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Is He Not Opening Up To You?

Updated on October 27, 2014
Miss-Adventures profile image

My passion is writing about love, sex, dating, and relationships. I write based on my own personal experiences and those that I relate to.

Whether it's about the feelings he is (or isn't) developing—love, future, or something difficult going on in his life. Work, financial stresses, parenting stuff, etc., expressing how he is feeling—can be viewed as a weakness, at least by him, causing him to emotionally shut down and push you away. If a guy cannot open up to you, getting close to him becomes more difficult and moving the relationship to the next level can become impossible.

First of all, it is not weak to express your feelings. It takes courage, strength and trust to be able to talk about difficult situations. Secondly, a true test of any relationship is how the other person deals with what you are sharing. Are they supportive? Are they there for you, or do they judge you and run away?

It is important for a guy to learn to express how he is feeling in order for a relationship to grow. If a guy in unable to share, it can create an uncomfortable distance between the two of you and make you feel self-conscience in continuing to share yourself with him.

How can you connect with a guy who will not open up to you? Opening up = Trust. If a guy cannot open up, could it mean he doesn't trust you? If he does not trust you, how could you ever imagine a future together? If he won't talk about the things that are important and meaningful to him, is this a hint that he may not see you in his future?

Men are different from women. Women share how they are feeling with each other, which in turn, makes it easier for us to express how we are feeling with men. Most men do not express how they are feeling with other men—they will keep their feelings bottled up inside—believing that in time they will figure out things on their own. Many times, if he is unable to share with his close friends, he is also unable to share with you. This can be frustrating, especially if you have opened up about private things going on in your life and he has not. Is this a red flag? It's hard to say...

Depending on how long you have been in a relationship with a guy can determine if his inability to share his feelings with you is, or could potentially be, a Red Flag.

If you have only been together for a few weeks or a couple of months, I wouldn't necessarily hit the panic button or throw in the towel just yet—the relationship is still blossoming, and just like falling in love, these things can sometimes take more time than you actually realize. However, if you have been together for several months or longer—and have told each other, "I love you," and he is still unable to open up to you about anything challenging going on in his life or something weighing on his mind—then yes, this could be an icky preview of his inability to fully let you into his life. This could potentially lead to continual disconnect, distance and heartbreak.

Trust me, being vulnerable is a scary feeling. No one likes to feel vulnerable. It is hard to fully open up and trust that you won't be judged by what you are sharing. That your private conversations won't be talked about with other people, or potentially cause your relationship to end. However, wouldn't you want to know sooner, other than later, if the person you are sharing intimate feelings with, can handle and accept what you are sharing? Will they still want to be with you, once you have opened up?

Not all men are great at communicating. Lack of communication can be due to upbringing, age or maturity level. Complaining about something can be easier for a man, versus communicating feelings—which can seem foreign and unnatural.

A guy can complain about the frustrations he's having with his ex. Complain about the stress he's feeling from his job. Complain about his kid being difficult. Through all of these complaints, he will be unwilling to fully communicate exactly what's going on. Behavior like this can cause it to be difficult to connect and sympathize on an emotional level when it's only surface—no details. When you can't sympathize, the bitching then becomes annoying—making you roll your eyes, and mentally shut down. There is a huge difference between sharing something difficult or challenging, versus consistent whining and complaining.

I once dated a guy who went from sexy to unattractive by the way he dealt with his issues. After a month of dating he opened up to me about problems he was having with his ex-wife—involving his children. Hearing him open up to me, definitely made me feel closer to him. Yay....our relationship was moving in the right direction.

Sadly, his sharing did not stop with just one issue he was having with his ex—it became every issue he was having with her. Time spent together that should have been about us, would turn into a bitch fest about his ex-wife. Each and every time going forward that we would see each other, all he would talk about was his ex-wife. Ugh! Although he would consistently ask me for advice, he would never take any of my suggestions. He bitched, complained and whined so much that I felt as if I was his personal therapist. Yikes! This was definitely not what I signed up for and there were obvious unresolved feelings he still needed to deal with regarding his ex.

If a guy is sharing ex information, it's important that it doesn't take over the relationship you are trying to have with him. If he's unable to separate, he needs to see a therapist versus vomiting his issues on you each and every time you are together. Like I said, sharing is one thing, continually complaining, bitching and whining is another.

Not every guy wants to surface share or bitch. I also dated a guy who was very private regarding his life and any issues he was dealing with. He had a habit of portraying to the world that everything was great—masking the real truth in order to prevent a whirlwind of negativity from entering his life. Although I could see the reasoning behind why he would do this, it still created distance between us. I felt that he didn't trust me enough to be completely open and honest, which was very hurtful. When he finally did open up to me, which I know was extremely hard for him, it made me feel closer to him than words could describe. The more communication we had, the stronger the bond between us became.

Being able to share can also be based on his emotional maturity level. Regardless of age, I have met many men who are in their mid-thirties or older who are emotionally immature. A guy like this will shut down like a five year old kid, versus talking to you about what is really bothering him. Great! He will blame everything around him—his job stresses, his kid issues, his family stuff, in order to avoid communicating (and frankly, string you along emotionally). He is selfish and narcissistic.

When a guy has no problem telling you that he loves you or proclaiming how happy you make him, but will immediately shut down communication (and the time he spends with you) the moment an issue arises, that is a Big Red Flag. A mature man would not leave you in the dark—completely disregarding your feelings.

Ladies, a relationship can only flourish if you can both let down your walls and fully trust one another. It may be tough at times, but with the right guy, opening up is worth it. If he is having a difficult time sharing, communicate that you are there for him when he is ready to talk. If he still
can't open up to you and continually pushes you away, it may be time to give him permanent space.

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    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 2 years ago

      Voted up and useful!

      Your following statement hit the nail on the head.

      "Depending on how long you have been in a relationship with a guy can determine if his inability to share his feelings with you is, or could potentially be, a Red Flag."

      Sharing feelings oftentimes comes down to (trust) being established in a relationship. That takes time. In other instances the lack of sharing feelings is an indication that he or she doesn't really see you as being part of their "inner circle". They're just "passing through" and have no intention of building anything lasting with you. Their goal is to keep things "light" or "superficial" and just have fun together.

      Lastly there are those who fear the end of the "infatuation phase". Once you start having serious discussions, possible arguments and disagreements the bloom comes off the rose. In essence some of the "magic" or (mystery) disappears. Some people just want to try to prolong as long as possible that period of not having anything "heavy" ground the happiness they're experiencing in a (new) relationship. They see being with you as a form of "escape" from all their problems and worries.

      Sharing concerns with you essentially removes you from the list of options to (forget about them) for awhile. Naturally the longer the relationship lasts the more one should share what's on their mind and in their heart.

    • Miss-Adventures profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bailey 2 years ago from Denver

      Thank you dashingscorpio. I appreciate the Vote Up and useful.

      I feel that there are many people who "fear the end of the infatuation phase." What's interesting is that by opening up and sharing it can bring the relationship to the next level---bringing two people closer. But, there again lies the true intentions. If a does not see you long term or is wanting a future, then he will keep his distance and not share important things in his life. Instead, what he shares will be mostly superficial. :/

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • rasta1 profile image

      Marvin Parke 2 years ago from Jamaica

      I believe men are afraid of being ridiculed or criticized if they open up too soon. If a man knows that his spouse will respond positively, he will open up like a book.

    • Miss-Adventures profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bailey 2 years ago from Denver

      rasta1...very insightful. Thank you for reading and thank you for commenting.

    • realtalk247 profile image

      realtalk247 2 years ago

      Great article. While it can take men longer to open up and trust the woman they are dating, you can not create a relationship out of thin air. Fear and heart-break can play a large role in men deciding to keep their feelings and affections to themselves. Then there is a slight percentage (rare) that are hiding some deep emotional/psychological issues-beware. While you don't have to tell someone every deep dark secret since you were two you can not have an engaging "REAL" relationship when you are hiding your thoughts with someone else.

      Recently Steve Harvey radio show had a caller call in concerned about her marriage and after being married to her husband for 6 years she asked "How do I get him to open up." There is nothing healthy about that situation. You can not know or connect with someone until they let you into their world, into their life, and into their heart.

      Also beware of the 7%-10% who really hate women and see them only as vehicles for release. Their conversation and trust only exists amongst their buddies. You are only there to satisfy but never trust.

      Whatever the case may be, men don't communicate like women. However, a person that will not communicate anything over a period of time................not healthy.

    • Miss-Adventures profile image
      Author

      Stephanie Bailey 2 years ago from Denver

      Thank you realtalk 247.

      I definitely agree that "you cannot create a relationship out of thin air" and that, "you cannot engage a Real relationship when you are hiding your thoughts with someone else." Also adding to that...a relationship will not have a chance to grow and sustain by doing either of those things. :)

      Thank you so much for reading and for commenting.

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