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How to be better at communicating and putting more effort into the relationship?

Hi I have been with my boyfriend for a little more than 4 months now and known each others for 8 months since we work together. I'm 22 and he is 29 and my first relationship while I'm not and he has a lot more experience than me. So I'm inexperienced in several areas but gained a lot more experience during the time we spent together. Sometimes though I feel like I'm not enough and don't give enough back which is true from what he told me. I also feel like the communication between us can be a problem at times and it feels like it's my fault even if I'm trying.

We share more differences than similarities I think and I sometimes feel tense around him and get an uncomfortable feeling which me makes me freeze and act awkward. It can be a little hard to find things to talk about and at times my mind can just go blank. He also joking around a lot more while I'm not. I wish I could just relax more and be more myself all the time but then I also wonder how I am as myself. I'm not really sure who I am.

He have said that I'm more than enough but I get that feeling that I'm not sometimes and that my personality needs be adjusted a little bit. He have said that he wants me for who I am and nothing else. But why do I still not feel fully accepted? I'm a naturally introverted and shy girl which is something new for him. I'm also diagnosed with Autism which have made social situations a lot harder for me. I shouldn't use it as an excuse but then I can understand more about why I act in a certain way sometimes. I tried to put in more effort but still it doesn't feel enough.

Re: How to be better at communicating and putting more effort into the relationship?

It sounds like you don't have a lot of experience dating, and this new relationship feels a little burdensome because you want things to go a particular way, so when they don't, you freeze up. Relax. And remember -- it takes different people different amounts of time to loosen up. I think that the more dating experience you have, the more relaxed you'll become -- which is very natural. ;) Also, you've only been dating each other for four months, so you're still getting to know each other. Lots of people put too much pressure on the relationship to work out, too early. Instead, it's a lot healthier to hang back and just see if you like each other and see if you're comfortable together, and simply see if you want to continue dating each other. You don't have to commit to anything and try to make it work this early in the game. In fact this may not be a match and what you're feeling is incompatibility -- not anything that's wrong with you. ;) And if you don't have the same feelings he does, at the same time, that's okay. :) Rarely do people feel the same way at the same time, so try and see this guy as someone you're dating -- not a boyfriend who you might feel you have to get along with and have to do boyfriend things with. Instead, change your perspective and just try and get to know him and decide if you want to continue dating him or not. Basically, it's going to make you feel a lot better if you take the pressure off, and just try to enjoy each day, rather than press for some perfect relationship with someone you don't know that well yet. ;)
April Masini is a relationship and etiquette expert, author of 4 books and the #1 relationship advice forum, blue-chip corporate spokesperson and preferred go-to source for the world’s most prominent media and news outlets.