My boyfriend can't be in my life how I would like?
October 24, 2011 10:13 AM Subscribe
My boyfriend can't express himself much at all, should I be concerned?
posted by Chelsaroo650 to Human Relations (30 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My boyfriend and I have been dating for 7 months now, 8 if you count the month we just casually dated. I'm 19 he's 21 I met him on a dating site randomly and found out we lived down the street from each other and he had sat behind me in a class I took at the local community college. He pursued me strongly, told me he thought I was cute but never got the chance to talk to me in class. In the beginning, if I was slacking on responding to him he would message me again. He did that a few times or asked "did you forget about me?" Frankly, I had already had a few bad experiences with guys from the dating site so I was beginning to hesitate. He seemed different so when he asked me on a date I accepted. I couldn't tell from his pictures how he would really look because they weren't too good but when I met him I was instantly attracted to him.
He was very reserved though and talked very minimally the entire date and this continued for awhile. We had one date a week for a month and he was so scared to even kiss me goodbye or even hug me. I took this as a cue that he was very inexperienced. The entire time we've been dating he's told me I looked nice to my face once and that I was pretty maybe three times. I had to ask him to be more expressive once because he talked to me like a platonic friend and I wasn't feeling that boyfriendish energy from him. You know, that "you're so beautiful I'm so glad we're together" but it's not that I want him to sweet talk me or exaggerate and lie, it's just he's hardly doing anything in the way of that. I wanted to be able to do the same back but I don't find myself in a place to do that when he doesn't reciprocate...
He would text me and say "hello gorgeous" after he supposed that was what I wanted out of him. Really, I just wanted to feel like his girlfriend... He stopped doing that about two months ago. In fact, he also stopped holding my hand in public but the one thing he always did was poke me in some fashion. Or push me, like he did on one of our early dates like a boy would. We have slept together (prompted by me lol) and I by no means think he uses me.
There was a point about 3 months in when I had to tell him I felt like I was at arm's length and the way he was acting was ultimately preventing me from knowing him better and his response was that he was not an open person nor a verbal one. I wanted him to tell me about his life experiences, about his family, etc. To feel connected and valued by him and I was getting "How was your day?" "Class was boring today" or "I saw this movie and didn't like it very much, totally awful compared to the remake" and such.
Of course, you could probably guess what is next; he can't say he loves me. I waited and waited, hoped for awhile that he would pluck up the courage to tell me those three little words and the time wasn't coming so after much thought... I decided to ask him and sat him down to have the first face-to-face talk about "us" that we had ever had. I said I wondered if I was just around to ease his loneliness and wondered why we had been dating as long as we had and he had still not expressed any deeper feeling. I had given hints of my feelings so obvious, I didn't get why he wasn't trying to say he did. I was crying even though I tried not to. He said at first "I don't like to see you like this... I really care about you and enjoy your company....." and there was this long hesitation until he decided to say "I love you, I do love you." He tried for a few days to say it to me in person but it ended up being awkward and I said it once walking out the door and he replied very mumbly and strange. So I just stopped saying it... and so did he. He told me that night he'd only told one girl he loved them and he dated her for 3 months, the girl before me, and she basically cheated, slept with a good friend of his, and she told him she loved him first. He seems to hold some significance of her. He says she planned a vacation for them to the beach and that was his first time seeing the ocean and she told him she loved him but obviously she didn't. He told me it was awkward to be telling me he loved me the first time when I was upset with him. He also claims he was waiting for me to say it first so as not to appear "clingy"?
So that bothers me... makes me feel a bit unloved and unimportant. To be frank, he seems to have trouble expressing much of anything besides anger and happiness. I have previously posted talking about how he flunked his first year of college and now goes to community college to start over. During this time, he moved back home with his dad. His parents have never been married, never lived together even when he was a baby. He was raised by his father most of his life who was heavily involved in the air force. Consequently, there seems to be some sort of breakdown in their relationship that seems to be hurting my bf more than he lets me know but I know it's there. He had been kicked out by his dad once for a year to live with his mom and now it's happened again. My boyfriend worked a lot and went to school and eventually got sick of his job and ended up quitting. His gpa started at a 4.0 and went down to a 3.1 so his dad started to get mad. I was barely around but then I had my number blocked by him so I couldn't text him. He had a curfew of 10. I don't think forcing him to do those things helps him at all and my boyfriend has been studying more than ever at his mom's. He did find another job but the weird part is, the day he found out he got the job, he went over to see his dad and his dad kicked him out. Told him he couldn't even come over. It was over an argument about sorting laundry. It didn't seem right, it seemed abusive. I feel like something's been going on between them for years and personally, I believe this whole situation was perpetuated by his dad. My boyfriend told me he's been to counseling. He feels guilty but I wonder if maybe my bf just isn't the right fit for college and his dad pushed him into it.
Anyways, they told my bf to leave the house so they could let some company stay in his room and it was for a week... which turned into a month. They went on vacation without him and everything. It was the toughest month in our relationship. All he did was lay on the couch alone for days. I had been working 40 hour weeks so he ended up missing me for once... I was unblocked during that time and then when school came back around his phone is now set to stop operating at 9 and my bf devotes most of his time to reading and studying as opposed to video games or tv shows. He seems to be learning what he should be doing.
I couldn't go on seeing him once every week and a half and started to ask if I could come see him at his mom's so now we're averaging at about 2-3 times per week. I almost feel like the third time is too much for him it seems... I saw him two days in a row one week and then worked until 6 on the next day and wanted to go do something with him but he said he stayed up all night so he could go to bed early and have a normal sleep schedule. He had been sleeping until 2 in the afternoon and he had slept through one of his classes and recognized he was repeating the defeating patterns he had at the more expensive college that made him fail. Basically, I wish he would text me more... I don't get a "good morning" or "I was just thinking of you, hope you're having a good day" when we have busy schedules (especially mine; work right after school four days a week plus weekends) and I know it seems to him to be easier just to skip a day talking when he knows I'm working closing shift on my job with not much time to chat... I know he has a lot going on but please don't say DTMFA, I know I want him in my life and he is nowhere near close to being a jerk but he feels so out of reach sometimes. He is more eager to talk to his best friend than me most days and more excited to see him... which I'm sure he helps him blow off steam because his bff is in a similar situation but I wonder why he isn't so eager to be around me. He tells me he's just been studying a lot and I know his focus is mostly on that but I'm struggling trying not to take it personally. I struggle with depression and I believe he does as well. I want to encourage him to get help because this is an unhealthy cycle of life and his dad isn't helping he is harming him even more. I guess what bothers me is why he doesn't want to see me more than like once a week or why he chooses to be a bit sporadic on contacting me even though I know he's just home by himself. When I do see him, he is happy to see me, physically affectionate, cuddly, all that minus the verbalizing. I understand that could just be how he is... any thoughts? He probably just can't devote that much time to me right now and I should realize that but for some reason I keep dwelling. I do have anxiety that practically tortures me... I just get so scared if I let him figure his stuff out and stand back that he'll just disappear from my life. That would kill me... He's never given any indication he'd do it but my fears keep coming back in my mind. HELP! lol