Medical Questions > Relationships > Dating Forum

Emotionally Unavailable Men!!!

For weeks maybe even months now, I have been telling my boyfriend that I could use a lil more attention/affection. I try to give all that can so that he can feel how much I care for him. I am a firm believer that you can't just say how you feel, you gotta show it too.
I just didn't seem to be getting any feed back on this. He isn't a dead rock when we are together or anything like that, but sometimes it feels more like a friendship than anything else. I don't ask for much and we both have things pretty financially tight so we do things that are free. We cook dinner rather than go out to dinner. I love him so much that I don't mind and also felt it helped us connect and be closer and bond.
So last night I tell him that when I come over after a few days of not seeing me, I wish he would be more enthusiastic about it. Kiss me first, don't make me ask for a kiss because I feel stupid asking for affection. I feel he shoud want to kiss me of his own free will and not have to be told.
I told him it would be nice if he would hold me, hug me, just be more tender with me instead of me feeling like just one of the guys or something. I told him that I would like to have sex more than once a month. The kids aren't an excuse because there have been plenty of nights the kids were gone to sleepovers and still no nookie for me.
He tried for an hour to name every excuse in the world and not take responsibility.
I should also mention that he was divorced two years ago because of this very issue. He admitts that he didn't give her what she needed emotionally. He never told her she looked nice, never kissed and hugged alot and told her he loved her everyday. She stayed for 15 years this way, but finally found another. She married that man who was nothing much to look at (her ex hubby and my current boyfriend is a fox) but gave her what she needed emotionally so guess what? She married him!

After about an hour of dodging the issue, he finally said that my needs were valid and he wants me to have those things, he just isn't sure how to go about giving them to me. :(
he says that he hears what I am saying and it isn't unreasonable, he just must be a messed up individual and perhaps not capable of giving those things to a woman.
My question: is it possible that some people just aren't capable of emotional bonding with thier lover or is this just an excuse?
I was thinking maybe it was just me but he says that it isn't, and his past relationships failed because of the same thing.
So basically it seems that he loves me, he just doesn't know how to show it. I frankly, have never heard of such a thing. I think when you fall in love with someone then you want to do all those things, it's not something you have to think about, you just do it. We have been together 6 months and that area of our relationship looks horrible.
Have any of you ever been where I am now?
Any advice?

I would like to offer advice for men though. Guys, if you love your lady, let her know. The little things are what mean the most. It doesn't take much to set a woman on cloud 9. If you aren't doing these things, it puts the relationship in limbo and everything is at risk. Relationships take equal effort folks! This same thing goes for women too. Success in anything takes hard work and let's face it, love is hard. That's why we need the kisses and hugs and affection to help us through and make the trouble of love worth it.
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First Helper MizzPurty28
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replied April 2nd, 2006
Experienced User
I hear every word your saying as I have been there and I had to get out of the realtionship as ultimately it wasn`t making me happy. Like you say a girl needs to feel loved even if its just a hug or kiss when you least expect it.

My ex didn`t show any affection and was even worse in front of his friends, you`d think I was from another the planet the way he treated me. I felt so lonely even when we were together and everyday I was in turmoil thinking there was something wrong with me. It got so hard that I had to leave even when I spoke to him he thought I was asking too much!
I left and since then I have loved and lost since but I know now that I couldn`t go back to a relationship like that.

I am now beginning a new relationship but its so ahard all this dating stuff, knowing what things mean and how your supposed to look desirable without needy. With my new guy I simply said from the start I love attention/ affection and he didn`t run he just said " i`ll give you all the attention you need"! You deserve the best never forget that.

I think some guys just don`t realise how much the little things mean, no money required just love. I don`t think your being unreasonable and if he truly loves you and knows where his last relationship went wrong then he really should be more attentive in this one.

Good luck
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replied April 2nd, 2006
Experienced User
Could it be that he's just not as "into you" as you would like? Maybe you are just comfortable for him. If you and he don't see each other for a week or so and you don't call him. Does he call you? Does he make any effort to let you know that you were missed during that time?

If the answer is that he doesn't, maybe you should stop contact with him til he calls you. If he doesn't call you or do something to let you know he is missing you, i'd be doen with him. There are guys out there that are very affectionate and can give you the attention you are needing in a relationship. You need to get a guy that is "into you".
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replied April 25th, 2006
I feel your pain.I stop talking to a guy in march after 2 years of knowing him.He's a great guy.I could tell him anything and he would listen but he rather not be in a committted relationship or be romantic.
So I had to finally leave.I really miss this man.I guess time will tell
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replied May 13th, 2009
But Is it selfish to want more
I have been in a similar situation for two years an I cant help but feel there is something wrong with me
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replied October 21st, 2009
EUM
He is emotionally unavailable and it is NOT you. Read up on it, it is a crazy mental thing that rips apart the unknowing woman who dates them. My advice is to ask him to get help and if he wont then leave him. He will not change.
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replied November 1st, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
He's a penis-haver. He communicates his feelings in a different way and not only is that ok but it is the only way that things can be ok. If you think about it you don't doubt that he loves you. He does things for you that he doesn't for friends, he makes sacrifices of things he enjoys for your benefit and he makes gestures to express his love for you. I know this because you wouldn't be interested in him romantically if he didn't.

If you need him to express himself in a way that isn't natural to him then you need to request it from him absolutely specifically and you need to accept that it isn't a natural expression of his feelings but something he does as a favor for you. It costs you nothing to ask for a kiss until you're refused.

When it comes to level of affection or intimacy, there is no fixing the problem. These are facets of a personality, not good or bad habits. You need to come to terms with what your partner will offer you or you need to move on to find a person who meets your needs.
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replied November 1st, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
I think you should sit down with him and have a talk about it all but in a way that doesnt start a conflict....just explain that you would like him to make more of an effort dont tell him i have needs etc because that is like telling him do it! if he thinks your asking him then he might find it in him to start showing you more affection....Jenny
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replied May 14th, 2010
I'm wondering if you are still in this relationship as this was posted so long ago, however have you considered Aspergers Syndrome..The behavioural Symptoms of what you have been through suggests this.

I am in a relationship with someone with Aspergers and it can be extremeley hard. In basic terms, and i insist you look into this.

Is when he says he isn't sure how to do certain things is NOT a lie, he may be incapable of seeing your needs loves or wants..be direct with him. seek guidance. But putting all the normal cliches aside as he may not be nto you or its a male thing. someone with aspergers will not naturally show what they feel. Even to the point that he says he loves you even if it is once, thats it, he has told you and doesn't feel he needs to keep confirming this, all the behaviours that we feel are part of normal relationships cuddles, thoughtful gestures, kisses, etc..He may hang out the washing, make the bed..and to him these are useful things that shows he loves you.

I dont know there are many aspects of Aspergers and depends on how high functioning your partner may be.

I could be completely of the wall, but I was together with my partner 5 years before he was diagnosed, and the diagnoses came after the loss of a baby. His words and lack of emotion were heartbreaking..I was told its been 2 days lets get on with it. He never cried never spent time showing grief. and felt completely out of his league when I asked for support. Its not that he did'nt want to, he literally did'nt know how too, he could not relate to my pain and was frozen as to what to do.
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replied April 5th, 2011
Experienced User
My boyfriend is exactly the same.From the beginning he was not keen on holding hands in the street, he did it for a while, but completely stopped. Hardly ever put a hand on my shoulder and NEVER kissed me properly in one year and a half. (gave me two quick kisses in all this time, but not proper ones). He was very sexual, though, and quite different between four walls.(no kissing though) Now even the sexual aspect has gone, he became really cold when he saw the danger of having to commit to me.
He became tottaly indecisive about us, started fights and tried to sabotage things, went after another woman but came back to me very soon. It was a tentative of not falling in love with me. He would write uncontable emails telling me how much he missed me and wanted me near him, however became cold and unavailable again as soon as I was near.
Going out with him was like hanging out with a friend. No touch. He told me he suffered a lot on anxiety when someone touched him, so there was nothing after some time, even though he did make an effort in the first months of our relationship. He gave up now.
This is sooooooooo distressing that I cannot cope anymore with him and his problems, his ex left him exactly because of that.
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replied December 8th, 2012
try genuinely changing your approach/tact in accordance with his tendencies and your deeper knowledge of values and priorties as a man. if they don't match, best consider entertaining the idea of other options, even if solely for the sake of doing so to playfully and harmlessly distract you for a bit. it will level your head and give you the a most certain opportunity to game a touch of leverage if needed once his he starts wondering where your attention has been diverted to, and how, if applicable he compares. eventually his narcissism will fail him and you'll find the proverbial ball in your court. act natural and keep your attention diverted elsewhere. careful not to be obivous though. those worth their salt and see right through unconfident ocular twitches and the female tendency to want to resolve issues in the here and now, not letting them marinade. hope this helps.

-rambling vacancy
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