I am currently dating a student from China and while its almost been 6 months of dating, I’m curious about one thing and was hoping to get some advice from a married women. I’m pretty well versed in the chinese concept of hanxu (subtlety) and while my boyfriend tells me he loves me, he really doesn’t say much else in the way of expressing his feelings, I mean knowing he loves me is great but it really doesn’t go beyond that generic phrase. Have you or are you encountering that in your relationship now? And if so how do you deal with it, is it something that can be worked on?
Aili, I’ve been there.
My husband has never really said much about how he really felt — beyond, like you said, a simple “I love you.” And in the past, it worried me sometimes — to the point that I interpreted this all as a sign that “something must be wrong.”
Over the years, I’ve spent enough time in his household to realize that he grew up in a family where people don’t really show their feelings a lot. And if they wanted to express love towards someone, they sure didn’t do it through words or even physical displays of affection.
But that that doesn’t mean I don’t feel the love from him. He may be the guy who never gives me a Valentine’s Day card. But then again, he’s also the guy who loves me curves and all, who won’t let me take out the garbage or wash the dishes, who makes me breakfast on the weekends, and who always holds my bags when we go shopping together. Maybe we’re on different channels when it comes to showing love, but you might say I’ve just figured out how to “tune into his channel” so to speak.
But if that’s not your style, well, then maybe you could try to show him what you’re looking for. Tell him how you feel, send him those cards, praise him — whatever it is you hope to hear from him. It might surprise him, or even make him blush. But if it eventually gets him curious, that might lead to conversation about feelings — and how you express yours. He may or may not change, but at least he’ll start to understand where you’re coming from.
Still, I happen to think that talk about feelings is overrated. In the past, so many guys waxed poetically over how they loved this and that about me — and they all dropped me in the end. Meanwhile, I’m with the guy who still can’t put his feelings into some perfect Hallmark card.
And he’s just perfect for me.
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