to hear, compliment you until they're blue in the face yet they're broke as a joke, selfish, self-centered, deceitful, will betray you and jerks in numerous other ways.

 

My husband isn't a huge talker. He's sort of quiet and I'm ok with it because he shows his love and respect in other ways. We enjoy good times together and other times, he's a huge help. He always helped me with our sons ever since they were tiny, takes care of ALL household chores (cleaning / laundry / cooking), errands, fixes and maintains the house, cars, I always have a full tank of gas (I never have to go to the gas station), does yard work and I prefer this type of man than a lazy man who compliments me all the time. Talk is cheap. Action is better!

 

Learn to appreciate your bf's stellar qualities and accept him the way he is or choose another man who checks all your boxes.

 

Some men won't change.

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You said your main love language is "words of affirmation" why does this not surprise me?

 

Anyway, what's his?

 

Obviously it's not same as yours, if I had to guess its "acts of service," which is how he expresses love, through action.

 

If this isn't enough for you or you're unable to accept how he shows his feelings, he's not the guy for you.

 

Nevermind what he did in the beginning. We often don't show our true colors until later, when things get real.

 

And please stop asking him to say and behave in ways that aren't him and make him uncomfortable.

 

Accept him for the man he is, what he does give you and how he chooses to express his feelings, or leave and find a man who meets your needs better.

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Agreed. Honestly, what do you want an entire four months in? You're in your 50s; certainly old enough to settle your head onto your shoulders. Allow yourself the respect of holding yourself to that standard. You admit it's a "big yes" as to whether he shows you that he cares. You've met each others' families. He's taking you on a ritualistic annual trip with his friends?

 

Being rank, learn to appreciate actions over words-- not that his words seem to have defied anything.

 

Stay calm and keep feeling him out. How many people in your life have you known for more than 4 months? Hopefully quite a few. The dude's a blip in your radar. Keep it chill.

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Wow. This is just what I needed to hear. You are all correct and such wonderful words I can actually understand and apply. It is true. I feel I’ve struck gold and yes I’m scared as he is. I’m very grateful just a very new type person I’m with compare to my history of men. And so far this one is the very best. I should add he cooks for me. Takes me out, backrubs holds my hand. Texts me good morning goodnight and thru day ! Makes sure I’m ok calls me occasionally (he hates the phone !) I just have to get used to not hearing things. And you’re right. Still so new. I’ll giYes hearing me write this makes me mad at myself now !and for I am not wanting the L word now I never asked about this anyway. I do want us both to say so in the future if it’s there I just wasn’t sure since I’ve heard words all my life. And agreed actions are the bestve it time thank you all very much.

Edited by Jenn3164
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And just to know, I can't stand flowery compliments, and all the sweet talk, imo, it's so contrived.

 

I much rather a man show how he feels through action, words are easy, action takes effort.

 

I get you need the words though and that's okay, just don't pressure him to be that man, it's not him and he won't appreciate it.

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I cannot ask him about where we stand anymore.

 

You refer to him as your boyfriend and I'll assume you two are exclusive and not seeing anyone else.

 

So at 4 months you are having fun and enjoying the company of a man who told you from the very start that he's not very good at expressing himself verbally.

 

So what do you need exactly? The L word?

If he said it would it really change anything at this point? Will it guarantee anything?

 

From the sounds of it he is showing you in every way, mostly his-way how he feels. I wouldn't get hung up the word.

 

Besides, this is who he is and what you signed up for. At 50 something he isn't going to change.

 

I agree with Cherylyns advise. Focus on the positive and be grateful for what you do have.

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Yeah I would base it all on Actions. Talk is cheap. It’s easier to say I love you then to show it for example, that’s why that word gets tossed around mindlessly so much. If he’s one to move slow you need to lessen your pace to match his. Four months in the grand scheme isn’t long, especially for where is this headed talks.

 

I get the sense you need validation and it makes you feel good. You’ll need to get your confident high off of what he shows.

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You're moving way too fast for his pace. He wants something more casual and you want an instant commitment. You know this. Your friends tell you this.. It's an in the moment enjoy type of situation. Stop pressuring him for relationship talks. He's not as into this as you are. Your intense hunger for reassurances could drive him away. It's 16 weeks. Keep saying that to yourself.

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Yes I get that. Jeez I’ve agreed to it already a few times. We just clicked both of us fast. He admitted it too. And saying he’s not into it as I am ? What does that mean ? That’s exactly what I don’t want. It looks like we are both into it. He just has a much better relaxed way about him about everything. It’s something others learn like I am doing.

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Even though he knows your love language, I'm not sure why he doesn't fill your love tank properly. This seems beyond lazy. It's encroaching on negligent while still intending to date or see you. Feels like a twilight zone here.

 

Of course he's relaxed. You're treating him as if your bond is unconditional and way too strung out. You're doing all the worrying for the both of you. This is not cool. Try to recognize when situations are not healthy for you and when you're not compatible with someone. I don't like the way he shuts out conversations about where you both stand as a couple either - this spells trouble in terms of your communications later on and how you both have difficult conversations that one or neither might want to have. It's not about one overpowering the other or influencing the other into believing the other person is not important enough or their desires or thoughts are not valid enough. You will both have to come together more maturely at some point and be able to speak about your differences and what you seek in a relationship. You clearly want more out of four months of dating. I don't think you should ignore that or what makes you happy.

 

I also sensed some nervousness coming from you about the friends outing. The nervousness and some fear I'm feeling comes from your comment in following his exes. I'm not sure why you agreed to it so soon. Was it to please him? I'm curious if you feel it increases your value or worth around him as a partner but you haven't actually asked yourself if it's something you want to do.

Edited by Rose Mosse
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So are you saying I should not of said yes to go? I said yes because we a good together and it’s a couples trip too. I’m so confused now. I get what the earlier posters say that take it easy slow and have fun it’s still new that he is showing me a lot of ways he likes me but I don’t want to be into it more than he is. Very confused. So what should I do if yes he isn’t trying to work on it ? I But in others ways he does show lots of great actions to me. I mean he texts me so much and says sweet things there and always says be safe when I leave to and from work etc etc How do u see I’m being unconditional? I really don’t want to seem that way. I think I’m pretty cool, relaxed. Just had the 2 or so talks.

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I think you should do what you feel is right. You seem to give information in pieces - sometimes it's not great info, other times it's great info. You really ought to dig deeper and get a grip on why you feel so uncomfortable around him sometimes or why he makes you feel so nervous. If you have questions about what he means on something you should ask him. He should tell you what he means.

 

What might be the problem here is that you feel too scared or intimidated to bring up conversations with him after being shut down earlier. I edited my post above to include some thoughts on that. Communication should be open between the both of you. I'm sorry but I'm sensing a lot of intimidation, fear and nervousness from you that's unnatural and very offputting. You shouldn't feel so worried or anxious. Do you have any history of anxiety or difficulty processing emotions/fears? Even if you feel this way I think it's up to us to not only work things out but be with people (other personalities) that are compatible with us and able to understand that kind of anxiety. He shouldn't bring this out in you to this level or your interactions at four months shouldn't cause you to question the relationship overall but yet they (those interactions) have. Why?

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Yeah I agree. He always says keep communication open but he admits he has some walls up. But yes we are still new too. I feel uncomfortable at times because he doesn’t say how he feels about me. He definitely shows me though. His actions are great. He also doenst ask me much about my past he says that’ll all come out as time goes by. But when we are together I feel happy and comfortable. It’s just when those thoughts pop up I get worried. I’m basically insecure in general -working on it lol. I never want to be into someone & they aren’t into me. But maybe this is just a difference Btwn he and I ? Ppl are all different and I’m just not used to this type.

 

When I brought up something I wasn’t feeling ok with he did say that he never wants me to feel this way so he changed it. But I’m just worrying about continuing and I get hurt again. I Had a bad ending of a long long relationship in early 2018. & his long term relationship ended same time as mine did as well. They are were amicable though I should probably just go with flow relax have fun and wait awhile to see if we get more serious. Just scared.

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I never want to be into someone & they aren’t into me.

 

This right here is what's feeding your anxiety and fear. Try and recognize that everything in life has a risk. Learn to manage your expectations also and if you have high expectations or lowered expectations (due to fear - ie expecting the worst), recognize it immediately and counteract it thoughtfully, with some heart. If you feel yourself slipping into a darker space, learn to recognize that. Don't be afraid of losing control either because we cannot always be in control of a situation all the time. When you give into falling in love and placing your trust in someone, what you're doing is sharing the responsibility of the relationship. When you say "I never want to be into someone and they aren't into me" it tells me that you aren't quite ready to let go and fall in love or place your trust in someone. You're taking it all on yourself and that's a great burden to bear. You're not sharing that through trust in each other. This takes time so like you said, best to see how it goes and enjoy the journey.

 

My suggestion is to cultivate more of that trust and confidence in yourself and learn to trust others. You can only trust someone else when you've healed and learn to place complete trust in yourself. This means both giving and taking responsibility in the relationship equally and learning that give and take, and also acknowledging when things are out of your power. Don't assume that role permanently, try and be more fluid about it and give and take. It's not a place that one person can shoulder all by his or herself. Share that and be open to loving and trust each other equally. This man doesn't sound so bad at all and he's not giving into your anxious or fearful state either which is important.

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What does he mean by "you're next in line after his exwife and exgf"? Does he have kids with them? Does he talk about them incessantly or still have a lot of social contact with them?

I’m the next in line after his wife and after his ex gf.

 

I’m insecure too and feel like I like him more than he does me simply because I don’t get the words from him.

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What does he mean by "you're next in line after his exwife and exgf"? Does he have kids with them? Does he talk about them incessantly or still have a lot of social contact with them?

 

Hmm, I read that earlier but it didn't register at the time.

 

But yeah jenn, can you clarify why you feel you're "next in line" after his wife and ex-gf?

 

Did I read that correctly?

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(He told me his ex wife and ex gf ended it. He said He guesses he got lazy). He said he’d work on it to tell me more but really hasn’t.

 

He's let the verbal, flirty compliments fall away now that the high of the new romance is entering the next phase. Some of your expectations are reasonable and some aren't. The mentioning of the monthly mark of the anniversary is not something men will be focusing on. You were reasonable in telling him how much you enjoyed the flirty compliments. It is concerning that he knows your love language and doesn't put effort into that area.

 

Complimenting people doesn't come naturally to me, but I know that my husband thrives on compliments as far as his cooking and yard work goes, so I make an effort to say things in those instances because I want to make him happy. He knows I value physical affection as my primary love language, and so he makes an effort by holding my hand sometimes when we're out and about, and sometimes caresses my hair.

 

Sometimes I initiate "state of the union" talks with him, asking if there's anything I can be doing or things he wants me to stop doing that will make the union stronger. And then I tell him my wishes.

 

It's okay to have discussions like this when you're exclusive. What would I say? I'd tell him all the things I appreciate that he's doing. I would tell him that a relationship is like plant. If you ignore it, it will die. If you nurture it, it will thrive. If you both want this relationship to thrive, you will both have to make efforts to keep the spark alive so it doesn't feel like you're platonic friends.

 

Of course relationships normally go through highs, lows, and plateaus. There have been a few times with the busyness of life and/or forgetting to inject romance into our union, I felt we needed a pep talk and addressed how it felt like we were just roommates and needed to step things up. We both care so we both make efforts.

 

Don't ever be afraid to address reasonable requests, because people can't read minds and you can't let bitterness or angst build up to a point of no return. And don't let him wriggle out with statements like it's "hard" or he's "lazy." I'd ask that even though it's hard, is it worth doing something challenging to make the woman in his life happy? I'd say, "Being lazy about keeping a spark in a relationship might spell the end, and we should learn from past mistakes, not keep repeating them."

 

If you lose a person by communicating your reasonable needs, then he's not the right one for you. Just remember to avoid statements like "you never" and stick to things like "I'd like it if . . ." Good luck.

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I've never once expected my wife to speak my "love language." The entire idea for me has been to understand each others' so that we can better appreciate the love language we're both inclined to "speak." I chose to be with her due to who she is comfortably and naturally, not to have needlessly dramatic conversations with because I'm too immature to recognize and appreciate affection being expressed differently. And if we really were so different I indeed couldn't fully appreciate it, I'd just find someone else-- certainly after only four months in. If I had, that much would be on me, not her. And that would be fair enough.

 

So no, I don't think there's any red flag here as far he he goes. Perhaps it speaks to incompatibility in general, but not to any fault. If he weren't conveying affection at all, it'd be a concern. But he seems to be expressing the value he puts in you just fine.

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Hmm, I read that earlier but it didn't register at the time.

 

But yeah jenn, can you clarify why you feel you're "next in line" after his wife and ex-gf?

 

Did I read that correctly?

 

Nevermind jenn, I think I figured out what you meant.

 

By "next in line" you meant, first he dated and married his wife, next was his his ex, and now you.

 

So you are his third relationship of any significance?

Edited by katrina1980
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