I don’t know if you’re like me but I’ve always found it difficult to express myself when it comes to my emotions and feelings; most especially in romantic relationships.
The other day, I was having a group conversation with my friends and it turns out many of us are in this boat.
We’re the ones who find it very difficult to say “I love you”, “I miss you” or anything remotely emotional.
We’re the ones who aren’t “romantic”.
We’re the ones who seem too “strong for love”.
We’re the ones whom our partners think can/should be more lovey-dovey.
As my friend said, we’re the ones whose significant other will say something cute to and we’ll reply with “ode” or “olodo”.
It’s not like we don’t want to; it’s just not the way we’re wired.
But as we discussed this further in the group, we found ourselves concluding that maybe it’s not about our natural wiring but more about our upbringing.
Raise your hand if you find it weird to be lovey-dovey with your parents. (I have both hands in the air)
Side bar: I will use a lot of “we” and “our” in this post but you can ignore me if it doesn’t apply to you; I really don’t have the intention of generalising and I know not everyone will relate.
I definitely believe that our parents just may have messed us up emotionally.
(Don’t even get me started on how we had to refrain from talking to the opposite sex for the longest time and then all of a sudden, they want you to provide a spouse. That’s not what this post is about.)
You watch American movies and you see the kid, who’s heading out to school, kiss each parent and say “love you!” and the parents say “love you more” and the kid runs to the school bus. Or the kid comes home sad with his report card and his mum says “it’s okay, honey. You’ll get ‘em next time”. Or the kid is on the football field and misses a goal but his dad screams “Good job son! Just have fun. I’m so proud of you”.
Did you guys have that?
I don’t think I did! This does not mean that I had a shitty childhood or anything.
But I think that many of us weren’t brought up around this kind of expressive emotions. I may be wrong.
Our parents expressing love meant we got a new pair of shoes as opposed to getting hugs and kisses and well-done-honey-you-were-amazing-and-I-am-so-proud-of-you.
The way we were brought up definitely instilled good behaviour in us. We had strict love; love that didn’t necessarily tell you it loved you. I think our parents were scared to spoil us. But did they show us too much strict and too little love? Just maybe.
We knew they loved us; of course they did. But we didn’t hear it so much.
I really think that this upbringing is what has affected those of us who find it hard to be expressive with our emotions in relationships – both friendships and romantic relationships.
I hope that we break the cycle and be expressive and outwardly and openly supportive and loving to our children.
Do you find it easy or difficult to express your emotions and feelings? Please share!