If you're dating a guy who just can't seem to communicate, it may be more complicated than you realize. He may have his own way of communicating that just doesn't work for you. He may not be able to communicate how he feels because he doesn't actually know. Or, he may simply want different things from a relationship than you do.
Verbal and Non-Verbal Communication
Your man might prefer to communicate with actions and not words. If you prefer to communicate verbally, you may not pick up on what he's really saying. For instance, if you tell him how much you love him all the time and he doesn't say much in response, you may feel rejected. However, he might be trying to communicate the same feelings to you in some other way, like bringing you your first cup of coffee every morning or coming out at 2 A.M. to pick you up when your car won't start. Non-verbal communication isn't always effective, but that doesn't mean it isn't genuine.
Men who were raised not to express their emotions can sometimes become alienated from them. If the man you're dating never expresses emotions like sadness or anxiety but does express irritation or anger, he may be out of touch with his emotions. Threatening emotions like fear or loneliness can provoke a powerful fight or flight response in an emotionally disconnected person, notes clinical social worker David S. Wilde on his website. If your man is disconnected from his emotions, he will either get angry and provoke an argument or go silent and withdraw from communication when what he is really feeling on the inside is some form or sadness or fear. A person who is alienated from his emotions has to be willing to work to get in touch them.
You might see your relationship as a way to connect at the deepest and most intimate level with a person you truly love, but some men want a lot less than this from a romantic partnership. Some men are perfectly satisfied with a woman who is attractive, generally pleasant, fun, a good companion and nonjudgmental. As long as he has these things, a man like this will never be dissatisfied or feel any need to move the relationship to a deeper level.
Expecting another person to change for you is often a losing proposition. If your boyfriend is a non-verbal communicator, you might be able to convince him to open up verbally at least a little. If he's emotionally disconnected, you might be able to help him get in touch with his own emotions if he is interested in doing so and agrees to counseling. However, a man who doesn't want true intimacy isn't likely to change. If you want to be involved with him, you'll likely have to accept him and your relationship for what it is, according to dating coach Evan Marc Katz on his website. Keep in mind that a man is unlikely to change in any major way unless he you feels a strong need to do so for his own happiness. Of course, if the man you're dating values your relationship and doesn't want to risk losing you because you make him happy, than he may truly work to improve his communication skills.
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Scott Thompson has been writing professionally since 1990, beginning with the "Pequawket Valley News." He is the author of nine published books on topics such as history, martial arts, poetry and fantasy fiction. His work has also appeared in "Talebones" magazine and the "Strange Pleasures" anthology.
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