How do I open up to my girlfriend?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Eman7673, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Eman7673

    Eman7673 The Beast

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    Hey guys, I haven't been posting on here as much, but something recently happened to me where I need to find answers. I have been with my girlfriend now for four months now, I truly love her and would do anything to make her happy. After I visited her at work earlier tonight we were sitting in her car and she looked upset, so I asked her what was wrong. She told me she wasn't happy with the way things were going between us, and the major contributing factor is how I can be emotionally distant at times such as when she wants to talk about sensitive subjects (such as exes, work, the future) I tend to shift the conversation to something else or just say that I don't feel like talking about it. This is devastating and also disturbing for me to hear, since the last girl I dated (it was for 2 months but we weren't official) told me the same thing, that I was emotionally distant and unwilling to open up. My girlfriend is going on vacation for 4 days with her family (from this sunday to next wednesday) and she told me that she is going to take that time to think about our whole relationship and she wants to make sure she doesn't make a wrong decision. She has told me this before, that I need to open up to her but I guess I never did, and now this is hitting me like a ton of bricks. I plan on seeing a therapist soon to try to talk about this issue, since I act this way around others too, such as family members and friends. The fact of the matter is that deep down, I am a good person, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to make her happy and also for our relationship to work. What steps do you guys recommend I take to show her that I am really willing to change? I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read this.
     
  2. Bruticon

    Bruticon The DVJ Moderator News Staff

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    First off I have to ask how old are the both of you??? Not that the issue stims from age or anything but it will be helpful for and accuret assement. Second. What do you both do for a living?
     
  3. Nachtsider

    Nachtsider Banned

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    You need to ask yourself the following: just what is it that makes you unwilling to talk about sensitive subjects or show empathy/emotion? Once you've identified these factors, sit down with your girlfriend, disclose them to her, and pledge to her that you will do your utmost to iron them out. Not just for her sake, but for the sake of the both of you and your relationship. And make good on your promise.
     
  4. Bruticon

    Bruticon The DVJ Moderator News Staff

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    Well looks like you logged off for the night so I'm going to try a "cold" assessment. I would like to start that I am by no means a relationship expert I just have a lot of life experiences as it were. In my experience most people unwilling to open up on a personal level with their significant other is either unhappy with their current life be it with their job/job level or where they "expected" to be in life at their present age IE home ownership/married. Or like most of us in life our trust has been used and abused by others and have left us "scared as it were and unable to openly trust others with our more emotional details of our lives.

    If it is the former you need to realize that life happens. While it is great to set personal goals for one’s self you need to also realize that if you don't reach those goals in a timely fashion that you have set just look at what you have accomplished... If it is the latter then you need to realize that your current girl has done nothing to betray your trust. She should not become a casualty due to prior bad relationships. Lastly remember, you wouldn't be the person you are today... the person that your lady first fell for had it not been for your life experiences.

    I could go on and on but then I would feel like I was lecturing and I DO NOT want that to come across as my intent so I'll leave you with one last bit of advice. It may seem weird but STOP trying to make HER happy... Instead work on making yourself happy. If her happiness is directly connected to your happiness then you owe it to YOURSELF to make her happy and not the other way around if that makes since???

    And now a quote from one of my favorite Authors:
    "To love is to value. Only a rationally selfish man, a man of self-esteem, is capable of love - because he is the only man capable of holding firm, consistent, uncompromising, unbetrayed values. The man who does not value himself, cannot value anything or anyone."— Ayn Rand
     
  5. TrueNomadSkies

    TrueNomadSkies Airachnid's ratservant

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    Dammit, all of these serious & helpful replies are making it hard for me to simply post an "ask not how you can open up to your girlfriend, but how she can open up for you" joke & be on my way...
     
  6. Eman7673

    Eman7673 The Beast

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    I'll be 25 in july and she just turned 25 a month ago. She works at a salon as an assistant (shes a cosmetologist) and as a manager at the local university rec center. My degree is in health and exercise science and I should be starting a job as a personal trainer within the next two weeks.


    You are totally right, and I am praying that she takes the time to listen to me and to realize that what I am saying is that I am willing to change for the sake of our relationship, and I will do anything to make it work.
     
  7. Bruticon

    Bruticon The DVJ Moderator News Staff

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    I have to log off for the night but I sincerely hope that you are able to work through these issues as it were and have a deeper more meaningful relationship because of it.
     
  8. SkywarpsNipples

    SkywarpsNipples ホンマおもろい人やね〜

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    Skylynx says:

    [​IMG]

    On a serious note though, don't expect to change all at once. Take it in baby steps. It shows that you are at least making an effort. Like the others said, find the source of what's causing you to be this way, and what you can do to change.
     
  9. Eman7673

    Eman7673 The Beast

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    I really hope so too. I just want things to work out between us and I just hope she can see my dedication to changing for the better.
     
  10. ArmadaJetfire

    ArmadaJetfire Yamato is go! ;D

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    I think one of the things you should look at is yourself. Why dont you want to talk about exes, work, the future? Is there something there that is holding you back? Did someone burn you in the past when you opened up? These are questions you need to ask. If there is something, then that is a reason to open up to your girlfriend. Once she knows there is a root cause, she maybe more understanding and willing to work with you.
    This way you kill two birds with one stone, 1) You open your self emotionally to her, and 2) You show her you are willing to change for her.
    Best of luck!
     
  11. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    Oh good. I was worried this thread might be about pegging.
     
  12. tikgnat

    tikgnat Baweepgranaweepninnybong. TFW2005 Supporter

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    Simple solution, talk to her about subjects such as exes, work, the future?

    I think you're reading too much into it, there's nothing 'wrong' with you (bar perhaps being a little selfish in conversations) and it's not something that requires counseling or anything like that.

    Just listen more to her more, let the conversation (and indeed you time with her) flow naturally without forcing it into any particular direction. The idea that 'something is wrong with me' sounds (to me), to be a cop out if things do go wrong, ie, it wasn't my fault, my childhood made me do it.

    My two cents. Sorry.
     
  13. Eman7673

    Eman7673 The Beast

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    I hate talking about exes because in my mind, I feel that they are exes for a reason, they are out of my life and she is the only one that matters to me. She wanted me to talk about my past, I feel very uncomfortable doing so but now I realize thats one of the ways she wants me to open up to her. Talking about work is a touchy subject for me, since I just got laid off after working at my new job for less then a week, and I start a new one soon. The future always makes me nervous, since I am just out of school and now I'm in the next phase of my life and trying to make it in my field of choice.

    One reason I think I may be holding myself back is what my ex did to me. Being my first girlfriend (I was 20 at the time and was a late bloomer) I fell head over heels for her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. We were together for two years, and suddenly she tells me we need to go on a break, there were things she wanted me to change about myself and that I had to grow up and be responsible, and she promised to not leave me and that she loved me. Turns out she was actually breaking up with me and slowly cut me out of her life. In a panic, I trusted one of my best friends to look after her and also to tell her I was changing for the better. Turns out he started dating her behind my back and got married a year later (she broke up with me in august of '09). I was devastated, because I thought I lost the love of my life and also a very good friend, in my mind they were both treacherous and terrible. I cut them out of my life immediately, and started dating again around january of 2010. I dated a lot of girls that year (I'm really not a player, believe me) and there were only three I really liked. Two of them decided I wasn't their type, and the third I dated for two months. She broke things off by saying I wasn't opening up to her, which is coming back to haunt me now. I felt like I was trying and trying, but I guess Jenn (my gf now) wasn't happy with my efforts. I am only hoping with all my heart that she really gives me a second chance, she told me I am the best guy shes ever met and that she hasn't felt this way with anyone else. I told Jenn what happened with my ex, and that she makes me happy every single day (which is the honest truth). I guess I just didn't realize what I was doing to her, I really want to share everything in my life with her, all of the ups and downs. Now I realize what she meant by me not opening up enough. I plan on giving her some space for the next few days, and telling her face to face on either friday or saturday that I realize what I need to do to change for the better, and I really hope she takes that to heart because its the honest truth.
     
  14. ArmadaJetfire

    ArmadaJetfire Yamato is go! ;D

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    Tell her this :)  This is what she may be what she wants to hear. Talking to her about these thing will show her you trust her enough to open your self up.
    The fact you are seeking advice (Even from a toy forum where most of the advice is "stick in her pooper :p ) shows that you are willing to make a change to make the relationship work.
    Agian, I wish you the best of luck! Dont get down on yourself. Stay strong bro!
    PS - If I implied there a problem with you, I'm sorry that wasnt my intention, I just ment to see if there are any events in your past which might be holding you back :thumbs2: 
     
  15. Eman7673

    Eman7673 The Beast

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    I did tell her the story about my ex, but I need to consciously help myself by tearing down these walls I put up, I don't realize it but I feel I do that because I got hurt so badly by my ex. I just hope that Jenn sees I'm willing to make the necessary changes to beat my fear of intimacy and to share all things with her in my life, the good and the bad. Hey man no worries, we all have imperfections, and this is one of mine. Now that I realize I have a fear of intimacy I'll do anything to beat it. I'm actually going to call my longtime therapist (I haven't seen him in about 5 years) to help me get to the root of all of this. By the way its 6:30 in the morning here, I just can't bring myself to sleep. I also have the track "Destiny Awaits No One" on infinite loop, its from the Soul Calibur V soundtrack. Its helping me cope with what I'm feeling.
     
  16. KA

    KA Well-Known Member

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    Telling her ur seeing a therapist to help u open up is a good step in showing ur willing to accomodate her needs. But u are who u are and the whole touchy feely thing may not be ur thing (u might improve but i doubt u will suddenly be all new agey) n shes got to come around to ur limitations n work with it if she genuinely likes u. Its great ur open to improving urself but dont others make u feel bad abt urself.

    The greeeeeeaaateeest love of aaaaaaallll
    Is happening to meeeeee
     
  17. thenatureboywoo

    thenatureboywoo Veteran

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    You can't be afraid to share your most intimate thoughts. Be completely open to one another. This is a desire in my with my wife. For a lot of time I was being a man. And men shouldn't have feelings and fears. I wish I had that now, and its growing and taking time to get there, but it's getting there.

    I also noticed you said you'd do anything. Then do it. Be completely selfless. The greatest relationship killers are peoples selfishness's. In the modern era especially with the advent of reality TV and wanting to be famous and having everything be about me, it is hard to be selfless. I know it maybe something not seen anymore, but so are marriages that last. There may be a link between the two.
     
  18. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Your therapist is probably going to be able to help more than the posts here, I'd wager, but still...

    Have you told your girlfriend everything you've been posting in the thread? Even if you don't know HOW to be open with her yet, have you tried to explain exactly why it's difficult for you, and what your thought process is that prevents the kind of emotional intimacy she's looking for?

    I wish I had better advice for you, best I can give is that relationships are about trust, it's one of their most important features. Often, we're afraid to talk about the deeper parts of our emotions and thoughts, because doing so makes us vulnerable to emotional hurt at that person's hands (or at least we feel like we will be) or because we fear that the emotions we have will diminish us (in terms of our mystique, masculinity, or whatever other facade we've bought into and built up around ourselves) in their eyes. But at the same time, we need that kind of information and knowledge about the inner workings of a person in order to build a deep connection with them. That's why she wants to know about your past: She wants to know what made you into the person you are now, and the kinds of important personal decisions you've made before she entered your life. If she doesn't feel like that trust is there, or that it's one-sided, it throws a roadblock into the relationship and she may feel like it can't progress any farther, or worse, she may lose trust in you ("Is he hiding something?" "Is he keeping me at a distance for a reason?" "If he doesn't open up to me, is there someone else that he IS opening up to?").

    Suggestions? Again, I wish I had better advice. Hopefully your therapist can give you some good insight, but other than that? Maybe keep a journal of your thoughts and feelings, and then give her access to that journal? Maybe some sort of a quid-pro-quo situation where you both divulge information about the same subject to eachother? I think the key is going to be taking off the armor gradually, coming out of your shell bit by bit, even if it requires patience on her part and discomfort on yours. It may come to a point where you'll have to just put stuff out in the open, no matter how much you don't want to, if you want to hold onto her, but I hope it doesn't come to that. The main point is that you're going to have to WANT to open up on an ongoing basis, not because you think you have to or are being forced to, but because you sincerely want to bring this person into the core of your emotional life.
     
  19. Knightdramon

    Knightdramon Hasbro LIES to the US

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    Going to a therapist is a bit extremist in my opinion. Everything these days has to have a specialist look into it, even our emotional burdens?

    I had some similar trouble with my ex and went through more or less the same conversations as you did.

    You do need to open up, even if some stuff BORE you [feels like I'm talking to myself] to death. Perhaps somewhere you'll find something to cling on to and actually have fun with this "ordeal".

    One thing though, I'd advise against going the "Ex boyfriend\girlfriend" route. Sure once in a while you should and could talk about a horrible thing your ex\her ex has done, or how you had a great time with your ex\her ex at that place, but more than often these type of talks breed insecurity and competition where and when there should be none.

    Because sooner or later, depending on the individual, the 'that day we went to the movies on this theatre' climaxes at 'and ended up having passionate intercourse on the table my mother has at her backyard' and so on.

    :banghead: 
     
  20. John_Force

    John_Force 16xNHRA Funny Car Champ TFW2005 Supporter

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    Honestly, if you go to a therapist and mention to your girlfriend/fiance/whatever, that you saw a therapist, your going to seem weak in her eyes. The number one thing in marriage that has been stressed by god-knows-how-many therapists and coaches is communication. Sit down with your friend and let yourself be her sounding board. It's either you let her get it off her chest or it's going to build and build down the road until she can't take your withdrawn, non-communicative nature. Again, I don't claim to be a expert. Just my 2 cents, for what it's worth.
     

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