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My boyfriend is not demonstrative, should I cool it?

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Question - (22 December 2008) 9 Answers - (Newest, 24 December 2008)
A female United States age 30-35, *uminativeViolet writes:

I have a problem with my boyfriend. We have been dating for two years now. I love him very much, but he does not show that he reciprocates that love.

My boyfriend claims not to be very "verbal." I, on the other hand, like to call him and send him messages to let him know that I care about him. He never does that for me. I feel like I need that security, in a way--I want him to show me or tell me on a regular basis that he loves me. When he doesn't, I doubt that he cares about me.

In addition, he does not like to discuss important topics we have in the relationship, such as our different religious and moral views--which are critical to work out for the relationship to work.

My boyfriend just says that he is not "verbal" and that I am overly "clingy" for calling and e-mailing him. Should I play "hard to get" instead? I feel like I am giving him my love, and he can sit back and enjoy the ride while doing no work.

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A female reader, Blue_Angel0316 United States +, writes (24 December 2008):

Blue_Angel0316 agony auntYou are welcome hon and yes The FRUITS OF THE LABOR....Patience is sometimes all that is really needed.

Blessings,

Blue_Angel

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A male reader, Griffo Australia +, writes (23 December 2008):

Griffo agony auntJust be who you are, take it easy thats all dont get cought up in any games and think too much it will distroy it all.

If thats the way you are then thats the way you are,in the example when he was with his ex in your follow up post.

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A female reader, RuminativeViolet United States +, writes (23 December 2008):

RuminativeViolet is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks again, Blue Angel. I really appreciate all of your advice.

As the adage goes: "Patience bears fruit." I will try to be patient and will lay off a bit. Hopefully, I will see results soon!

Merry Christmas!

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A female reader, Blue_Angel0316 United States +, writes (23 December 2008):

Blue_Angel0316 agony auntJust be patient hon and don't forget to play a bit hard to get. It keeps things alive and keeps them guessing!

Don't try so hard and let him see that you are ok with things even when he isn't giving the utmost. However you do deserve love and attention so give less and hopefully you will get more! This is quite often the case.

Merry Christmas!

God bless,

Blue_Angel

^(**)^

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A female reader, RuminativeViolet United States +, writes (23 December 2008):

RuminativeViolet is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks, everyone, for your responses! I greatly appreciate it.

I think I need to just cool things off a bit; I can't go cold turkey on him, but, at the same time, I feel like I put so much effort into things that I expect something in return. Sometimes I think I give so much not only because I love him but also because I hope that, by doing more, I may provoke some sort of response from him. And when I receive no response, or just a minimal one, I become upset and "bitchy" (because I think he doesn't care enough)--something he doesn't like. Sometimes I even find myself bringing up controversial topics or even criticizing him a bit just so I can get a response out of him, like I am desperate for his attention. :(

My boyfriend did have a previous girlfriend 5 years ago who dumped him when he cared for her. Perhaps that has something to do with it. My boyfriend is my first, so I have never had a negative experience like he has.

I love my boyfriend very, very much and have put up with negativity from my parents and friends, and I have struggled with our religious and moral differences, but I always stay by his side because I am open-minded and know that we can work out these problems--if we simply communicated a bit more! I always want to talk to him about how we can work together better, but he is so quiet on those topics... and then he'll maybe bring up a silly topic that has nothing to do with the bigger picture of our relationship. (Perhaps that is boys for you!)

My boyfriend says that he loves me, but he has either a difficult time showing it, or he doesn't love me as I do him (even though he claims he does). I just need to step back and let him make the moves a little more from now on. I guess that, by doing so, I won't "nag" him, which he hates, and I also will get to see what he can do on his own, without my leading him by the hand. (I have talked/complained to him many, many times about this, and I get no response, and I still go out of my way to shower him with affection, so I need to step back now.)

Any additional thoughts of course would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again, everyone (and happy holidays!).

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A female reader, RuminativeViolet United States +, writes (23 December 2008):

RuminativeViolet is verified as being by the original poster of the question

Thanks, everyone, for your responses! I greatly appreciate it.

I think I need to just cool things off a bit; I can't go cold turkey on him, but, at the same time, I feel like I put so much effort into things that I expect something in return. Sometimes I think I give so much not only because I love him but also because I hope that, by doing more, I may provoke some sort of response from him. And when I receive no response, or just a minimal one, I become upset and "bitchy" (because I think he doesn't care enough)--something he doesn't like. Sometimes I even find myself bringing up controversial topics or even criticizing him a bit just so I can get a response out of him, like I am desperate for his attention. :(

My boyfriend did have a previous girlfriend 5 years ago who dumped him when he cared for her. Perhaps that has something to do with it. My boyfriend is my first, so I have never had a negative experience like he has.

I love my boyfriend very, very much and have put up with negativity from my parents and friends, and I have struggled with our religious and moral differences, but I always stay by his side because I am open-minded and know that we can work out these problems--if we simply communicated a bit more! I always want to talk to him about how we can work together better, but he is so quiet on those topics... and then he'll maybe bring up a silly topic that has nothing to do with the bigger picture of our relationship. (Perhaps that is boys for you!)

My boyfriend says that he loves me, but he has either a difficult time showing it, or he doesn't love me as I do him (even though he claims he does). I just need to step back and let him make the moves a little more from now on. I guess that, by doing so, I won't "nag" him, which he hates, and I also will get to see what he can do on his own, without my leading him by the hand. (I have talked/complained to him many, many times about this, and I get no response, and I still go out of my way to shower him with affection, so I need to step back now.)

Any additional thoughts of course would be greatly appreciated! Thanks again, everyone (and happy holidays!).

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A male reader, zahmin89 United States +, writes (22 December 2008):

The question for you is: do you feel that what you get out of the relationship is worth what you put into it? A good relationship is a lot of work! But in a good relationship, you feel like it's worth it all and love them even when you want to rip your hair out. If his not being demonstrative is that much of a problem for you, try talking to him and getting a deeper response than "I'm not verbal". Ask him why that is, you may find that it seems reasonable and doesn't bother you as much.

I am lucky in that my girlfriend and I do not like being demonstrative in public, and this is not an issue, but perhaps you could get him to compromise. Maybe he makes some gestures that you do not recognize, because you do not expect them to be there. For instance, maybe he refills your prescriptions for you, vacuums the house, makes your bed, fixes your computer, etc. Maybe it's the way he looks at you or the way he kisses you or hugs you that he thinks are demonstrative enough. People show affection in different ways and since we experience things from our own perspective, we miss little things.

If he loves you, and recognizes that it's such an issue for you, he will make an effort to be more demonstrative, but don't expect it to come quickly, we guys are slow to change :)

Namaste

Nathan

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A male reader, Griffo Australia +, writes (22 December 2008):

Griffo agony auntTo cut a long story short. its only human nature to keep the chase alive. This is a form of you chasing him and he's keeping the chase alive by not replying. Basicly it seems as though he knows how to keep a woman on the chase but is poor at the love or relationship side of things, im surprised youve been chasing for that long, when in a relationship the dynamics change, in his case they havent, in his mind it 'may' be that hes stuck at before you actually made it official you were together. its common but this is what confuses people very much.

This confuses people especially when a guy chases a woman how does he know if shes just wanting him to chase her or she simply not interested. its about if she wants to see him or not if she does then its the chase, if she does not at all then she's not interested.

For you i see your chasing, he needs to relax, you need to help him understand this. When your tegether the game is not required, he needs to cool down take it easy with you, let loose and know your gonna be there for him. he's just keeping you hungry for the love. he needs to take the next step and be more commited, as you already have.

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A female reader, Blue_Angel0316 United States +, writes (22 December 2008):

Blue_Angel0316 agony auntIf you should choose to embark on the cooling off phase or the playing hard to get routine PROCEDE with CAUTION! Afer two years he will certainly be a bit suspicious if you just go COLD TURKEY.

You should however start leaning back in the relationship. The less is more idea works wonders in most cases. It's ovbious that you both have different ideas and ways of giving in the relationship. He could be feeling a bit pressured or just uneasy that you give so much. This can make him feel inadaquate in the love senario.

When you lean back and let him come to you more often he will feel more in place with his ideas of what and how the situation should all be going. If you are feeling edgy and uncertain about the realationship you have now chances are it's rubbing off on him. By taking a step back now and then thus allowing him to reach out for you in his words or actions it gives him a chance to be more in place with his obvious views. When a person gives so unconditionally and with most of the giving the other person feels often out of place and sometimes feel guilty because they don't think they deserve your time and attention. Sometimes the love you give just overwhelms them so much they can't begin to compete with what you give, so they are afraid to try.

There are instances when your mate gets hurt long before you come along, this makes them less likely to speak up, accept,or even advance to a loving meaningful relationship. They keep their guard up and NO other WOMAN(in your case) can get thru! When the other person is too into them it can completely scare them off! If you love too much they might see it as false, or to much to soon especially if they aren't ready for that kind of committment. Perhaps in his case he may even be incapable of loving and nurturing, because he chooses not too or perhaps he was never taught this type of loving communication. There is a chance that he might think he isn't worth the effort or that he can't feel the same but can't bring himself to tell you.

*Just a note...men often find it hard to talk about LOVE...they can't say it....they can't admit it....or they are just too macho to do so. For the most part they really like taking there time in going there! If you appear to needy or clingy they will often think that you don't even love yourself enough to stand up to them in this situation so they just leave you hanging and sometimes will lead you on........sometimes you don't even NOTICE!

Let go a bit and start doing more for yourself.Spend quality time with friends and family or take up a new hobby. Start doing more things without him! Make less attempts to message or call, kiss him less. Do everything you can to control the I LOVE YOU'S. He will soon begin to notice. Don't give him a clue! Always be gracious and approachable but a LITTLE HARDER to GET. *-)

Sometimes doing all the things you can to be warm, kind, loving and nurturing can get you really taken for granted. You are going to have to learn new ways to love without being so up front if you want this man. It's too bad he can't COUNT HIS BLESSINGS and accept the TRUE GIFT OF LOVE that you offer. Do the best you can with love,carefully and pray for the best. In time he will either take this love and give something back in return or you can find someone who is just as much a challange but far less the trouble to LOVE.

One thing about TRUE LOVE is it SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO TAKE SUCH HARD EFFORT TO GAIN and SHOULD BE ABLE TO GROW DAILY with NURTURING CARE.....then again there's REALITY!

God bless,

Blue_Angel

^(**)^

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