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Jen Helant
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience:  I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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Boyfriend troubles?

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I've been in a relationship for almost 4 months now. He's 32, and I'm 28.We didn't start sleeping together until last month. I practically live at his house, and have a key. He is terrible at expressing his emotions and it's very hard for me to get him to tell me how he even feels about me. He finally told me last week he has very strong feelings for me. Where I am going with this is that- he only wants to have sex when he's been drinking. When we are sober, he does not even try to touch me. He will flirt with me endlessly, and hold my hand, and try to let me know that he cares though. I asked him about this last weekend, and he just keeps saying he worries a lot that he might get me pregnant. This is driving me crazy, but I keep thinking that he doesn't want to be with me in general. I called him out and asked him if he just didn't want this relationship but- he says he does want to be with me. That's when I asked him if he had any feelings for me at all- and he said he had strong feelings for me. I sleep over about every single night- I just don't understand? I ask him why he never tells me how he feels about his emotions, and he says that he feels like there is never a right time to say how he feels. He's very closed off, and very quiet when it comes to his emotions, but he can communicate to tell me what's going on in his day. When we lay down to go to bed, I have to ask for him to hug me sometimes. He is getting better at trying to put his arm around me when we sleep, or even touch me- but it's never "spooning." I know a lot of guys don't like to cuddle when they sleep but he just says "I normally just want to go to sleep." I just am trying to wrap my head around what could be going on. We get along great. We enjoy being together, he just has a hard time telling me how he feels.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question and I will try to help. Do you know about any of his previous relationships and how he was with them? Was he hurt in the past? Does he has a history of being a closed person? Have you met his family and if so how does he interact with them?

I will await your responses in order for me to help and give you an accurate answer.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I know he's been in two relatively long term relationships before we dated. Before we dated he hadn't been in a relationship for almost a year. He has said that his last girlfriend was kind of crazy, and that's what his friends have said- (i.e. had to change the locks on his house) but that's all he's really told me. The woman he dated before her apparently left him (he hasn't brought it up, but my friend has told me about it.) and they lived together. Apparently it ended because he had a problem with her smoking marijuana sometimes. I don't really know anything else about her.


 


When we are around his friends, he can chatter on and on about his interests and carry on. He includes me in the conversations and it's always fun. When it's just us- I feel a shift in it- almost like I make him uncomfortable, but he says that I don't. We hang out all the time, but I feel like he thinks I'm judging him all the time or something. He'll say "Oh you don't care..." after he tells me about his projects hes working on-- I repeatedly tell him I do, otherwise I wouldn't ask him a million questions about it. I always go in for affection. ALWAYS. We have had previous discussions as to why he isn't affectionate very often. He tells me he knows he is bad at it, and he has made an effort to try and be better at it but I don't know what the root of the problem is? I know that it's probably not me, but I don't know how to figure him out.


 


His parents are divorced, I have met both of them. He has a great relationship with his dad (who raised him after the divorce), and a borderline not good relationship with his mother (rarely talks to her, he left her house at age 15 to live with his dad in the middle of the night because he was unhappy he told me.) He talks to them very freely, but never any hugs, or anything like that involved.


 


His friends, and a mutual friend of ours (one who introduced us) says he has always been a very reserved person, very quiet, but very nice guy. We've been together for 4 months so far, so I know if he didn't want to be with me he would have ended it already. Plus, I keep getting paranoid and straight up asking him.

Expert:  Jen Helant replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for explaining. I think you surely are on the right track that it definitely has nothing to do with you. Based on everything you explained he seems to be this type of person. Reserved people have trouble opening themselves up and making themselves vulnerable. Since it has only been 4 months he may need more time to trust you and let his feelings show. He has no issue chatting about various things, but when it comes to deep personal feelings he closes up. This is not uncommon especially for men. It also seems to me that he may be insecure. When he is telling you about things he likes and then says something like "oh you don't care" is a clue to this. He may feel if he opens himself up you will not like the real him and reject him. Also, if he tells you his feelings he will be opening himself up to getting hurt. He may have been hurt by people in the past especially since he went through the pain of his parents going through a divorce. He much rather be reserved than deceived. However, I believe if you are patient with him he will come around as the trust builds and he gets to know you better. It sounds as if you are doing all the right things and if you really like him I would give it some time to see where things go. About the cuddling that may also be due to everything I explained above. However, it could also be that he is not a cuddlier. Some people just aren't and if that is the case you would need to consider if you would be able to live with that or not. However, based on everything you explained I think the cuddling also has to do with his insecurity. Try not to pressure him since that can push him away. Rather show him your feelings and naturally lead him to trust you and see how interested you really are in him and go from there. You are right on track with the communication. I would definitely keep that open in all aspects of the relationship.

I wish you the very best and if I can be of further help do not hesitate to ask.
Jen Helant, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1124
Experience: I have a degree in psychology and worked with many couples. I am happily married and have been for 10 years.
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