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how do i get more conversation going with my boyfriend?

Published on May 9, 2010 by sensitive

he doesn't want to discuss friends (he feels invasion of their privacy and trust) or my former co-workers and the like. he likes politics and i don't, same with video/computer games. we both like music, some the same, some not. i read a lot of self help, he surfs the net for current events. we both like dancing as well. we come from hard pasts and he doesn't want to discuss it or his growing up. he also limits what he will talk about with his military/war experiences. his family didn't really talk to him growing up and still doesn't, so he's not as social as most. i work a lot and don't have a lot going on in my life and i run out of ideas as to what we should talk about sometimes. he is an introvert and it's hard to get him talking as it is. we have been together quite a while and i don't know what to do. i want to make things better between us and not let him fear being with me because as we get older we will sit there with nothing to say.

ANSWERS

To be quite honest, if you are finding talking to him such a daily struggle then I think you should evaluate your relationship. What do you have in common? What things do you share? What do you do together that you can discuss? What is keeping your relationship together if not for friendship?

First of all, does he want to talk more? Some people, especially introverts, may be happy just sitting near you and reading.

Also, does he think you gossip? Is that why he doesn't want to talk to you about friends and co-workers?

My first reaction is to wonder if you have anything in common like Lyz did, but then I thought about your differences some more. You want to talk about people and feelings and psychology, he wants to talk about ideas. I suspect the way you want to talk about people is a little deeper than he is comfortable with. There are guys who are more comfortable talking about feelings, but there are a lot of guys who aren't, so switching boyfriends might not solve your problem.

If you want to work things out with him, try finding some idea-subjects that you find interesting or know about. You could also try talking about people/psychology in a more abstract way. The other thing you probably need to do is to explain to him how important it is to you to talk about your feelings and have him listen sometimes. You may have to talk to him about how you want him to listen, too, or he'll just try to convince you that your bad feelings are irrational and think that he's helping you. You might have to convey to him that you want to share ideas, not have a competition and see who wins. I'm guessing a lot here, this might not be what your guys is like, but it happens with a lot of male-female couples.

You may also be feeling frustrated that he doesn't want to share with you about his feelings because that makes you feel like he doesn't love you. That is also a very common feeling. Try not to take it personally and look for other signs of love. Be patient and let him go at his own rate when it comes to sharing with you. He probably wants you to be supportive and guess what he's feeling without being told (ha!), at least not the details. Just listening and not pushing him to share more can help. Also it doesn't work to say things that suggest he feels upset or depressed or worried. He will probably deny it.

Of course, he may have some experiences from the way that he needs to deal with with a professional. All you can do is encourage him to see someone when he's ready to face it. If he has serious problems that are affecting you, you have to decide whether or not to stay and wait.

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