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General Dating Questions/expressing his feelings


Dear Karen,
Iím 21 years old and my boyfriend is 22, we met at university and have been together for nearly 6 months. Before that we were ďdatingĒ for about 4/5 months.
Our relationship is pretty perfect and Iím ridiculously happy, thereís just one thing thatís really getting to me - he never expresses his feelings. I occasionally will say things to him like ĎIím really happyí, ĎIím really excited to see youí or ĎIíve missed youí and while he agrees and sometimes says it back, heíll rarely be the first to say something like that. Only recently when he was away for 3 weeks did he tell me that he missed me and that was a big deal!
Most importantly for me, he hasnít told me that he loves me, which does upset because Iím madly in love with him. I feel like Iím going to burst sometimes with how much I just want to tell him but I really want him to say it first and Iím also scared that he just wouldnít say it back.
I think one of the problems could be his best friend whoís been with his girlfriend for over a year and still hasnít told her he loves her. My boyfriendís talked about this in front of me and argued that thereís nothing wrong with it and Ďheíll tell her when heís ready and really means ití. Personally though, I think thatís far too long and would be incredibly unhappy if I have to wait that long.
The problem is, Iíve found myself starting to feel annoyed and impatient with him, which I know I shouldnít. Our relationship is so great in every other way so I donít want this to ruin it! Please give me some advice!

Hi Rebecca,

It must be incredibly difficult for you not to tell you boyfriend how you feel. I felt like I needed to burst with how much I loved my boyfriend in the early stages, it moved me to tears because I was so full of love. I completely understand how you could be feeling.

To understand your boyfriend better, ask about his childhood, his family and upbringing and his friends from school. I often kind that someone who is very closed at that age is so due to something in their earlier life. Maybe it is his upbringing? Is his father a very masculine closed personality? Was he bullied? Was he a happy child? Did he have friends? Was there a death in the family at a young age? Did he get hurt in a previous relationship? These things will contribute. Ask him about his favourite and least favourite childhood memories and share yours; everything, every day can be a learning exercise.

Put it this way, if it were the end of the world or there were a major catastrophe, would you want him to know you love him? If yes, does it really matter that he say it first? Tell him! Next time you have a moment where you're full of love, tell him you love him. Get it out there in the open, you two are in what's meant to be an 'adult' relationship, be open and honest with him and hopefully he will follow.

If he doesn't express the same sentiment, give him a couple of months to open up and if he doesn't, ask him why then. If he doesn't know, review your relationship and how that makes you feel. Talk to him about him not expressing his feelings and ask him to change that. If you can live without the words, then do as long as you know he loves you. People express love in different ways and as I've advised before, although it has Christian links, try reading up on the languages of love. The book highlights different ways people express love and might help you understand yourself and your boyfriend's needs in a relationship.

All the best!


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I can answer questions on how to meet people, confidence, what to do for the best dates, problems within relationships, how to interact with your partner and how to end relationships amicably and politely. More specifically, I am best at answering issues pertaining to trust, honesty, openness, fear and communication within relationships. It is important to know that everyone loves differently and we must first identify how a partner (or prospective) partner loves, in order to understand them. I cannot answer questions on whether or not someone sounds like they are interested, people are all different when they like or do not like people. I cannot tell you how someone may react or how a situation will end but merely offer you my advice on the subject.


I do not have professional experience in the area but my knowledge of psychology, teamed with forever being an agony aunt when it comes to relationships means that I have answered many questions on relationships and am proud to say I have seen quite a few relationships flourish with my advice. I am used to surveying people and guiding them in my daily working life. Due to this, I can read situations very well, often putting a much needed outside perspective to good use.

BSc (Hons) Psychology

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