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How to be more open?


utopia
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There is a guy I'm dating since 3-4 months. We see each other regularly and we are already intimate.

However there is one issue. He says that I need to be more open and I have to talk more with him. 

When we see each other we talk about a lot of things but they are all stuff that happened to me or him during the time that we hadn't been together. He is saying that we need to be having deeper conversations and I totally agree with that.

He always asks me if there is anything bothering me and if I have any issues. He wants me to share anything that is bothering me about our relationship without him having to ask. 

I'm honestly trying to do that but it looks like I'm not sharing enough. He also said that he doesn't feel like I'm in love. So I guess I'm pretty poor at expressing my feelings and emotions.

So my question is do you have any tips on how to be more open? I would be happy if you can give me any examples as well.

Thank you

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You seem to express yourself just fine in your writing and he seems pushy and very insecure about himself. He's seeking for reassurances from you because he's too insecure. Don't feel pressured to say nonsense to a person if there's nothing substantial to say. Trust and openness take time to cultivate and grow. He doesn't seem to understand that. 

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Wow....this guy is a walking forest of red flags. Like scary and crazy kind. He is ultra insecure and playing controlling mind games by making his issues your problem. Beware and better yet...step away from that because this kind of behavior doesn't get better, it only gets worse and worse. There is no way you can ever assure and appease that level of insecurity.

First of all, you should not be talking about what all went wrong in your past. Healthy people focus on the present and what's good right now. Digging into your past is a manipulative way to get you to feel like you are emotionally invested and also to know what your weak spots are. Avoid these types of conversations. This is not deep, it's creepy. Not saying that you don't share about your past eventually.....but that takes time and comes up as appropriate and not as forced early on.

Second, telling you that you need to keep sharing problems or else....like what problems should you be having that you need to keep talking about? That is literally crazy expectation and again, notice he is trying to force this from you, aka create drama. Danger danger danger....OP. Huge massive red flag.

Finally, telling you that if you don't act dramatic and jump through his hoops and loops that you must not love him? Are you kidding me here? He is psycho. It's not you who is the problem here. You've come across a person who is quite literally toxic and the only response to his demands is "You are right and I'm out. Buh bye and please lose my number." OP you cannot fix that kind of crazy level of insecure.

Overall....rather than jumping to beating yourself up because one crazy manipulative person said something negative about you, consider how many other people have said the same. If a hundred people have told you that you have issues with communication then you should consider that this is something you need to work on. However, when it's just one or two people...consider that they are the problem or that you and them are simple not compatible in how you communicate and that's OK. It just means you and those people should stay away from each other. Not everyone is our match.

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How are you at expessing intimacy? Are you an affectionate person? Because I am assuming by "intimate" you mean "sex". And its much more then that. Its expressing yourself in such manner. That means kind words, kissing, hugging, stuff like that. Maybe you are a "colder" person in regarding to that. Some people just are. They are either uncomfortable with it or just cant express in that way. And if its like that, no wonder he doesnt feel loved. And I am afraid there is no magic that would make you in such a way, you are either affectionate like that or not. You can learn to express better, for example if you really like the guy why dont you try to tell him that or even show him in some way? Maybe invite him over and cook for him? But if you are not the person who is like that, there is nothing you can do, you are just not compatible in that way. I mean maybe he is just clingy, there is that also. But its still something that cant be worked around if you are that different regarding intimacy. 

Also, you are both very bad at communicating. Talking about stuff that happened to you is just fine. But if you want deeper conversations why not just talk about other stuff? Dont you want to know where he stands on certain issues? Overall and even regarding the relationship? Even maybe more light stuff like regarding music, movies etc. It would help both of you to see if you are for each other or not. Not every conversation should just be recap what happened to both of you until you saw each other.

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Egad this sounds like going to confession...even if you have nothing to confess you are expected to anyways. Your BF needs to stop being so insecure, that there are more healthier ways to create intimacy. IMO when they start to say things like that, it's time to go.

He sounds unsatisfied with you....no different than him saying you need to cut your hair or act more feminine, or agree with him always even if you don't.

Edited by smackie9
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Even the most guarded individual is likely to open up more than usual in an appropriate environment with the right person. Some people have that incredible personality that is conducive to elicit deep conversations. It's like the way they interact with you, it puts you so much at ease that you feel comfortable and safe sharing stuff with them. Do you follow me?

How comfortable do you feel about opening up to him, when you're together?

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16 hours ago, utopia said:

 He says that I need to be more open and I have to talk more with him. 

He is saying that we need to be having deeper conversations 

At 14 weeks or so, it's  getting to know you and see if we fit and want to continue time. Not deep psychotherapy time.

You seem incompatible. More accurately, he seems like some svengali weirdo.

He's already being invasive and controlling telling you how you "need" to be and what you "need" to do and "need" to talk about and "need" to confess.

It's super creepy that he believes you have to tell him your inner thoughts.

Mostly, think of it like Miranda rights. Anything you say can and will be used against you.

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I don't think he thinks you are shallow -I think his definition of "open" is he wants you to confess dark secrets from your past and share concerns about your feelings for him and about the relationship.  That's a really narrow definition of "open" - people who are getting to know each other typically become more open over time -depends on the individual personality. 

Tell him that if you ever have an issue you will be open about it rather than building up resentment and that is how you plan to be more open about the relationship.  Do you have in depth conversations in general? Do you show openness through your actions -are you approachable and is your body language approachable/open? 

 

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Sounds to me like the guy is over-the-top and he's manipulating you into believing that this is YOUR problem.

Dating for a few months does not auto-equal 'love'. Implying that is 'should' is creepy.

The guy wants you to cough up emotional revelations that make him feel better, and that's not okay.

You can keep seeing this guy if you want to, but I doubt that you--or anyone--can fill his emotional hole. It might be detrimental to you and your own head if you keep trying to do that.

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  • 6 months later...

Hi everyone, here's a quick update on my case.

First of all I will begin with answering one of your questions since I didn’t do it previously. Yes - I'm very affectionate. I love hugging and kissing. Acutually it's him who is not very into hugs and kisses. He says he's just always been like that. If I go and kiss or hug him he would reciprocate but he would very rarely do it first.

So I did continue seeing him, but I think things are getting worse. I will go directly to our last fight.

Couple of days ago I asked him if he wanted us to meet for coffee or something the next day after work. He said he's not sure since maybe he will have some work related stuff to do after work. Then I asked him to call me the next day to let me know when he knows if he will be available or not. He called me from 18:00, but at this time I was in a work related meeting and had some other tasks that I had to do. So I call him back about 1:30 later. That conversation escalated pretty quickly to a fight. He said I did not call him on purpose, said that I'm lying that I had been working and also said that I'm not acting like a grown up. He said he's fed up with my behavoir and things are not going to work if I keep acting that way. Keep in mind that most of the times he would not pick up his phone when I'm calling and he will call 1-2 hours later. But I never did question him about it or made a problem out of it.

This is our last fight. But in general he always "feels" that I'm not telling him everything or I'm hiding something or I'm lying. But I'm not.

For example a few months ago someone cut my car's tire with a knife. It was not a pleasant experience where I had to get it fixed somehow. The only person who helped me with it was my brother. When I was telling about what happened to my bf he said he can feel that I'm not telling the truth. I got upset about what he said because there's no reason for me to make that up. When I got upset about it he said I'm making drama ...

There are other situations where he would not like something that I did or something that I said. I won't get into details as not to get you all bored.

As some of you previously said - "It's only getting worse".

I would love to hear your thouts on my situation. I'm still wondering if I'm the problem here.

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16 minutes ago, utopia said:

 This is our last fight. But in general he always "feels" that I'm not telling him everything or I'm hiding something or I'm lying. 

You're in an abusive relationship. Read up on the red flags for abusive and controlling relationships.

Talk to trusted friends and family about the abuse. He treats you like a prisoner. 

What on earth makes you think you constantly have to answer to this creep?

 

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If you know you are being honest I don't know why you are twisting yourself in to a pretzel believing what he says. It's emotionally abusive to you in the long run if he's accusing you of untrue things or brainwashing you into thinking you don't care about the relationship and aren't calling him back on purpose.

You know he's always been excessively insecure and paranoid so why do you continue to date him? Try believing that you deserve so much more than what he has to offer. Right now, it's pitiful the way he seems to believe he can treat someone. 

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6 hours ago, utopia said:

I'm still wondering if I'm the problem here.

Its a common Gaslighter tactic to make you question your reality. Like in your example where you think you are the problem. With the guy that accuses you of being a liar because you had work and didnt called him or because you told him the truth about tires.

No, you are not a problem there. And you should run away and end that relationship before it ruins you and your self- esteem.

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17 minutes ago, Kwothe28 said:

Its a common Gaslighter tactic to make you question your reality. Like in your example where you think you are the problem. With the guy that accuses you of being a liar because you had work and didnt called him or because you told him the truth about tires.

No, you are not a problem there. And you should run away and end that relationship before it ruins you and your self- esteem.

to add to this . . If you were to make this all about you and some mysterious character flaw you had, that would be the only thing you would have control over and possibly change. 

Unless you know better it's seems easier to twist yourself pretzel in a desperate hope things would get better.  Afterall you have no control over him and his actions.  Hoping for change from him has proved pointless.   So you continue to come up with different ways to change yourself until you lose your way and have lost yourself.

And he's right there to reinforce that this is all about you.  As Kwothe mentioned, it's a text book gaslighter/abuse dance.   Trust me.  I've done it.

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It's interesting that you've mentioned gaslithing... I'm 33 years old and the first time I've heard about this was few months ago when he introduced me to it. He said his ex gf was gaslighting him.

About the question why I'm still dating him... I guess I'm just scared that I'm too old and I will never have kids if I don't have any this year. And also from the conversations that I had with him .. he seems to have the same view on kids and family as me.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, utopia said:

It's interesting that you've mentioned gaslithing... I'm 33 years old and the first time I've heard about this was few months ago when he introduced me to it. He said his ex gf was gaslighting him.

About the question why I'm still dating him... I guess I'm just scared that I'm too old and I will never have kids if I don't have any this year. And also from the conversations that I had with him .. he seems to have the same view on kids and family as me.

Why in the world would you expose an innocent child to this level of dysfunction? (I don't advice waiting for years -but we didn't start trying till I was almost 41, and we had our son at age 42).  Perhaps look into freezing your eggs and of course there is adoption as well.

Imagine him questioning your every parenting decision, every situation that comes up when he's not right there -because he doesn't believe you -and having your child witness him calling you a liar.

Edited by Batya33
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5 hours ago, utopia said:

It's interesting that you've mentioned gaslithing... I'm 33 years old and the first time I've heard about this was few months ago when he introduced me to it. He said his ex gf was gaslighting him.

About the question why I'm still dating him... I guess I'm just scared that I'm too old and I will never have kids if I don't have any this year. And also from the conversations that I had with him .. he seems to have the same view on kids and family as me.

Regardless, don't settle with a man out of loneliness, especially not an abusive partner.

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5 hours ago, utopia said:

About the question why I'm still dating him... I guess I'm just scared that I'm too old and I will never have kids if I don't have any this year.

You're only 33. What are you talking about??!

Don't settle just because of your age. He's abusive and he adds nothing good to your life. In fact, I bet you're feeling gradually worse with time with him.

You need to get yourself some self-respect and love yourself enough to move on from this and stop self-sabotaging. The sooner you break up with him, the sooner you'll be able to find a good and joyful match. 

You don't want to look back and regret years wasted and destroyed by a terrible man you settled for. Up your standards. You can do it. You deserve much better hon'!

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5 hours ago, utopia said:

It's interesting that you've mentioned gaslithing... I'm 33 years old and the first time I've heard about this was few months ago when he introduced me to it. He said his ex gf was gaslighting him.

 

Its not out of reality that he does it out of his own insecurities. However, that is his problem and is not an excuse for him to do a textbook gaslighting on you. And trust me, if you are questioning if you are the problem, how you should have maybe call him in the middle of work and stuff like that, it is doing the work on you. Your best bet would be to get away from there.

As for the other thing, its also amplified by the first. Age and all aside, he is doing very bad work on your self- esteem. You staying there not only risks you loosing valuable time in which you could find somebody who wont do stuff like this and respect you, but will also take a toll on your mental health. Again, its already started. Its a few months relationship so get out while you still can. 

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Here's a resource you might want to reflect on https://booktrib.com/2018/04/10/interview-avery-neal-emotional-abuse/

But honestly, don't allow yourself to be sucked into this abusive relationship any longer. Just leave for your own good. You can put a stop to this. No discussion needed- you owe him nothing. You have your own agility and capacity to make good decisions for your own good. Believe in yourself.

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Thank you all for your comments. I've read more information on the topic of emotional abuse and a lot of the things listed are valid in my situation. I would have never thought that this is the case.

It's weird how I see that what you all say is true but somehow I'm still thinking that maybe the problem is in me. And maybe if I change this or if I change that it would all work perfectly.

I guess I need to think more like someone who is out of the relationship... like if my best friend was in my position what would I think about her relationship.

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