“He doesn’t express his feelings for me. I feel like he doesn’t care!”
I can tell you with certainty that you’re not the only woman who feels like this. Men usually tend to avoid talking about their feelings and it only gets worse as time progresses.
Sometimes, when trying to win you over, he shows you a side of him that says he’s very in tune with his emotions. He’s very attentive and sweet at the beginning – even to the point where you start to think that he’s not anything like other men.
But after a while, you start to see that he’s just as emotionally constipated as all the other guys. He doesn’t have the vocabulary to express his emotions and it starts to irritate you.
The problem is, you start to think that you’re the problem. What if you’re just coming off as too strong? What if he’s trying to convey a message with his lack of emotional intimacy, but you’re just too blind to see it?
This is a genuine fear that you can’t ignore. It’s not that easy.
When he doesn’t express his feelings for you, it seems as if he’s trying to avoid something. It makes you feel like you shouldn’t talk about your feelings either. You want to believe that he’s still serious about you, but he becomes so agitated whenever you try to talk about emotions.
Why is he acting like this? And can you do anything about it?
Why doesn’t he express his feelings for me?
There are many reasons men don’t express their feelings. Of course, there’s no universal reason for their behavior and we can’t put every man in this world into one mold. But there are a couple of possible explanations.
He could have his own unique reasoning that you won’t understand unless you sit down and genuinely talk to him. You need to be open-minded about this and not ignore his behavior.
We’ll help you understand how the mind of a man works and why he’s staying quiet even if his heart is screaming at him to tell you all of his feelings.
1. He’s afraid of saying something wrong
Men believe that talking about their feelings may get them into trouble. Women know exactly what to say to convey their feelings without giving a window into their minds. It seems so effortless to them.
But he probably said something once that made a woman ask too many questions afterward. He became vulnerable and the woman just started to dig up his trauma. That was not a fun experience.
He may not be expressing his feelings for you simply because he’s petrified of saying something wrong. His mind is probably asking way too many questions at this point.
He wonders what would happen if he opened up. Will you get scared? Will you run away?
What if you don’t reciprocate his feelings? What if you’re more invested than he is? Are you going to leave him?
All these fears are valid and he needs to understand that you’re not going to scrutinize him or humiliate him for feeling the way he does.
2. He expresses through actions, not words
We’ve talked about love languages a couple of times. People express their feelings in different ways and through different things. His love language explains the way he receives and understands love, as well as the way he shows it to others.
Maybe you just don’t understand love in the same way he does?
Watch the way he acts around you. Does he do things for you, like always picking you up whenever you have to go somewhere? Does he make sure that you always have fresh coffee ready? Is he the type of guy who loves to cuddle more than anything?
Just because he doesn’t say it outright, doesn’t mean that he’s hiding his emotions.
If your love language is words of affirmation and he uses acts of service or physical touch, then you could simply be confusing his lack of words for indifference.
He may be showing you love through other things.
For example, if he makes sure to always bring you little trinkets or gifts, then his love language could be giving/receiving gifts. You may not think that gifts are that important, but to him, they’re the best way of showing love.
You just have a different idea of how to express feelings. It doesn’t mean that he’s not trying to show you his love, but just that you don’t see it the way he does.
3. He’s afraid you may make fun of him
It’s said that the biggest fear for men is that a woman may laugh at them. Sounds weird, but it’s true. There’s been an entire survey done on this topic.
He’s scared that you may laugh in his face for expressing his feelings to you. Why?
Well, he could be unable to express them in a way that you understand or he could make a fool of himself by being the only one to feel this way.
When a man says that he loves you without getting the same response from you, it’s understandable for him to feel embarrassed. It probably wasn’t your intention, but that doesn’t matter to him.
He would feel like he lost you because he could never look at you and not think of the moment you laughed at him. Men can’t handle being made fun of, so they’ll resent you for it.
Ask yourself if you’ve ever made him feel embarrassed when showing you his vulnerable side. If you have, you might want to improve that or you’ll never hear a word about what he feels for you.
4. He thinks it’s pointless
This is quite common with men who take their girlfriend for granted after a while. Did he act differently at the beginning of your relationship? Was he open about his feelings just to one day shut down completely?
Well, it could be because he feels like it’s pointless.
I’ll tell you, I’ve been through this. I asked myself why he doesn’t express his feelings for me and when I eventually asked him, it broke my heart.
He said he told me once that he was into me and that there’s no reason why he should do it over and over again. My now ex-boyfriend said that he shouldn’t have to remind me that he loves me if he said it once.
Heartbroken, I said that he can’t just think that I feel loved because of that one time when he said that he loved me. But he was sure to defend himself and say that my needs were absurd.
If your boyfriend is just like this, then I’m so extremely sorry. I know exactly how you feel and you definitely deserve better.
5. He doesn’t know how to
Men aren’t really taught to express their feelings as efficiently as women do. They’re taught to show emotions like happiness and anger, but feelings like love and sadness aren’t really in their emotional vocabulary.
You should cut him some slack. If he says something as simple as “I like you” or “I love you,” it should be enough for the time being. Don’t force him to say anything that he doesn’t feel comfortable expressing right now.
Instead, be patient with him. He’s probably doing his best.
You can see that he’s struggling because he always seems so uncomfortable. He stumbles over his own words and may even start to shake if you don’t quickly change the subject. You can even admit that you’ve seen the way he tries to avoid your gaze.
It’s awkward for him to explains the way he feels when he doesn’t know the words he needs to use for that.
Does he even know which emotions he’s experiencing? Does he know what love and affection feel like?
6. He wants to feel masculine
Society has told men that in order for them to be seen as masculine, they have to always be rational. He won’t feel like a real man if he becomes vulnerable and shows his sensitive side.
He’ll even think of himself as inferior just for experiencing emotions such as sadness or love. Affection doesn’t come naturally to him, because it just turns into a chain-reaction of emotions until it snowballs into anger and frustration.
I mean, he’s a man – how is he supposed to feel empathy and love toward anyone?
This is an extremely toxic trait most men possess. On a good day, you may see him exhibit some type of feeling, but it’s mostly cold rationality that you’re dealing with.
His toxic masculinity may even make him frustrated whenever you try to talk to him about your feelings. It seems as though he’s avoiding it and completely shutting you off. You’re a woman, so in his eyes you’re overly emotional as it is.
Other times, it’ll be okay to see emotions coming from you. You have the right to express them, but according to what he’s taught, he doesn’t.
7. His friends affect his behavior
When you’re asking yourself “Why doesn’t he express his feelings towards me?” you may want to look at the way his friends act.
Does he have a friend group of men filled with toxic masculinity? Do his friends make fun of him whenever he hugs and kisses you in front of them?
I know that it seems bizarre because his friends are in extremely toxic relationships themselves and their opinion shouldn’t matter at all. But men place too much importance on the judgment of their friends.
You’ll know that this is the case if you’re no stranger to always coming second to his mates. You could beg him to stay home with you, but if the boys are watching a game, he has to be there.
This just obviously means that they’re more important to him than you are. Their thoughts and opinions of him matter more than how you may feel about him.
If you’re not sure, watch how he reacts to any sign of love and emotion coming from you when you’re around his friends. If he gets uncomfortable and starts to look at them for affirmation or disapproval, you’ll know what you’re dealing with.
8. He simply doesn’t think about it
Feelings don’t really come naturally to men who’ve never learned how to experience and express them properly. He may not even think about them.
In his mind, the fact that he’s there with you is proof enough that he loves you. What else could you be asking for?
I mean, that’s not to say that you don’t have a right to your own wants and needs. You should be able to receive all the validation you need from your partner.
But when he doesn’t express his feelings for you, it’s quite possible that he’s not even giving them a thought. He would have to think about them for long enough to realize what he’s actually experiencing.
To him that sounds like a lot of work. So he simply doesn’t make that effort.
I guess you could say that he never had to think about his feelings nor analyze them before he met you. It’s sad, but nonetheless a possibility.
What can I do when he doesn’t express his feelings for me?
Now that we’ve listed all the possible reasons for his behavior, we might as well make sure that you do something about it.
Whatever the reasoning may be, you’ll then be able to work through it. If he’s not willing to listen or put the needed effort into making things better, then I guess you can decide to walk away from him.
I mean, who would want to be with a man who plays down his emotions as unimportant? Or a man who believes that being emotional means being less masculine?
Men like that need therapy.
However, if he’s a kind man who simply wants to break down this barrier between him and his feelings, then you can try to help him and love him through this.
1. Create a safe space
The first thing you need to do is create a safe space for him. When he doesn’t express his feelings for you, he’s probably holding back because he doesn’t feel like he has the space to be more sensitive.
You can create that positive and understanding atmosphere for him by simply being encouraging and understanding of his needs. Ask him questions on a daily basis. Show him that you’ll listen to the things that he has to say without making him feel like it’s all for nothing.
Encourage him by talking about your own feelings. Show him that it’s not as scary as he thinks it is.
It may be scary for you as well. You’ll feel like you shouldn’t have to try so hard to make someone tell you that they love you, but sometimes people are scared to start. You’ll have to take the first few steps.
Tell him how you feel about him. Be honest and genuine.
If he’s the type of guy who’s worth a shot, he’ll understand you and try harder for you. If he makes you feel bad for feeling the way you do, then he definitely doesn’t even deserve your efforts.
2. Read his body language
Women have been taught how to read the mood in the room as well as notice the small details in someone’s body language. Even if you do it subconsciously, you can still see it clearly.
When he’s under stress or has a lot on his plate, you can’t really expect from him to tell you how he feels. He’ll only get agitated and you won’t get anything out of him. Instead of making him more upset, you should try to understand where he’s coming from.
If you’re not able to be there for him in that particular moment, then take a few steps back. But don’t probe into his private thoughts.
You can see that he’s not open for communication when he starts to withdraw physically from you. If that tells you anything, then it’s that it’s not the right time to start a serious conversation about feelings.
3. Show appreciation for his efforts
This may sound silly, but men really do need to hear things come from your own mouth. You can’t just get stuck on the thought of “He doesn’t express his feelings for me!” and wait for everything to change by itself.
You’ll have to show your appreciation for his efforts. This also means that you’ll have to praise him for every time you see progress. It’ll make you feel like you’re talking to a toddler at times, but he needs that affirmation.
This way, he’ll know that you see how much he’s trying to change for you. If he doesn’t get that, then he’ll end up turning in on himself. He’ll withdraw even further and it’ll become harder and harder to get to him.
That’s why you need a lot of patience and understanding.
But it’ll definitely be more motivating for him to get that validation from you than when you just ignore his efforts and pretend like it’s a given.
4. Never assume, always ask
You can read his body language to see if he’s too stressed to talk about his feelings, but you should never assume how he feels. Especially how he feels about you.
His feelings might express themselves as something completely different from what you believe. That’s what happens when emotions are a part of a chained reaction. Sometimes, your anger can turn into sadness involuntarily. Other times, love can turn into frustration.
I know that it sounds bizarre, but it’s a real thing. And because of this, it’s always best to ask him what he’s feeling.
At one point, he won’t have the words to express his emotions, but you need to dig deeper and ask more questions. He may get agitated with this method, but you need to try it out.
For a moment, let him think about his feelings. Let him experience his emotions fully and let him make an effort. I can promise you that the results will be worth it.
That said, if he’s the type of guy who gets aggressive and doesn’t even bother to try, then he’s a lost cause. You’re not obligated to stick around and love an emotionally unavailable man who has the emotional intelligence of an infant.
5. Be direct about your own wants and needs
The most important thing here is that you’re completely honest with your own wants and needs. You can cry about the fact that he doesn’t express his feelings for you, but to me, the biggest thing is that you take care of yourself.
When he tries so hard to convince you that emotions aren’t that important, you may start to believe he’s right. But that doesn’t change the fact that he makes you question yourself.
He makes you think that you’re the problem, that you’re the one who can’t understand him. This only makes you resent him.
Slowly but surely, you’ll start to fall out of love with him without even noticing. Or you’ll start to fall out of love with yourself because he’ll convince you that there must be something wrong with you.
You need to understand that you’re not the problem. You’re the person who’s trying so hard to understand him and be there for him.
But you need to realize that relationships are a two-way street. You have to make sure that your needs are met as well.
You have to get your needs met in a romantic relationship if you want to be able to love someone fully. So you can’t just be so dependent on him and blinded by him that it all turns into a toxic relationship.
If he’s not able to give you the affirmation you need and express his feelings for you, then I truly do believe that he’s not the right guy for you. There’s someone out there who’ll be more than happy to remind you all the time just how much he loves you.