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I seem very emotionally over wrought at times...so unlike me. What's going on?

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Question - (29 April 2006) 3 Answers - (Newest, 30 April 2006)
A male , anonymous writes:

Why am i so emotional all of a sudden?

Hi, im 19, and have been going out with my girlfriend for 4 months now. The last 4 months of my life have been the most emotional ever, i've had some highs, and some very low, low's too.

Sometimes i can just be watching TV and something sad might happen on TV, and i will start chokeing up, to the point where i can sometimes fill my eyes filling up slightly and getting heavy. Then i just have to breathe normally for a few seconds and it goes away. Normally things like this would not affect me AT ALL, but now it is.

I used to be fine, but now it seems im getting emotional when i see something really happy, and things i see that are really sad...

Bit of a weird question i know, but its just confusing me.

Thanks

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A male reader, Yos Netherlands +, writes (30 April 2006):

Yos agony auntIt's not a weird question at all.

As men we are taught by society to be unemotional, to supress our emotions. To go through life with the volume control turned down.

A real relationship forces us to open ourselves up. We become vulnerable to a woman, something we are taught is not 'male'. We are supposed to be hard, tough, invulnerable. But in actual fact we are not. None of us.

Women communicate primarily emotionally, and by being with your girlfriend it may be that this side of you is opening up for the first time. That experience can be overwhelming, as you are suddenly hit by waves of emotion that you have previously suppressed. You can find yourself crying one minute, angry the next, and then panicked and afraid.

To make it even harder, men are typically not taught the emotional and relating skills we need to handle emotions (especially in a relationship). We are novices compared to women. This can create insecurity as we feel we are unable to deal with the relationship, we just don't know how to handle these feelings. We feel we need to bring our rational sides to bear to somehow 'solve' the problem. But these emotions are not 'problems' that need to be solved.

It's no wonder than so many men run from commitment. A healthy relationship takes open emotion, and that is very very scary to us.

See your emotional awareness as a good thing. You were having these emotions before, but were supressing them. Now you are learning to feel them. It can feel like you are going crazy, but you will get used to it.

In the mean time, see this also as an opportunity to strengthen and deepen your relationship. You should try to express these feelings to your girlfriend. Talk about them when they hit you, let it out and share them with her. You will find that women are wonderful at sharing emotion, and that they also generally find it the most important ingredient of a relationship. In other words, if you can share these feelings with your girlfriend, it will improve your relationship with her and your intimacy a great deal.

Good luck. In a way you are lucky to be experiencing this now. I have met many men in their 30s and 40s that have never allowed themselves to 'feel', and because of this have had many problems in their lives.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (30 April 2006):

It's not a silly question - no question is! You're obviously going through a period in your life where perhaps everything feels over-whelming? You don't mention other aspects of your life, but perhaps you're feeling the strain of being pulled in different directions, or maybe are trying to be "all things to all people" and need some time out to focus on your wants and needs?

In the short-term try to relax and let yourself feel this way - but I think talking to you gf is a good idea - let her in and let her share how you feel, it's a tough thing to do but i do think it'll really help you along.

If you start to feel that you're withdrawing from things that you normally take pleasure from, or find that you are losing energy and feeling worse - maybe you should talk to someone independent like your GP as it could be a mild case of depression, something that some people do suffer from even when they don't fully understand the catalyst for it.

Good luck xx

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A male reader, Dazzerg United Kingdom +, writes (30 April 2006):

Dazzerg agony auntWell its not a weird question at all to my mind. I think you need to think about what has been changing in your life and what could have caused this. Do you love your gf? Has this triggered some deep seated fears? Is this your first serious relationship?

Things like this dont happen without cause or catylyst even if it something you are not particularly aware of. I think that is the first thing you need to decipher, maybe you should gently talk to your gf too and hopefully she will be able to offer you some support through this time. Hope that helps.

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