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How to Express Your Feelings In Romantic Relationships

How to Express Your Feelings In Romantic Relationships


In this article I will describe how to talk about feelings with your romantic partner. How to express yourself in relationships and become emotionally available if you are not naturally open with your feelings.

Many men hire me after their wife has complained several times about them being emotionally shut off and want to separate. They come to me because they want to learn how to start expressing their feelings, to share their emotions and meet their wives emotional intimacy needs.

It’s not always men however, I also have women contact me because they want to know how to talk about their feelings in their relationships. Many say to me that they want to express feelings in their marriage because they know that they are hiding their feelings in their relationship and they no longer want to be not themselves. They book a series of sessions with me where we talk through how to express yourself more freely and I get them to practice with me. There are two parts to this article series on how to express feelings in romantic relationships one how to get in touch with your feelings and two how to have the conversation with someone close to you.

When one or both in a marriage bottle up their feelings, over time it will do significant damage to the relationship. Because when we hold things in that bother us, resentment builds up and builds up until a person explodes and does or says something extremely detrimental to the marriage. So learning how to express your feelings is key.

In fact over 50% of the people who come to me for anger management counselling have been bottling everything up for years and then like a pressure cooker find themselves exploding and blowing their top off. They get so worked up they shock those around them and themselves. Others that come for anger management treatment do so because they are constantly angry and they too can also benefit from learning to tap into expressing their true feelings and emotions beneath and besides anger. As often anger is a mask, so whilst people with anger often believe they are expressing themselves daily every day time they get angry, they aren’t, as what lies beneath the anger is hurt, regret, disappointment, fear and anxiety. This is not expressed only anger is and so the relationship is full of aggression and conflict where differences do not get resolved because the real issues are not being expressed and dealt with, if that makes sense?

So I am going to give you a few of the tips that I share with those who hire me to have happier and healthier relationships. As expressing feelings in a safe way can lead to feeling closer and benefits therefore benefits the relationship; especially when you express love, appreciation, joy, admiration and kindness. If you’re someone who is used to holding your emotions in then you are probably reading thinking yes Nicola, this is easier said than done so I hope this helps you do get in touch with me if you have any questions.

How to Express and Talk About Your Feelings In Relationships

1 Go Within First

It is important before you express your feelings to create some time to pause and go within. Sit quietly somewhere for a few minutes and ask yourself “what am I really feeling” and “where do I feel this in my body.”

2, Acknowledge Your Feelings By Stating

“I Feel…”

The most reliable way to express your feelings is to say “I feel…” Filling in the blank then with a feeling-word, that is, a word such as confused, hurt, worried. If you’re having trouble identifying the feeling then you can connect with me on my facebook page or group or find me on instagram @nicolabeer1 and I will send you a list of 250 feeling words.

There are some words which are feeling words and some words which are more perceptions and judgments than actual feelings. For example I feel hurt, sad, angry, scared, lonely, worried, fearful are all feeling words.

Whereas I feel betrayed, abandoned, rejected, humiliated, isolated are all beliefs. Each of these are perceptions and judgments. These judgements keep us caught in our story, caught in the drama as they are all a subtle form of blame or passive aggressiveness. When we are not expressing our true emotions and when we are instead blaming or being passive aggressive in our feelings, the feelings stay. We need to stop blaming to fully let go of the anger, hurt and fear. David Richo talks about this in his book how to be an adult, it’s an amazing book one of my top 3 favourite books. He also says something super interesting about Anger, which after I read it I notice it in my own life and of those I help. That is that behind anger, once anger is let out and expressed is gutted sorrow. A deep sorrow, behind it. So often when the anger releases we are deeply hurt or in grieving.

Avoid: “I Feel That…”

The most common mistake that people often make when they are trying to share a feeling is to say “I feel that … ” The word that indicates that what will follow is going to be a thought, not a feeling.

For example “I feel that we should go to bed at the same time”

Is completely different to ” I feel frustrated when we go to bed at different times at night”

The former is a statement that may not get much empathy or spark a change in the behaviour, the second one is far more powerful as it gives insight into how that person is really feeling.

Another example I hear in my marriage counseling in Dubai or online is

“I feel that you are angry with me.”

This is actually a perception, which more accurately stated would be:

“I see you are angry with me”

A better way to express feelings would be:

“I see you are angry with me therefore I feel….” scared, sad, confused, hurt and angry.

Does that make sense?

When we say “I feel that” we state instead a thought, belief or perception not an actual feeling.

Thoughts are useful to share as well but feelings also need to be expressed to be fully understood. Thoughts convey dry information, not the real feelings and truth of what you are experiencing within, so relationships definitely become closer when couples share feelings, as they connect people more. Sharing thoughts does not unite a couple in the same way. Emotional connection is where you look inside and express your inner feelings; like hopeful, pleased, wary, discouraged, etc.

Learning to distinguish your thoughts from your feelings is a very important step in your growth. As mentioned if you would like a list of over 250 feeling words from me contact through facebook or instagram @nicolabeer1

One husband I worked with who won back his wife’s love after they separated and stopped divorce; really studied feeling words and was able to communicate with his wife on a level they never had before.

However he did want to interrupt and stop his wife when she was saying “I feel that…”

I advised him that he had to let that go and unless she too wanted to learn more about how to express feelings in their relationship, it would not help their communication or the relationship. As this is being critical. This information I am sharing on how to expressing your feelings is for your own reflection, growth and development.

Bottom line avoid stating beliefs, perceptions, judgments and thoughts instead of feelings as they don’t really help the conversation and connection as much as expressing true feelings do.

Don’t Say: You Make Me Feel

When learning how to express your feelings and be a more open person, the most common mistake a lot of men and women make is to say:

“You make me feel…”

“You make me feel …!” is one of the phrases that, is never a good idea which is why as a couples counsellor I always go through communication tips and ways to communicate effectively before a joint session, so that couples become closer and don’t move even further apart.

As saying “You make me feel…”

Can come across as an accusation, a statement of blame rather than a statement of feelings.

Imagine for a moment I say to you…

You make me feel upset

You make me feel unattractive

You make me feel scared

It invites antagonism, defensiveness and retaliation from you right.

Whereas if I said to you…

I feel upset

I feel unattractive

I feel scared

Then it is more likely you are going to have empathy, compassion and concern for me and hopefully will want to help.

So when I am doing couple counseling in Dubai and online I explain that it’s far better for the relationship to say I feel and to avoid the “you make me feel”

The other problem with saying “you make me feel” is it takes all your power way. As it turns you into a victim without any control. As you are basically saying to yourself that you are stuck with your feelings unless they change and therefore are not taking responsibility for your own feelings.

You make me feel statements can also induce guilt or shame in a partner. Saying you make me feel this, can be like saying I want to punish you for this; it’s your fault I am feeling this way and I want you to feel bad.

This is not helpful because generally one person alone does not make another feel anything. As it is always a combination of what one person says (or does) AND the other person’s interpretation of the words or actions, if that makes sense?

It’s the meaning you give it. For example, if you try to make me laugh by making a sarcastic joke, I might respond with mild amusement or with annoyance, or frustration, or with affection. Depending on my own filters of whether I like you at that moment, I find sarcasm funny and the mood I am in that day.

It’s the combination of what someone says or does and what you bring to the situation in terms of your way of viewing it and how you are feeling.

I hope part one in how to talk about your feelings with your romantic partner has been useful do read part two where I talk how to lead conversations with your partner, so you can open up fully.

If you have any questions on couples counselling in Dubai or online, do not hesitate to contact me directly on my email

To listen to my podcast episodes for more help you can also visit


Or to book a free couples therapy session with me click on this link

Nicola Beer offers counseling in Dubai and online, couples therapy and hypnotherapy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and online. Many travel in from Riyadh, Jeddah and Damman Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Doha Qatar, Muscat Oman and London UK for weekend retreats and counselling 1 to 2 VIP days. To find out more contact +971 50 94 54 233 on whats app or email

Mihaela BotnariMihaela Botnari
12:54 17 Mar 23
Thank you for destroying my relationship. My partner reached out for support and you advised him that there is nothing for him to heal and that he should send his girlfriend for therapy, like this is your place to tell him. I’ve been through therapy myself and I know how to make the difference between a good therapist and someone who just wants to get more money, and the second seems to definitely be your purpose!
Helen HHelen H
19:13 10 Nov 22
Nicola’s support and advice proved invaluable when my marriage was struggling. Over a series of meetings (online and fact to face, to suit our needs), Nicola helped steer us through a very difficult time. She was always calm, neutral and never made us feel like we had failed or had ‘messed up’. Nicola has a wealth of experience and keeps up with current research, but has a very unique approach to getting you back on track. With regular support materials and just being there, she helped us realise that our relationship could go on; by making us look at ourselves and helping us consider the tools we needed to move forwards. I can honestly say that I don’t think our marriage would have survived such a difficult time without Nicola’s expertise. I often listen to Nicola’s podcasts on Spotify when I’m needing a bit of extra support. Thank you, Nicola
Justin LossJustin Loss
13:23 30 Jun 22
Nicola has been a massive help. I had tried traditional counseling and it had seemed to be moving me further away from what I wanted. After listening to several of Nicola's podcasts I decided to reach out to her. The discovery call was enlightening and she described a process that was more focused on creating a better future vs reliving the pass. From there I went through her Breakthrough Program...All I can say is Wow! Her program and guidance has quickly changed my mindset which has in turn improved all my relationships and overall stress level. I highly recommend working with Nicola and can't thank her enough for her help and care.
Ciaran CarlisleCiaran Carlisle
22:16 23 Jan 22
My partner and I spent a number of sessions with Nicola discussing our relationship difficulties, both together and one on one sessions. She has been so good to talk to - incredibly helpful and understanding with our problems.My partner and I have come out of this with a better understanding and move love for each other. Nicola has taught us many techniques to use in situations were we feel at odds which has been fantastic. We would recommend Nicola 100% for relationship advice.Thank you so much again.
Loida Delgado-PerezLoida Delgado-Perez
03:09 22 Jan 22
Nicola's marriage counselling have been life changing for both my partner and I. The learnings have been exponential and have transform us individually and as a couple. We reached out to Nicola at the lowest point of our relationship and about to break apart. Her compassionate and smart yet practical advice and exercises transform us in such a way that we are now at the best we've ever been personally and as a couple.As a result we've decided to get married and book Nicola every year for a couple's check in! I couldn't recommend her sessions more to anyone feeling stuck and wanting to be in a better place. Best investment of time, money and effort EVER. Thank you Nicola, you are an inspiration to me and many others :)
Christianne KaddoumChristianne Kaddoum
17:19 20 Oct 21
The hours I’ve spent working with Nicola have been the most valuable of my life.I now feel equipped to do things differently. It’s been the most liberating and empowering experience and I’ve learnt things that will stay with me forever.Through the excellent help from Nicola, it is now possible for me to have a different and healthier approach to various situations.She has professionally helped me to consider my perspectives in a way I hadn’t before.I can finally begin to reframe my life experience and see them in a whole new light.Thanks Nicola!