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I am 44 (f), and my partner is 50 (m). I have been in an exclusive relationship for four months.

 

We get along well and have a lot of similar interests and personalities; however, I am struggling in the relationship because he is not openly comfortable with communicating his feelings or his emotions with me.

 

I am very open, communicative, and like to show and tell my partner how I am feeling. I have told him that at times I feel like I am not getting enough affection even if it’s just a simple kiss or a hug or to tell me that I am beautiful, he seldom initiates.

 

He will only tell me he misses me or thinks I am worth it IF I say it first. It never comes out of his mouth, and if I mention that I never hear it, he says I am sorry I will try harder but never seems to.

 

Maybe I am always initiating things first, saying, and doing kind things that I need to take a step back and let him initiate. I feel like I am setting myself up for disappointment sometimes.

 

One time I said I should lower my expectations. He seemed upset by that comment and said, don’t say that, but I feel sometimes it’s true. I have asked him how he feels about me, but he is unable to share anything other than say if he didn’t have feelings for me, he would not want to be with me. He said that he is unable to say what the future is going to be like or what he will feel and says that we should just let things happen.

 

It’s breaking my heart because I don’t know if I should stay or move on. I fear that I’m always going to feel insecure or question whether or not he cares about me. He knows it’s not fair to me and said that it’s up to me whether we see how things go, and if not, he understands if we need to part ways.

 

I do trust him, and we are exclusive, but I am missing a part of that affection and romance that I feel I need. He said that he has jumped into a past relationship too quickly (his only marriage), and it was a mistake, and he vowed that he would never do that again, but I feel like I’m paying the price for it.

 

Never a day goes by that he doesn’t say good morning and good night. He always messages throughout the day and is concerned for my well-being, but does he care enough for me to hold out with the hope that things will progress, or am I just wasting my time? I feel like I am a buddy some days, but he said he doesn’t see me as a buddy and desires me.

 

Do I go with the flow and see what happens? I ask myself why he is with me if he doesn’t know what his feelings will be, yet he wants to be in a relationship with me.

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It's interesting how you say that you have similar personalities and then proceed to describe how you have practically opposite personalities. Do you not see that?

 

Anyway, you can't turn a donkey into a horse. He is not effusive, verbal, or touchy feely. If that's what you need to feel loved, it's not the right man for you. It's only been 4 months and that's why we date - to figure out compatibility. It doesn't sound like you are very happy or very compatible with him so maybe best to cut your losses and move on someone who actually is more similar to you. Someone you can relate with more easily.

 

Even if you two try to stick it out and make it work, it will always be a relationship filled with misunderstandings, insecurities, and hurt feelings because you two are way too different in how you express yourselves. A case of initially opposites attract but then they clash.

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I think that 4 months is enough time to know whether you're compatible or not. At this early stage, you should be happy, not wondering if you should ''lower your expectations''. He could be a perfectly nice guy in every way but, still, not the one for you. It's a matter of different personalities and I don't think it's something you or he can change. Frankly, I think you're too young to settle for someone who doesn't give you what you want.

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In the early days—the days you’re in—I think it’s kind of just about being honest about how the flow feels rather than “trying” to go with it. You either can, or can’t, in short. That’s kind of what dating is about: not an endurance test of flows that don’t feel right, but a search for the flow in which you can, well, flow.

 

If he’s not supplying you with the kind of sparkles you need to feel sparkly and secure? And if prodding him to offer more still leaves you thirsty and frustrated? Well, I kind of agree with him that it’s on you to be honest—with yourself—about whether what he brings to the table is enough. Or not. That’s him showing you respect, while asking you to respect him for who he is, not who you’d wish him to be.

 

I’d take a minute to decide what you want and need: someone who is naturally emotionally effusive or someone you can see if you can alter into being more effusive; a romance that feels like an endurance test, or one that feels like an adventure. Answer that question in the calm of your mind and you may find the answer you’re looking for here.

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Imagine being in a relationship with him for 10 years, with him being exactly as he is now. Does that make you feel warm, content, satisfied? Or does it make you feel a bit sad, or frustrated or disappointed?

 

He will not "change". Neither should you.

 

You two are incompatible. Don't stay and then complain you're not happy because he is being very transparent.

 

See my signature line.

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Sorry to hear this. It sounds like he cares, but is not good at verbal affection. How does he treat you? Do you have fun on dates and get a long? New relationships are not really for affirmations, so there is something else bothering you. Including a sort of insecurity that he will bolt.

 

At 16 weeks no one can forecast a future, and exclusive is usually a sign that things are going ok. The best thing to do is stop all the relationship talks and enjoy what it is for what it is so you can better observe compatibility rather than try to elicit reassurances, compliments and verbal affirmations.

 

Do not make veiled innuendos about 'buddies' or 'lower expectations'. You are complaining, not expressing feelings, with that. Pull way back so you can see what this looks like without the prompting.

I am 44 (f), and my partner is 50 (m). I have been in an exclusive relationship for four months.

 

We get along well and have a lot of similar interests and personalities; however, I am struggling in the relationship because he is not openly comfortable with communicating his feelings or his emotions with me. I feel like I am a buddy some days, but he said he doesn’t see me as a buddy and desires me.

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I know being single is tough... I am single! Being single, I've gotten ton of unsolicited advice about being too picky, expecting too much, all the good ones are taken... Be open, my husband, I didn't even like.... Lol

 

So we hear that stuff. Mix in whatever your own thoughts are.... Then we meet someone and nothing is really wrong with them. But there is something.... not quite right. But again, back to being single, wanting a loving relationship, we're thinking... Ok I got one on the hook, how do I make this what I want. How long do I wait, how much do I tolerate to get to that happy place?

 

First off, I always say to those, who would willingly, set me up, with any single male, based on, us both being single, please don't. We're not socks. Haha

 

So here is what I ask you.... Behind door number two, is the guy you dream of.... Do you stay with your guy or do you head for the door?

 

Not everyone gets dumped bc they are a loser. Some are simply not the winner.

 

And more specific to your guy, that whole, "I understand if I'm not enough and you want move on" is a red flag. You're right. You are paying the price for his ex. And honestly, what does he bring, that he deserves such understanding and a free pass? We all have been through a lot and are trying to make better choices... But in some respect, that is not what love and romance is.

 

I think you're wasting your time. You've made your needs known. That's all you can do. He's basically told you, don't expect anything more than a "of course I like you, I would not be here if I didn't." That's him being emotionally unavailable to you. And when someone tell you who they are, we believe them. Right?

 

Cut this guy loose... When he's willing to step out of his comfy zone, maybe you'll still be interested. Maybe you'll be behind door number 2 with someone GREAT. But at least you aren't being held at arms length.

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Indeed Lambert!

 

"that whole, "I understand if I'm not enough and you want move on" is a red flag. You're right. You are paying the price for his ex."

 

Truth to tell he doesn't sound wildly enthusiastic, not overly worried whether you stay or go. Some people are not the flowery and fulsome romaaaantic types, but that is not the point here.

 

Something seems to have stunted and shackled him badly in his marriage, for him to have this inability to show emotion.

 

"I'm sorry I'll try harder." I'd hate to hear that. Sounds like someone who gets bad marks in geometry and is contrite.

 

It isn't good enough, OP.

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If he's not good enough for you, then yes, you're wasting your time. If you want a man who is more demonstrative especially with initiating words and your partner of 4 months is deficient in the word department, then yes, you're wasting your time.

 

I do want to say that you should be alarmed by charming personalities. I've known men who are charming, know all the right words to say at the right time yet underneath their pretentious veneer lies a scary character. :eek: Some charming men hide their shady character which you won't know until later. Charming men or charming people in general are extremely deceitful. Beware. Just make sure your radar is up.

 

Sometimes, what you see is what you get is better because it's more sincere even if a man isn't adept with his wording and initiative. An over zealous man is a red flag IMHO.

 

I've been married for a very long time and my husband is on the quiet side. He's not overly demonstrative either. However, I'm perfectly content with his demeanor because he expresses his sincere love to me in other ways which I'm eternally grateful for. Examples: He helps me with EVERYTHING whether it's the house (cooking, cleaning, errands) or the kids. I can always count on him. It's a relief to defer to him. I prefer a doer instead of a talker full of hot air. Talk is cheap IMHO. However, I'm not you and I see your point, too.

 

Since your partner doesn't check all the boxes, think of him as short term. You won't be happy later if he still remains the same and doesn't initiate nor whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Or, you can be grateful for the man he is and feel secure knowing you respect and trust the qualities he has to offer you.

 

Also, keep in mind, this is not his first rodeo. He's been married before and his enthusiasm the second time around is not as exciting as his dating phase with his first wife. At age 50, he's tired so perhaps this is why he's so "blah" with you. He's also more cautious and taking things slower.

 

At 4 months, give him a few more months. If you're still unhappy at that point, then part ways, move on and find a man who is compatible to your personality and preferences.

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If he's not good enough for you, then yes, you're wasting your time. If you want a man who is more demonstrative especially with initiating words and your partner of 4 months is deficient in the word department, then yes, you're wasting your time.

 

I do want to say that you should be alarmed by charming personalities. I've known men who are charming, know all the right words to say at the right time yet underneath their pretentious veneer lies a scary character. :eek: Some charming men hide their shady character which you won't know until later. Charming men or charming people in general are extremely deceitful. Beware. Just make sure your radar is up.

 

Sometimes, what you see is what you get is better because it's more sincere even if a man isn't adept with his wording and initiative. An over zealous man is a red flag IMHO.

 

I've been married for a very long time and my husband is on the quiet side. He's not overly demonstrative either. However, I'm perfectly content with his demeanor because he expresses his sincere love to me in other ways which I'm eternally grateful for. Examples: He helps me with EVERYTHING whether it's the house (cooking, cleaning, errands) or the kids. I can always count on him. It's a relief to defer to him. I prefer a doer instead of a talker full of hot air. Talk is cheap IMHO. However, I'm not you and I see your point, too.

 

Since your partner doesn't check all the boxes, think of him as short term. You won't be happy later if he still remains the same and doesn't initiate nor whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Or, you can be grateful for the man he is and feel secure knowing you respect and trust the qualities he has to offer you.

 

Also, keep in mind, this is not his first rodeo. He's been married before and his enthusiasm the second time around is not as exciting as his dating phase with his first wife. At age 50, he's tired so perhaps this is why he's so "blah" with you. He's also more cautious and taking things slower.

 

At 4 months, give him a few more months. If you're still unhappy at that point, then part ways, move on and find a man who is compatible to your personality and preferences.

 

I agree with the charming personalities being a front in most cases. My Late Grandfather, a horrible person whom I never met supposedly had a very charming personality. He was manipulating, abusive and cheated on my Grandmother any chance he got! In fact he knocked up another woman while still married to her. He’s one example but I can think of plenty more.

 

You don’t want someone to just tell you what you want to hear but if you’re also just not feeling it my advice still stands. Don’t settle for just okay.

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He sounds like a quiet man who doesn't express his emotions much and isn't one to initiate or do the things you hoped he would.

 

That doesn't make him "bad" but he's not as you viewed an "ideal" partner to be. Your expectations don't match his personality and unfortunately, you either are going to have to accept it and accept that this is how he is, or don't accept it and let him go.

 

There is no other way about it. But forcing him to change, expecting him to, guilting him, getting upset over it, is only going to make both of you miserable.

 

Ask yourself this question: "If he never changes and I am going to have to live with how he is, the rest of my life, will I be happy?" Then decide what to do accordingly.

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I have asked him how he feels about me, but he is unable to share anything other than say if he didn’t have feelings for me, he would not want to be with me. He said that he is unable to say what the future is going to be like or what he will feel and says that we should just let things happen.

 

You are only 4 months in, you are pushing. He is right, it's too early to know for certain how one feels or where it might go. I know you might think you know for sure, etc, but 4 months is very early on and the majority of people wouldn't be sure. It's too rushed to know someone this quickly or know where it might lead.

 

I didn't realize how short your relationship has actually been. Had you said he's been acting this way a year after dating then I would say there's a definite incompatibility issue.

But 4 months in? You are expecting too much and are rushing things.

 

Give him time to develop stronger feelings for you, to create a stronger foundation with you, then maybe you will see for sure how he actually expresses, etc.

But in my opinion, you're jumping the gun right now.

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I agree with the charming personalities being a front in most cases. My Late Grandfather, a horrible person whom I never met supposedly had a very charming personality. He was manipulating, abusive and cheated on my Grandmother any chance he got! In fact he knocked up another woman while still married to her. He’s one example but I can think of plenty more.

 

You don’t want someone to just tell you what you want to hear but if you’re also just not feeling it my advice still stands. Don’t settle for just okay.

 

Thanks limichelle. I agree with charming personalities, too. Your late grandfather was definitely a charmer. My late father was a charmer, a real life of the party guy, made everyone laugh and he was socially very attractive. Then his Jekkyl 'n Hyde personality came out as an alcoholic wife beater to my mother. Charming people are pretentious and incredibly deceitful. If some people are too good to be true, they are. Beware of over zealous types. They only tell you what you want to hear because they want something from you, want to control (manipulate) you or both.

 

Shop around.

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You are only 4 months in, you are pushing. He is right, it's too early to know for certain how one feels or where it might go. I know you might think you know for sure, etc, but 4 months is very early on and the majority of people wouldn't be sure. It's too rushed to know someone this quickly or know where it might lead.

 

I didn't realize how short your relationship has actually been. Had you said he's been acting this way a year after dating then I would say there's a definite incompatibility issue.

But 4 months in? You are expecting too much and are rushing things.

 

Give him time to develop stronger feelings for you, to create a stronger foundation with you, then maybe you will see for sure how he actually expresses, etc.

But in my opinion, you're jumping the gun right now.

 

I am on the fence about this one. I agree that if you need someone more demonstrative, then you should move on and find someone different.

 

I also think in the scheme of things 4 months is a very short time, for some. I've had enough experiences in my life that I don't trust what I am feeling in the first 4 months. I also don't think by taking my time I am exercizing my issues out on my partner either. I might very well be like your guy. . if I am not moving fast enough for them then I'd be ok with them moving on otherwise. I can't be rushed into something.

 

My current bf and I didn't exchange I love you's until the 6 month mark. But that's us. Our pace seemed to match each other. We weren't in a hurry to get anywhere and believed that things that are worth while often take time.

Is it possible that your level of interest is what causes him to hesitate? Then that may be something to think about. It's a little intimidating when the other person gets too far ahead of you. You start second guessing if you could ever catch up.

 

All in all, it probably doesn't make him a bad guy. He may be very well worth the wait but you won't know if you don't reign it in a little and give the guy the opportunity to catch up.

 

I am not there. From here it's hard to tell if this is worth sticking it out for. Only you will know.

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Four months is very short. That's almost the entire time from March to end of June (when pandemic and lockdowns started becoming the norm). Are you sure other stresses aren't a part of this?

 

What are your respective family commitments like? Does he have kids he's still responsible for in college/uni? In and out of the house?

 

Is he renting after his divorce? How long has he been divorced or separated? How long have you been single?

 

What are your employment situations like? Are both of you self-sufficient? Is he dealing with any alimony or child support?

 

When you meet someone later in life there are all kinds of questions and especially so now with 2020 being year that it has been.

 

I don't know what your personal situations are like. Keep an open mind. Be patient like SherrySher says. If you know, without a doubt, and can check off all those boxes of outside stresses and issues that may be weighing on both your minds, then no, I don't think this will work. In an ideal situation, four months in shouldn't feel like this.

 

I agree with Hermes too by the way that something might have stunted him in the marriage. I know what that feels like.

 

Keep us updated.

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Thank you everyone for such valuable advice and opinions. I really do appreciate all of your thoughts surrounding my relationship with my partner.

 

When I say that our personalities are the same, we get along really well, we have the same views and thoughts on a lot of things the only difference right now is how we view relationships that is the only area where we are different.

 

I have been divorced for five years. I tried dating for three of those five years only to be met with narcissists who basically gaslighted me so they were the ones who were telling me everything I wanted to hear. It took me two years being single to finally value my worth and to spend time on me focussing on what was important. I was not looking for someone we just happened to meet each other it was his decision to ask me to be in an exclusive relationship.

 

He got married very quickly to someone who financially destroyed him I think he felt that he didn't want to be alone anymore so he settled. I believe he was about 42 when he got married no children. She is now back overseas and has been for the last year and a bit they are separated and he has no intentions of rekindling that relationship. i too settled in my marriage and parted ways on amicable terms

 

I have a grown son who does not live at home so essentially we live alone in separate homes both professionals. He works away from home off and on so we see each other when we can. As I said the relationship is very comfortable but unfortunately my insecurities, I am having difficulty controlling. When I met him, I was very confident that was one of the things that he was attracted to. Since then as I have stated, he is not the type of person to outwardly show his affection and feelings. He's very shy and extremely insecure about himself. I do everything to go out of my way to make him feel good about himself. I am very much a nurturer always looking out for everyone else but I know that I need to take a step back and let him pursue. It's easy to get lazy or feel like you don't have to do anything when the other person is making all the effort.

 

He makes the effort to always message to let me know where he is, if he'll be late. Wants to do activities together, like working out, fishing etc and always is supportive and willing to listen if I need to talk he just has a hard time talking about feelings so I am completely at a loss. Honestly I think I need to just scale it back on the feelings and relationship talk and just let him be the one to feel he has the opportunity to grow with me without feeling pressure. Thoughts?

 

I honestly don't feel he is out to waste my time

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Yes, take a small step back. If you feel like he's a good man and you want to see where it's going, take care of yourself first and foremost.

 

You know how they say - when you're in a plane going down or there's turbulence, put your own oxygen mask on first and then help others around you.

 

Put on your oxygen mask! Take care of you.

 

Engage in all the things you love doing and make time for yourself also. I feel like you're losing your sparkle trying so hard in this relationship.

 

Enjoy the ride. Love and all this should be enjoyed. Rest back and let him take the reins now and then.

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I honestly don't feel he is out to waste my time

 

Don't make excuses for dragging this on... He is showing you what kind of lover and partner he will be- which is what he is now. Nothing wrong with quiet men who aren't romantic or affectionate - some women like that. If you need a partner who can show you affection and romance, this guy isn't it. Don't stay with him and hope he will change, because he isn't going to magically change. It's enough time you've been together to know this, and you can be meeting another great guy but who meet your emotional needs.

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I honestly think you’re settling because he is a nice guy and available to you. It sounds more like the basis of a good friendship then one for romantic. I think you need to ask yourself if you’ll be happy down the road or even three months later. It’s good to have things in common and the same morals but you do need those butterflies. The pesky butterflies in the stomach that start to make you feel tingly and warm when you think of him or are around him.

 

It’s also only been four months so to have these doubts early on is a telling sign right there.

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He got married very quickly to someone who financially destroyed him I think he felt that he didn't want to be alone anymore so he settled. I believe he was about 42 when he got married no children. She is now back overseas and has been for the last year and a bit they are separated and he has no intentions of rekindling that relationship.

 

So, he's still married?

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Is he legally divorced? It would help to not project insecurities and smother anyone with unwanted reassurances. That type of thing is a little nauseating and suffocating. Pull back. Stop looking for superficial flattery.

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