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Author Topic: I have trouble verbalizing intimacy
Member # 96465

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Hi Scarleteen mods,

I know this area is usually about (physical) sexual issues, but I thought I'd give this a try anyway, since you guys are so good at explaining things.

I've been in a relationship with the same guy for two years (me, female, 21, him 22), and even though I feel closer to him than anyone else, I still have trouble expressing my feelings with words. He is much better in this regard, and says "I love you" and compliments me many times a day. I feel a lot more comfortable saying it only once or twice a day, and I often only say it in response because I don't want to upset him. I don't understand why I feel so weird about it though. I always mean it when I'm the first one to say it, but for some reason I often feel uncomfortable when I say it in response. Like I'm only saying it to appease him, even though it's not like I suddenly love him less.

Lately the problem has gotten worse. We're in an *almost* distance relationship. He has a full time job and I'm living with my parents about 90 miles away. I say "almost distance" because we still see each other every couple weeks. It's just not nearly as often as previously (we went to college together).

Recently, I had to essentially put my life on hold when I moved back in with my parents after graduation. All my friends, and my boyfriend, are back in NYC, and I'm home looking for a job with not much else to do (I don't even have a car). Subsequently, I've been in a pretty sour mood almost 24/7. Whenever my boyfriend calls the conversations are awkward because I don't have much to talk about.

It's worse than not having much to talk about, though. I'm not sure if this is my way of taking out my bad mood on him, but most of the time when he says "I miss you," I clam up and say nothing back. This, understandably, makes him really upset. When he asks me why I do this, I'm at a total loss for words. I can't even explain myself. I just get nervous and say nothing. I always feel bad later but at the time I panic and my mind is totally blank. I just don't know why it's so hard to say "I miss you" back. Also, I feel like I miss him more when I'm in a good mood, which is weird. It's like all the other stuff in my life that I'm upset about is overshadowing this, even though being away from him is part of all the other stuff that's making me upset.

Sometimes when we get in a fight, or I make him upset, I text him an apology. But I feel weird about only being able to explain my feelings through writing, and not verbally, AND only after the fact. Why can't I say something before it even becomes an issue?

Whenever we see each other we have a good time, but in the mean time, I can't figure out why I'm being such a jerk. Am I just immature?

Posts: 11 | From: USA | Registered: Aug 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robin Lee
Volunteer Assistant Director
Member # 90293

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HI OliveKitten,

It's not unusual for partners to have different communication styles and patterns, especially when the relationship is under stress, as it sounds like it is right now.

Do you think you could have a conversation with your boyfriend in which you lay out your feelings and experiences the way you have here?


Posts: 6066 | From: Washington DC suburbs | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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