What to do when one partner in a relationship is much more expressive than the other

Danish asks:

Now the girl I love and I are in a relationship but she express her much less as compared to me, and I get very emotional almost every day, because we are in a long-distance relationship and I miss her too much most of the time. So I express my love towards her almost daily, whether through compliments, songs etc., but she does so much less.  So when I express my feelings she feels like Aaah!! and sends cute loving emojis, but she doesn’t take initiative to express her love. I know she is a shy and introverted (as am I), but now I am open to express whatever goes in my heart while she does much less. And when I express my feelings she just loves it and sometimes goes speechless and can’t talk after that moment. And sometimes she tests me a lot by changing her words from what she said earlier – say something new today and then when I feel fear she’ll go “Ohhh!! What are you saying?!” and then she’ll say like “how do you manage all the shocks I give you!” Then I say “Patience!”😃  

So can you tell me, what can be the reason she expresses her feelings less?

Or  does she express her feelings towards me in a different language which I am not getting??

Hey Danish!

I’m actually very excited by your letter.  I know you’re feeling some frustration, but what you’re feeling is MATURE frustration!  Let me explain.

See, when a couple first get together, anything that happens between them is exciting and a joy.  “He likes that same song I do!”  “She likes my dog!”  “He called me!”  “She let me kiss her!”  

But then after a while, these feelings start to calm down.  No big deal that you like some of the same songs, so you focus on the ones you don’t share.  Of course your dog likes her, but it’s not like she offers to walk him.  “Oh, who’s calling me?  I hope it’s my friend with the Biology assignment.  Hmmm… no it’s my boyfriend, I’ll just call him back later.”  And, yeah, “Why is it that she turns her cheek to me whenever I lean in?!”  

These problems aren’t bad, they’re just part of the stage you’ve gotten to in your relationship.  And this stage, unlike those first “honeymoon” days, are when the actual work of relationships begins.  

It’s like with Handsome and me.  When he first brought me home from the pound, he was thrilled with everything about me.  “Wow she’s walking around the house!”  “Wow, she’s chewing on my finger!”  But soon it turned into him getting upset when I’d pee in the living room, or bite his ankle.  And so the training began.  Both him training me in obedience, and me training him in what I like and don’t.

So you have a new job, Danish.  You need to start “training” her!

Now I don’t mean that you should give her orders.  But it’s time for you to start letting her know that, as much as you love her, you need her to speak up more, to reach out to you more.  That when she doesn’t, you worry.  That you wonder if she feels the same things you do.

Now when you do, she might get defensive, which would be too bad, if she feels you’re accusing her of something (which you’re very much not).  But hopefully, either right away or after you calm her concerns, she’ll do two things. First, she’ll realize that what you’re saying is actually really sweet.  But second, she’ll start to speak up about herself too.  Maybe she’ll say “I love you, Danish, but I just can’t express myself the way you do.  I need you to know that I’m always thinking about you, and the little things I write you are as much as I can.”  Or perhaps she’ll say “You’re so great!  All my life, everyone’s told me to hold back and not say so much.  And you’re asking for more of me?  You’re just the best!”

I don’t know.  But what I do know is that you’re right at the stage where relationships move to becoming real, and deep, and truly beautiful. 

There’s a lovely bit in the great dog novel The Call of the Wild, that talks about a man and a dog who love each other madly.  And when the man pats the dog, the dog’s fur is too thick for him to feel the man’s hand, and the dog shows his affection by biting the man’s hand, which hurts the man a little.  But while neither feeling is “pleasant,” both recognize that the other is showing love, and so adore these gestures.

You and this lady have the potential for something like that, but way better.  You can communicate about specifics and subtleties.  (I’m just thrilled I can know such words!)

Your relationship, which was already great, is about to get way better!  Have Fun!



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