My SO is quite the oyster type: he doesn't like to talk about feelings. He shows his love through actions: he's always there for me, fixing things in my apartment, introducing me to his friends and family very early on etc.
I had a hard time adapting to that, because I love to bond with words: telling each other how much we love each other, talking about our relationship. Everytime I started doing this, I saw him feeling thoroughly uncomfortable and not knowing what to say.
Two days ago, we were at a party and I was so happy to be out there with him, proud to be with him, so despite me knowing he doesn't like it I started to say those things again.
Yet instead of saying 'I love you', this time I said 'You've made me so happy this year'.
The difference in reaction was amazing. Instead of not knowing where to look and changing the subject like he would usually do, his whole face lit up, he had a smile from ear to ear, pulled me towards him and said: 'Have I? god, you can be so sweet'.
I was so puzzled by his reaction, and so happy, like I've found his secret button to make him feel good.
I don't even know if it's RP or not, but I've been thinking it is. I think me saying 'you make me happy' kind of reinforces the idea of him being active in my life, him taking care of me and adding value to my life. As opposed to the supposedly unconditional 'I love you'.
Or am I reading too much into this?