Why He Won’t Talk About His Feelings – He Doesn’t Feel Safe With You

katarina phang's unique method

So he won’t talk about his feelings and you are taking it all personal.  When you measure the success of your relationship on what he does or does not do, you won’t be happy. He sees your  requests for more of his feelings as controlling and pressure.  This doesn’t inspire him to open up more to you, but quite the opposite.  He pulls away.

Holly wrote, “Hi Katarina! A good friend of mine directed me to your site a while ago, after having some discussios with him about issues I was facing with a guy I have been dating. I’ve been reading your posts and blogs and find the information you provide is not only useful, but interesting. Your book, He’s Really That Into You, He’s Just Not Ready, seems to be a good read and information I would benefit from. But I do have a question, perhaps you can enlighten me. Is there a difference between an emotionally unavailable man and a man who has issues in expressing feelings/communicating. If so, how do you tell the difference?

He is not verbally expressive. He won’t talk about his feelings and is coupled with (what I perceive to be an issue) of him being married to his job. I think his job is safety zone for him and a distraction from reality. As if he can hide behind it. His way of showing that he cares is by paying for things. While I am appreciative of those gestures, they are usually because paying is convenient and not because he thought to do it.

It’s rather complex we met a year ago. I dated him for 8 months and then ended the relationship. I reconnected with him back in April in an attempt to revisit feelings and work on developing a better relationship. I feel like I am at a road block.

Sometimes I feel like it’s my expectations but other times I feel like expecting anything less would leave me feeling like I’ve settled.

Letting go…that is my issue. In my personal life and outside of the realm of relationships I suffer from anxiety; a huge source of that anxiety comes when I am not in control of the situation. i.e. a fear of being stuck in an elevator because I can’t control the situation to leave (in addition to being claustrophobic) …. I’m learning and you all have the pleasure of helping me grow. Please keep in mind, I’m 28 years old and am relatively new to deep, meaningful relationships. 

Our relationship wasn’t going anywhere, that’s why I ended it. There was no progress. No communication. The feelings seem to have been void. No valid efforts were made on his part to work on the relationship, even after having expressed my concerns and feelings, he still wouldn’t talk about his feelings.

Throughout our relationship he never communicated to me things that bothered him, until weeks or months later. So efforts to fix or manipulate my actions could not have been made.

I was dealing with a man who never said the words and his only action was paying for dinners or events that I had to coordinate, arrange for or plan. He actions were rarely because he initiated them. Pulling out his credit card was his way of saying he cared. Perhaps that would work with a woman who cared only about money, but that is not me.

I have been the soul initiator of most everything we’ve done. He is not a planner. I find myself taking a backseat to his job, like his job is the other girl. If I didn’t initiate conversations or activities I would rarely ever see him.

Holly, your situation can be approached from two different levels.  Number one, he’s probably the kind of guy who is not very expressive in the first place. Men in general don’t really want to talk about feelings. There are many guys like that, as we all know.  Number two, you seem to be “too expressive” for your own good too that it deters him from feeling safe and coming forward more.  The situation exacerbates in a feedback loop that creates a vicious cycle.

In other words, you haven’t leaned back enough and you probably never knew of such concept until you found me.  That’s okay because I was like that too well into my late 30’s.  This, unfortunately, is not something many modern women are naturally equipped with.
The last paragraph is very telling and this is something where many women always get stuck. You are the one wearing the pants -or wanting to wear the pants- and he isn’t responding. To you it’s the lack of progress, communication, expression of emotions on his side. You see it as he won’t talk about his feelings. He sees at as you feeling smothering and controlling.

He’s a man. He has his own life, challenges and will. He doesn’t need another mother.  And meanwhile you think you both can improve your relationship if only he would listen to you and change his ways to suit your needs so you both can ride into the sunset happily ever after….

If only you could fix him….

True?  Imagine if the tables are turned and you are constantly being told that you need fixing, how would you feel?

Change your approach. Be a woman. By that I mean lure with your femininity and your sweet confidence: soft on the outside but steely strong in the inside. Don’t reverse it. That’s what I see you’re doing, unfortunately.

does no contact rule work to get him backAs I always say when you base your self-worth/happiness on your expectations on what a man should or should not do, you will never be happy. It is also very controlling. You have the focus on the wrong things. The focus should be on you and how you open up to whatever the moment brings you. You invite him with your openness and your leaning back into your body and heart, not into your head.

The focus should also be on the beauty he brings into your life however small that may be. He pays for dates/everything. You should be grateful that he does. Focus on the feeling how great it is to have a man who cares enough about you he doesn’t mind paying for most dates.

Express your gratitude. Stop scrutinizing him so much on things he’s lacking. Criticism never inspires a man to do more for you, though you call it communication. It feels like criticism to him.

Focus on lack and you will see lack everywhere and lack is your reality as you invite more of it.  Focus on abundance…you know the rest.

Start from there and you will see how much he’ll change once you change yourself.  And you will know one way or another if he’s truly emotionally unavailable when you stop being so controlling.  The amount of change you will see on your partner and other people is in direct proportion to the amount of change you exert on yourself.

Accept what is. Stop needing things to be a certain way for you to be contented.

Let me take myself as an example. After my “stint” with my EUM (emotionally unavailable man), I realized how much power I have as a woman. These days, my self-confidence is unwavering. I just know I have everything that matters that makes a man hooked on me. And it all boils down to this: I don’t need him to be anything but himself. I don’t read into anything he does/doesn’t do as an affront to me personally. I assume he has the best intention in his heart. And you know what?  He proves it to me that I am right.

I assume the best and I am right. You assume the worst and you’re right as well.

It’s your choice.

I approach this VERY simply: you have a great girl that doesn’t demand anything from you. So go ahead do whatever you like, I will either take it or leave it, I will never try to change you. I don’t want a project anyway.

And acceptance is HUGE for a guy. When they feel you get them, they will do anything for you because a woman like that is RARE.

That’s all the secret I have.

My advice is just relate to him without attachment and he’s the chance to practice my tools with. He’s here for a reason: to heal you from your controlling ways.  That’s why my “training ground” principle and method cuts through the very core of your issues.  It makes you learn about yourself and heal your wounds much faster than any therapy.  And it’s even better because you have the chance to process it with the feedback of others -and under my watch- in my private group.  As one of my readers/clients who is also a member of my private group said, “I even went to therapy for a year but I have to say this has been the best therapy being in such group as this for over a year.”

My book is the primer for this very common dating situation. Your case isn’t lost. You just need to change your paradigm and approach and my book will provide an empowering perspective that helps you toward that end. Change yourself and you’ll change the world. Conquer yourself and you’ll conquer the world.

MORE: Whatever Mistake You Have Made With Your Man, You can Still Reverse It

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  • Hi Kat, I am writing you to get your opinion on my relationship. My long-term boyfriend just two nights ago told me he just wanted to be friends right now. It would be the best thing for him because he just got accepted to a new college come fall and has a lot to do to get ready for that and feels overwhelmed. I wouldn’t think just being friends would be the result of everything and if everyone was stressed in life then couples would break up. I know everyone handles life’s stresses differently and he doesn’t like to depend on people for help. I told him I want to be the last stressor and that I am here for him and I know he understands that but I know I can’t make him get a college degree. He didn’t end things for someone else or anything he just doesn’t want to be in a relationship right now. He said he still can see us together but can’t handle everything right now. He texted me yesterday and today and I told him one last long text on how I felt and that is it. I am going to tell myself to keep my distance. I know he will text me though and I guess I will respond but I won’t text him. I am hoping he will come to terms and realize how good I was to him and will want me in his life. I am just trying to stay positive because we really had something special.

    • Maura, move on….and it’s not a scary word cause moving on always works. Focus on you and he will reach out to you when he’s ready. He has a lot on his plate and validate his feelings on not wanting to be in relationship right now.

      And please read my book.

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