I’ve been going out with my boyfriend for almost a year now, and I love him so much. I think our relationship is really great and he is everything that I could ever ask for. We have almost everything in common and I know he loves me too.
I’ve always known that he’s not the romantic type but in the beginning of the relationship, he always used to say sweet things at unexpected times to give me butterflies, he used to take me out to romantic dinners, etc.
I feel like he’s just not putting as much of an effort anymore into being romantic. I feel like he’s so comfortable with me (which I obviously like), but once in a while it would be nice to feel like he still is trying to reel me in.
I’ve tried everything to keep our relationship exciting. Do you think he’s getting bored?
From what you wrote, it doesn’t sound like he’s getting bored with you or that anything is wrong or a warning sign. I think he just doesn’t know that it feels that way for you.
When I work with guys, I put it to them like this: There is no such thing as her “just knowing” how you feel or that it “should be obvious”. Truth be told, this isn’t a guy problem, it’s a human problem – it can be easy to assume that the other person knows how we feel… or should know.
So what ends up happening is the guy feels like it’s obvious that you know he loves you. I’ve heard guys say that… or that she should know already and that it would feel forced or fake if they said something that they felt was obvious.
In a weird way, to a guy it can sometimes feel more “real” when they don’t have to say anything.
I mean, think of the badass male leading roles in movies and TV shows. These are guys that just take action and they don’t have to say how they feel because it’s clear through their heroic pursuit and protection of her.
So on a subliminal level, the message is communicated to guys that the badass guy who gets all the chicks is the guy who doesn’t need to say anything. They also have gushing pussy-whipped characters that ooze with love and desperation, with communicates the message that weak, undesirable men are the ones that use words to express their interest and love.
On the other hand, it’s the movies made for women that feature dialogue-heavy leading men who may be greedy and selfish, but always eventually articulate their feelings for the woman. They exchange witty banter and express themselves through words and action.
So women see one set of images of “ideal men” and men see a different set.
Pretty much if you want bad role models for relationship, look no further than the media.
Beyond that, guys just don’t know how you feel. I’ve written this column for two and a half years and I will never claim that I know how women feel, and I also hold fast that women will never truly know what it feels like to be a man.
The best that we can do is to be as perceptive as we can be and do what we can to let the other person know how we feel. Sounds easy when I say it like that, but it takes constant vigilance to truly “see” other people and not project our own image of them over who they actually are.
Anyway, enough with the philosophy.
It sounds like you have a great relationship and that he probably would be happy to please you if he understood your experience and knew what you needed him to do.
So step 1 is realizing that it’s not that he’s doing anything wrong or intending to do anything wrong, he just doesn’t understand your experience yet. Being able to communicate with him will be easy if both you and him realize that you’re not trying to blame him or accuse him of wrongdoing.
Then step 2 is that you should let him know how things he used to say and do felt. You can just mention it offhand and phrase it in a way that says that you appreciate that side of him because most guys don’t have that ability but he does.
If you phrase it like he has a special talent or ability, he’ll want to express that side of himself with you. Guys want to be perceived as having abilities and skills. If he views communicating with you as a skill he can be proud of, he’ll want to do it more with you.
Again, most guys downplay this side of themselves or even are afraid to do it because they don’t want to come off as soft or weak.
If it’s really bothering you and you feel that he’s not getting the message, just tell him how you feel. It can help take the edge of the conversation if you say something like, “I know it sounds silly but…” or “I feel…”
How you feel is how you feel and the guy your with wants you to be happy. There’s nothing sexier than a happy woman.
Thing is, communication can get derailed if he feels like you’re blaming him or telling him that he should be doing something that he’s not. The art is in letting him know how you feel after you let him know that you’re not blaming or accusing him about something. Defenses always must be down first before any real communication can take place.
When you get down to it, relationships are as much about love as they are about enlightenment. I don’t mean that in some kind of religious or spiritual sense – I’m just saying that a large part of relationships is bringing your partner to a new place of acceptance and understanding of you, himself/herself and the world through what you share together.
If you look at any love story or romance, there is always an element of enlightenment running through it.
I was just about to publish this, but here are a few things that just about NO GUY will tell you, but I can tell you he’ll appreciate me saying it.
When we’re in a relationship, it can be easy to get comfortable. And truth be told, I know guys that have been in relationship with their girl for years and they would never leave her.