How to bond with a non-verbal person May 11, 5: I've been seeing this guy for about six weeks. He's affectionate, romantic, and kind. The sex is good.
We have a lot in common. But he's really hard to get to know and not at all verbally forthcoming. When we're together, I feel relaxed and happy because he's so physically affectionate. But when we're apart, texting or talking, I'm anxious because it is on a surface level. I'm having trouble gauging how he feels about me, and I keep expecting him to blow me off and disappear.
I've become hypervigilant about the whole thing and wonder what this or that action, or lack thereof on his part, "really means. He makes small talk to the point where I am just about ready to jump out of my skin. He'll say he likes this or that, but not how whatever it is makes him feel. He's laid-back, pleasant and easy-going, and there is no drama. All these things are great, but I'm not feeling as much of an emotional connection as I need in order to let down my guard with him and it makes me anxious.
I'm not saying we need to have a big Relationship Talk at this point, but I'd really like to know him better, on a deeper level, and feel closer to him. I have a hard time with small talk myself. I sense that there's a lot going on inside his head, but he doesn't share it. I've been following his lead because I don't want to scare him away. I don't know what to think, but I've wondered if he doesn't trust me. I've also questioned myself. My past relationships have had more drama and been too whirlwind romance-like, with troubled partners who liked to talk about their problems.
So maybe he is normal, and I'm the one with twisted expectations. He doesn't seem to have confidantes among his friends, either, so it's probably a personality trait. I don't want to make him uncomfortable.
Maybe there are ways I can be more comfortable with the way things are. Maybe it will just take time for him to open up. We are both mids. I've had two serious LTRs and I don't know much about his relationship history, but from what I can tell so far, he's not as experienced as I am. I just want to feel more comfortable regardless of how that happens. Some people aren't that into deep revealing and you should try to enjoy that about him. If you want to share deeper emotional ties with him though: Start with your childhood and tell him stories about it and ask him generic questions like "What was your middle school like" or whatever.
Don't expect him to break down crying but he might be comfortable sharing emotions about his past first. In my opinion normal reticent people can actually be even more interesting once you get to know them--it just takes years rather than weeks.
Try to apprectiate that your guy is a Thomas Hardy novel, not a Danielle Steele paperback or a Chuck Palahniuk character. Intimacy has to be earned, you don't get the key to someones psyche after 6 weeks just because you've slept together. Have you shared your own feelings with him? Guys don't talk about their emotional reaction to things because most of the time they don't really have one.
You ask yourself what this really means - well, it doesn't mean anything except that he's a normal type of guy. That's just the way he is, he's not doing anything to you or because of you or hiding anything from you. The lack of text here has no subtext. You say yourself that he's "affectionate, romantic, and kind. We have a lot in common" so just enjoy the relationship and see where it goes. It's not that he doesn't trust you, it is that you're over-thinking a perfectly normal fellow and inventing a problem where one doesn't exist.
You have a relationship "without drama", so ask yourself why you're creating one. Would you rather have a "troubled partner" who loved to endlessly talk about their "problems" or someone who is "laid-back, pleasant and easy-going"? You've got one of the good ones, don't blow it.
Every point you mention - physically affectionate but kind of flippant, no real deep discussions and no real confidante in my friends. The whole thing, really. It's all mostly in there, still, it's just a lot harder to get at and show or describe to others. Perhaps he's the same. You know, I'm not sure I'd even know where to start with that kind of thing. Maybe your guy is the same. I think you have unrealistic expectations of the emotional availability especially 6 weeks in of a lot of men.
For some of us, it's either locked away or impossible to verbalise to varying degrees. No relationship is healthier for one or the other not being themselves. If you being you scares him away, you have scored a result, not failed. Unfortunately the only answer is too relax and wait and see. He may be an emotional dullard like me, as it happens but I'm happily married to someone that completely doubted me on similar levels to you for the first year easily of our relationship due to my emotional incompetence in showing or expressing how I felt.
You just need to be you, let him see if he likes YOU Not 'guarded you' and try a bit more to stop thinking that 6 weeks is long enough to have any idea how a relationship will go.
NO-ONE knows if a relationship will work after 6 weeks, you can only know if it won't. I've been married 8 yaers and my wife says the same thing about me. I was thinking all the same thoughts as you, about 22 years ago. We just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary. It is just how he is, and once I stopped over thinking it, every thing worked out perfectly.
My previous relationship was much more drama, and deep, and soul mate-like. But that isn't my husband, and I would not trade the way he is. I learned to appreciate his other qualities and enjoy the different type of relationship. It seems to be working! I just don't like to share too much too soon. This guy could be me. Sometimes I feel strongly and say so, sometimes I don't feel strongly. I probably go a week or two between "opening up" to my girlfriend of 14 months, and next month I'm moving across the country to be with her - so it's not that I don't feel close to her, I just don't have a lot of strong emotions that need to be expressed to someone else.
Some people just don't have an intense need to frequently share their inner life. Hell, I got accepted to a grad program, and she called me ready to very excitedly congratulate me. Congratulate me when I graduate. She recognized that my being not-emotional is as valid as her feeling strongly and she didn't make me feel weird about my reaction.
I love her for that. If I had to say how things made me feel more than twice a month, that would be a really tough expectation to meet. Some people do this naturally, but not me - I just don't feel strongly about that most things.
So maybe your new guy is like me and just doesn't communicate this way. So what should you do? Just relax right now. You are very, very early in this relationship. If he's physically affectionate especially affectionate when he's not looking for sex then that's a really good sign, and frankly I'd say it's all the sign you can ask for six weeks in. Honestly, I don't feel good about opening up until about the month mark. By then you have a sense for whether the other party is sane and the kind of person you want to be around, and that's when you can forge a real connection by opening up.
So relax and get to know each other as pleasant people to be around, and you two can start opening up as you spend time together and start to trust one another.
It sounds a little like you want trust to be assumed in this relationship so you can open up. But for non-dramatic guys, trust has to be built up slowly through simple interactions over time, and then he can start opening up. When he does open up, be prepared for it to be less than you wanted, or for him to feel less strongly about day-to-day things than you expected. It's just how some of us work. I will say "I love this song" and my girlfriend will say "why? When my wife and I started dating, we both shared everything and every emotion all the time, right from the very first minute of our first date.
We still do this--every emotion, all the time, and it drives everyone who knows us totally nuts. And we certainly aren't all drama-filled because of it, either. My close friends are like this, too; we share everything with each other, and we aren't drama-filled or gossip, either male and female friends. I actually have recently stopped making an effort to continue a relationship with a long-time friend because he is a lot like your guy and I couldn't take it anymore after 19 years of it--even as just same sex friends.
So, you can relax and take him for what he is, or realize that maybe he doesn't have the personality type which you desire.