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No matter how great your relationship is, understanding your boyfriend (and getting him to understand you) might come as a challenge. If you’re struggling to understand how your boyfriend thinks or why he does what he does, don’t worry—you’re definitely not alone. We’ve gathered all the tips you’ll need to express your emotions and talk with your boyfriend to better understand where he’s coming from.

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Learn his strengths and weaknesses.

  1. Your boyfriend is good at some things but bad at others. We’re all humans, and we all have flaws. Keep a running tally of what your boyfriend is good at in the relationship and also what he struggles with. That way, you can anticipate some of the issues that might come up in the future and understand why they’re happening.[1]
    • For instance, maybe your boyfriend is really good at texting back quickly, making plans and sticking to them, and remembering little things about you.
    • However, he might be bad at talking about his emotions, processing anger, or making rational decisions when he’s upset.
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Find out about his values and belief system.

  1. Ask your boyfriend what’s important to him to see where he’s coming from. For instance, if he grew up religious, he might still value that belief system. Or, he might just have a strong sense of morals and the greater good. If you know his background a little more, you can start to understand what he’s thinking and why he has certain opinions about his life.[2]
    • You can bring this up by saying something like, "I’d love to learn more about your values. What’s something you feel really strongly about?"

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Take note of his body language.

  1. If your boyfriend is a man of few words, his body can tell the story. When your boyfriend is upset, he might slouch his posture or cross his arms. When he’s angry, he might ball up his fists or frown. You can learn a lot about your boyfriend just by watching him react to things—over time, you can anticipate his mood based on his body language.[3]
    • If he’s feeling relaxed or casual, he might lean back in his seat and let his arms hang by his sides.
    • If he’s sad, he might look down or turn away from you.
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Keep an open line of communication.

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Understand your own feelings.

  1. For communication to work, you need to understand your own emotions. Before you bring something up with your BF, sit down and really figure out how you feel. That way, you can more accurately convey what you’re feeling and what needs to happen next so there’s less confusion.[5]
    • For instance, if you’re mad at your boyfriend, why are you feeling that way? Maybe he hasn’t put in enough effort to see you lately, so you might request that he makes you a priority.
    • If you’re feeling hurt, why is that? Maybe you feel like your boyfriend is being a little too flirty with other people, so you need to discuss the boundaries of your relationship again.
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Cool down before you two talk.

  1. If you’re feeling mad or upset, you might not have a productive conversation. Make sure the both of you are feeling cool, calm, and collected before you sit down to have a chat. Pick a quiet time when you two can talk privately without being stressed.[6]

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Rephrase what he says to you.

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Write down your feelings if you have a hard time talking.

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Give him the benefit of the doubt.

  1. Assume that your boyfriend is trying just as hard in the relationship as you are. Remember that he’s your boyfriend, and he probably wants the best for you. Instead of jumping to conclusions or assuming that he’s being difficult on purpose, give him the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he’s trying his best. Even if his communication style is a little off or you don’t quite understand what he’s trying to say, he’s probably doing the best he can.[11]
    • Having sympathy for your partner and assuming the best about them will make you feel more compassionate toward them, which can lead to less anger and frustration.

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Respect any differences you might have.

  1. You and your boyfriend aren’t the same person, and that’s okay. It’s totally fine to have different opinions on things as long as you two respect each other. Don’t expect your boyfriend to change anything he feels strongly about, and try to see where he’s coming from, at least a little bit.[12]
    • You can handle these situations by saying something like, "I can see you feel strongly about this issue, and so do I. Why don’t we agree to disagree for now?"
    • It is possible to have a relationship with someone when you disagree on big subjects, like politics or religion. You may just have to work a little harder to respect each other’s opinions.
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Compromise with him.

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Get an outside perspective.

  1. Ask a friend or family member for their unbiased opinion. If you’re feeling confused about something your boyfriend has said or done, try chatting with a loved one who will give you some advice. Try not to talk badly about your boyfriend (since that might make him feel pretty down), but talk to someone you trust. That way, you can talk things through with someone if you’re feeling stuck.[14]
    • If you do chat with someone about your relationship, make sure to keep things respectful, and let them know how great your boyfriend is, too.
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Community Q&A

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  • Question
    How do I emotionally support my partner?
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Elvina Lui is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationship counseling based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Elvina received her Masters in Counseling from Western Seminary in 2007 and trained under the Asian Family Institute in San Francisco and the New Life Community Services in Santa Cruz. She has over 13 years of counseling experience and is trained in the harm reduction model.
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Expert Answer
    Make them feel safe by validating their feelings. If you have to give negative feedback, do it from a place of empathy rather than criticism, so they know you're on their side.
  • Question
    How can I be a good girlfriend to my boyfriend?
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Elvina Lui is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationship counseling based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Elvina received her Masters in Counseling from Western Seminary in 2007 and trained under the Asian Family Institute in San Francisco and the New Life Community Services in Santa Cruz. She has over 13 years of counseling experience and is trained in the harm reduction model.
    Elvina Lui, MFT
    Marriage & Family Therapist
    Expert Answer
    Show him that he can depend on you. Males have higher expectations around this—it's just how the male brain works. This doesn't mean being perfect; but, if you did do something that let him down, tell him you are sorry. This isn't about giving him power over you, but rather showing him that he can count on you for even the little things.
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      About This Article

      Elvina Lui, MFT
      Co-authored by:
      Marriage & Family Therapist
      This article was co-authored by Elvina Lui, MFT and by wikiHow staff writer, Hannah Madden. Elvina Lui is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in relationship counseling based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Elvina received her Masters in Counseling from Western Seminary in 2007 and trained under the Asian Family Institute in San Francisco and the New Life Community Services in Santa Cruz. She has over 13 years of counseling experience and is trained in the harm reduction model. This article has been viewed 3,110 times.
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      Co-authors: 6
      Updated: February 4, 2022
      Views: 3,110
      Categories: Dating
      Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 3,110 times.

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