1. It’s not the same thing as being clueless about your feelings.
On the contrary, we probably notice way more about your emotions than you realize. Our instinct it to be introspective – we’re always analyzing, always paying attention, constantly reading the situation… even if we look like we’re in our own little world.
2. Typically, we’re not as hesitant to talk about your feelings. It’s our own that we have the most trouble with.
When you’re having a hard time, we’re not going to sit you down and give you a Danny Tanner speech with cheesy Full House music playing in the background. But we take loyalty seriously. So when you’re having a rough go of it or you’re feeling alone or stressed out or overwhelmed, we’ll be there 100%, reassuring you in our own weird way that we are always there for you. But when it comes to our own vulnerabilities or difficulties, it’s a lot harder for us to put our feelings into words.
3. Being more inwardly emotional doesn’t mean we aren’t sensitive.
We have just as many insecurities, struggles, and vulnerabilities as the next person. We’re not in any way fragile, but we’re also not impervious to rejection, criticism, and self-doubt.
4. Crying is typically not the way that we show you we’re upset.
Crying still happens once in a while, but most of the time, our pain and stress and hurt just builds up in our chest. It might take you a while to figure out our ‘tell’ for when we’re sad – for some people it’s that we get really quiet, for others it’s that we have a hard time making eye contact, and for some, we hide our pain behind humor.
5. Your ability to tell when we’re hurting means more to us than you’ll ever know.
We’re used to avoiding our pain and disguising it from others, and because we don’t cry and/or get outwardly upset that often, it’s pretty easy to do so. So when we’re finally with someone who knows us well and can read us easily, as jarring as that is, it’s also an incredible relief and is something that makes us feel so much less isolated.
6. Even if we seem resistant to talk about things, sometimes we just need you to push us a little bit.
It’s not that we’re closed off or emotionally stunted. It’s just that we have a really hard time being the one to instigate a particularly sensitive conversation. It’s not in our nature, so most of the time we just need a little (or a large) nudge.
7. We’re not sappy, but that doesn’t mean we’re not romantic.
Maybe the idea of calling you ‘honey’ in front of other people makes us cringe unbearably. But we’re still romantic in our own ways – usually in the form of heartfelt and homemade gifts, surprise dates, unexpected notes we leave around for you, or anything else that’s a more subtle and private way to express our feelings for you.
8. Sometimes we show you that we care in weird (but still genuine) ways.
A cheesy post on Facebook declaring how in love we are is just not our thing. But surprising you with coffee on Saturdays or heating up your car for you in the winter or sending you a funny email at work is our way of reminding you that we’re always thinking of you and how we can make your day just a little bit better.
9. You don’t suck energy out of us – you rejuvenate us.
It may seem like talking about our feelings to you is completely exhausting and overwhelming (and it is, and we’re always excited for it to be over). But being around you and having those conversations never feels like you’re sucking the life out of us. Rather, it feels like going for a really strenuous and difficult run. We hate it the whole time and we can’t wait until it’s over, but once we get to the end, we feel lighter and better and a thousand times freer than before – and that’s because of you.
10. Even though we suck at showing it, we feel just as giddy and in love as you feel.
We’re just a lot worse at showing it, but we feel things just as strongly as you do.