Relationships and emotional bonding
From the: Ask an ISTJ relationship question thread
I would like to answer not as an ISTJ, but simply as a woman that is a bit older and has experienced some relationships:
I believe, both men and woman experience love on a very deep level, but I think that both express themselves very different. Again I have to say that I do not think that this is a type-thing, more a general man and woman thing. I have read so much about this topic and obviously a lot of women have the same problem with their men, and I don't believe all men of said men are ISTJ's.
From my experience, most of us women need constant affirmation. We need constant conversation. This is simply, because women tend to bond emotionally over talking about things that matter to them. How we see the world, how we relate to people, feelings and perspectives. The bonding happens in respect to relate to the experiences of the other person emotionally.
Example: Friend tells me that she experiences PMS as such a strong urge to kill half the human race. I can totally relate to that, thus I feel with her. Bonding done in that matter. I don't feel alone with my thoughts, I know there are others that feel the same. I am happy. Lets have another glass of wine, babe, and get down to the things that REALLY matter... 6 hours later, we are still talking about this and that and feel we are soulmates. We evaluated the similarity of our feelings towards different topics and saw, it are so similar. We are excited. And we feel we had a great day, because we did something to feel good. We bonded. BFF fo'eva!
Men don't do that (to the guys-please correct me if I'm wrong, since I am no man and please don't be offended, when I paint my picture..). Men are most likely severly autonome systems that like to keep it that way. No need for deep bonding. Why should they? They may just not need to talk everything over, relate to their feelings to feel great. Men need their space and someone who loves them as they are. They love to be loved. But they don't need to talk about it all the time. Their messaging system works entirely different than ours. Short notices. Not too emotional. Clear orders. Tasks, action rather than words to show appreciation.
Some things are physiologically brain wise. Other things come with socialization, or education. The female brain is very differently wired than the mens brain. We have, e.g. a rather emotional memory, meaning we connect events with an emotion. Thus, events are a mixture of fact and feelings. Men rather memorize only factual. The left and the right side of the female brain is connected so much more than the mens brain, which has an impact, too.
We women often want our men to be "mind-readers". Which is impossible. The same on our side, btw. When we are in contact with other women, we can easily relate to their needs and sense, which action or word is needed right now. But we apply the same to our relationships with men. We women think, we know exactely what our guy needs and wants in that moment. Wrong.
But yet we expect them to give us exactly what we need in exactly that moment. Wrong as well.
Here is, what I have figured out in my relationship: He needs a concrete message, announcement. Then he will start doing, what I want if he thinks he can do it. Other than that, I will start moping around and give him a terrible time, when he has to figure out, what I want. This is frustrating for most men. Yes, we women will have the impression: if he has to do it, its bullshit. I want him to feel, what I need and give it out of love. I want this coming straight from his heart, a severe need to tell me that right now, like the need I have! That is what we do with other women. It is not entirely applicable to relationships with men. Men do not have the need to constant express this, because they think we should know, because they said so. Men will most likely talk, when something has changed. As long as things have not changed, no need to talk. As well, men are still not educated to express theri feelings. What they have not learned to be comfortable with, they wont do. If it feels "yuk!"-'tis no good. When men get older, things get easier, when the relationship progresses, the feeling of being vulnerable will not feel as threatening as before. Give it time.
A friend of mine, with whom I had a discussion about it, said really wise words, which I keep in mind: " When we do things for you, because you need them from us, and you told us, what you need-what better evidence of love can there be? Because, if we don't want to do things- we don't do them."
Tell your guy that you need more affirmation from him. Let him show his love how he can do that best, either by words or by actions. And be content with it. Because I will predict that you will end up at the same point in every relationship after a certain time, because you simply are with a man. Relationships are forests of compromises. Compromises are necessary on our side, too. We cannot be emphatic of getting 100% of our needs fulfilled, because you would need to make the guy you are with your best girlfriend.
My man and I found a great way of getting both our needs through: I get a love letter, whenever I leave the States (LDR). Secondly, I get 10 free questions every 6 months, where I can ask him my weird questions and he really tries to answer them, which is hard, because my questions are the living hell of emotional expression for him. And we are revising our relationship once a year and see, how we have progressed, if there are things that should be changed, where we are proud of us and so on. All of this, fulfills my needs of emotional connection and his needs of space, autonomy and silence. With that concept, we have great conversations everyday, because we both know there is no pressure.
Your need of such deeply expressed emotional connection can be draining, because he might get the feeling, whatever he does, it will be never enough. The deep felt connection is there. You need to trust this. As well, I suggest to have a look onto yourself. Ask yourself, why it isn't enough, why you need so much affirmation and bonding. I suggest, revising your self image/esteem/confidence.
Sorry for the long read.