How to Express Feelings

how to express feelings

Do you need some help learning how to express feelings to your boyfriend or girlfriend? Check out this advice from our dating coach.

Learn How to Express Feelings

Reader Question

How do I express my feelings to my boyfriend?-- Contributed by: nikka

Expert Reply

Dear Nikka,

Usually, when couples talk about 'sharing feelings' they are referring to talking about problems. If the only time you're sharing feelings is when there is a problem or concern; then both you and your partner will come to have a negative feeling when one of you says 'we need to have a talk'. If on the other hand, sharing feelings is a daily activity, then when it's time to have a serious talk it will be so much easier. The reason it's easier is because both of you have developed a trust in the other to express thoughts, dreams, likes and dislikes.

You can start expressing your feelings to your boyfriend today. Remember that communication is a two-way street, so don't forget to ask your boyfriend for his thoughts about his day. Make a point of talking to your boyfriend today and share something that was good or positive. This can be anything from how much you enjoyed being with a friend, talking to your mom or some other good thing that happened to you. Then ask him about his day. Keep in mind that if your question is too general as in "How was your day?" he might have some difficulty saying much more than, "It was OK." Try asking a question that is more specific. You could say something such as, "I know that you had a meeting today with your team, what happened when you did your presentation?"

As you share your thoughts and feelings on a regular daily basis with the other, you both will develop confidence that the other person will listen, support and not make judgments. This is how you learn to trust your partner. Once you're comfortable sharing the positive, then practice sharing a fear, worry or minor concern. As each of you experience confidence sharing with the other something minor, talking about the most difficult problems will not be so hard.

~~Lori

Learning How to Talk to Your Date

Reader Question

Hey I'm a teenager who has been going out with a guy for almost five months now. We do talk but a lot of the time it seems like I can't seem to think of anything to talk to him about. Although sometimes we talk like we'd never stop. Can you suggest any ways I can improve the talking side of things??-- Contributed by: chelsea

Expert Reply

Dear Chelsea,

I am not a teenager, and yet, I just had a similar conversation with a girlfriend of mine. We were talking about how great she is at asking questions and getting her date to talk, but not so great at speaking up and sharing her own thoughts, ideas and feelings. She felt that the responsibility for these lopsided conversations rested with her date and not with her. On the contrary, I told her, she does not have to be asked to share information about herself; she simply needs to speak up and voice her thoughts, ideas, dreams, etc.

Talking in any relationship is a two-way street. It requires each person to be responsible for keeping the conversation going. Unlike my girlfriend's dilemma, I'm thinking that your concern isn't so much that the two of you don't share information about yourselves; after all sometimes we talk like we'd never stop. I'm thinking that you are basing the success of your relationship on the length of time the two of you talk. You believe that if a boyfriend and girlfriend are able to talk for long periods each time they talk, then the relationship is going great. You fear that if you end a conversation early because you can't come up with something to talk about, then your boyfriend may lose interest in you or maybe the relationship isn't so great after all.

All relationships ebb and flow. Sometimes couples can talk all night long and other times it's hard to find anything to talk about. In strong relationships, the silence can also be a signal that two people are so crazy about each other; they simply can enjoy just being together. These couples don't need words, they communicate by holding hands, smiling at each other or just listening to the sounds around them.

If you're not at the place where silence is comfortable, you can try some of these suggestions for keeping a conversation going. Play games like, fill in the blank. You make up a line and leave a word out, then your boyfriend adds the word and continues talking until he leaves a blank, at which time you fill in the word and so on. If you are together, play I spy or Simon says, or invent your own games. The point is to laugh together and enjoy the fun. The more you laugh and play together, the closer you'll feel to each other, because the two of you are sharing moments that are uniquely your own.

~~Lori

How to Express Feelings