When you love someone who shuts down easily, you have to give them space when they aren’t in the mood to socialize. You have to be comfortable with taking a step back and allowing them to process their feelings on their own time. You have to accept the fact that you aren’t always going to be able to make everything better with a kiss on their forehead, a bear hug, or a silly joke. You aren’t going to be able to switch their moods like a light switch, because even though they love you, sometimes your presence isn’t enough to change how they’re feeling — and you have to accept that isn’t a reflection on you or your relationship.
When you love someone who shuts down easily, you have to be respectful of their boundaries. This doesn’t mean you should feel like you need to tiptoe around them, like you cannot be yourself around them, like one wrong move will cause them to explode. It simply means that if they reveal they aren’t in the mood to be touched, you respect their wishes. If they reveal they aren’t in the mood to leave the house and socialize with a large group of people, you respect that too. You can’t pressure them to change their mind or guilt trip them into letting you do something that would make them uncomfortable in the moment. You can’t act like their emotions aren’t valid.
When you love someone who shuts down easily, you can’t shame them for clamming up on you. You can’t try to make them feel bad about how you’ve done so much for them and have been so open with them and deserve to known exactly what’s wrong right this second. You can’t give them demands. You can’t rush them to trust you. You have to be patient with them. You have to understand that they aren’t going to open up their heart too soon. They need time. They need to figure out how they’re feeling before they can even begin to try to explain it to you.
When you love someone who shuts down easily, you have to remind yourself that their behavior might not have anything to do with you. If they’re being extra quiet, it might have something to do with the way their boss treated them at work or the way a friend spoke to them or the way their own voice in the back of their head spoke to them. You can’t jump to the conclusion they’re pissed off at you. You can’t make assumptions. You have to communicate with them when they’re ready. You have to wait to hear what they have to say instead of trying to read minds.
When you love someone who shuts down easily, it can be frustrating for the both of you. But if you love this person and trust this person and want to spend forever alongside this person, and they feel the same way about you, then the work will be worth the trouble.