We all have feelings, so why should it be a woman’s job to deal with them? When you’re dating a guy, you want to be able to talk to him about his emotions and you expect him to be able to express himself. If he can’t do that, you’ll lose interest real fast.
It sounds cliche, but communication really is key. Relationships take work and the basis for much of that work is being able to communicate effectively. If a guy can’t let you know how he’s feeling, the relationship is going to suffer. Period.
YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE TO GUESS WHAT HE’S FEELING. Expressing feelings should be something both partners do. It’s not up to you to try and guess what the guy is feeling at any given point. He should tell you—or at least be able to answer you when you ask him about it. You shouldn’t have to go digging just to find out how the person you’re dating feels about you, your relationship, his day, anything.
YOU CAN’T BE EXPECTED TO DO ALL THE EMOTIONAL LABOR. Feelings aren’t the woman’s domain—what is this, 1950? Everybody has feelings, so why should it be only down to you to deal with them or even discuss them? The guy you’re with should be pulling his own weight too, especially when it comes to discussing emotions.
EMOTIONAL MATURITY IS A MUST-HAVE. Being able to understand and process your feelings or at least discuss and work through them is important. People who can do that make better partners. Navigating relationships is hard enough without one side being unable to deal with their own psyche. Sure, there’s no guarantee a relationship will work no matter how emotionally mature you both are, but it does make it easier to have a conversation.
IT MAKES INTIMACY HARDER. Building emotional intimacy is practically impossible when one side refuses to acknowledge and express their own feelings. Shared vulnerability, openness and creating an emotional connection can’t really happen without both people being able to talk about how they feel.
IT TRIGGERS INSECURITIES. Not knowing how someone feels about you is going to screw with your head. Is he into me? Does he love me? Is he happy? Oh, I dunno, he never talks about his feelings! There’s lots of relationship advice out there that tells you to watch what a man does, not what he says, but frankly, that’s just enabling guys to keep being emotionally deficient. Instead of telling women to put up with men who won’t talk about their feelings, how about teaching guys to express some? Otherwise, women have to work twice as hard to get what is really a basic relationship need.
YOU DESERVE TO BE TOLD THAT YOU’RE LOVED. Everyone does. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for someone who supposedly loves you to occasionally let you know that in words. If someone struggles to do that then maybe they shouldn’t be in a relationship with you.
WE’RE IN THE 21ST CENTURY. WE HAVE THE INTERNET. THERE ARE RESOURCES. There is plenty of information and support available for guys who struggle with expressing their emotions. TV is full of shows where guys talk about their feelings, cry and generally act like mature adults. Guys who are unable to do that are simply resigned to the dated notion that feelings are something women do. It’s time to move into the present, guys. There are no excuses anymore!
IT DOESN’T MAKE HIM A BAD PERSON BUT IT DOES MEAN HE NEEDS WORK. I’ve dated guys who wouldn’t (or couldn’t) express their feelings and I don’t hate them. I do feel sorry for them, but I don’t feel that it’s my job to be their therapist or put in extra emotional labor just to make the relationship work. For one, I’m not a mental health professional. I honestly believe that guys who struggle with emotional issues should go to therapy and work on this. It’s not fair to expect me or any other woman to do this work for them.
DISCUSSING FEELINGS DOESN’T MAKE SOMEONE ANY LESS OF A MAN. Men who think that expressing their feelings hurts their masculinity are probably also into traditional gender roles and casual chauvinism. Okay, this may actually be a bit too harsh, but refusing to do the difficult work when it comes to emotions can definitely mean the guy will shy away from any other stuff he dislikes as long as the woman steps up and does it. You deserve a guy who shares all the responsibilities, including the emotional ones, a guy who doesn’t think anything is just “a man’s job” or “a woman’s job,” and a man who’s not afraid to cry.
THERE ARE GUYS OUT THERE WHO ARE OPEN ABOUT THEIR FEELINGS. I’ve been with guys who have no trouble talking about their feelings. I’ve had guys tell me they love me. I’ve seen guys cry. There are plenty of guys out there who are involved enough to be in a grown-up relationship. Being the so-called “strong and silent type” is no longer the norm, nor should it be. There’s no need to settle for someone who can’t have a serious conversation with. There’s no need to settle for someone who thinks telling you he loves you is scary and impossible because it really, truly isn’t.
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