Eye rolls. What do they mean?

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I've been with my boyfriend for six years (on and off). Recently our relationship has become very rocky, and when I'm unsure about anything I like to address the situation so that the problem can be fixed. But when it's his turn to talk and or express his feelings, he tends to roll his eyes.

I've asked him why, and his excuse is always that "he's tired," but he hadn't been rolling them before, nor does he continue to roll them after he's done talking. I'm so confused because my intuition says one thing, yet he says another. Am I overreacting or could my intuition be right?

– Rolling


When I'm stressed or have conversations that require a lot of thought, I crack my knuckles. It can be unpleasant for others to see or hear (or see). I'm working on it.

I mention that because the eye rolls might be something similar. The action might mean he's overwhelmed, thinking about something uncomfortable, or concerned about making things worse. It might not mean anything in particular.

Instead of focusing on the eye rolls, think about what he tells you – and whether you're actually happy in this relationship. Why is it rocky? Can your conflicts be worked out? Those questions are more important than what he does when he talks to you about these things.

If you can't stop decoding his body language – if it's too distracting – remove it from the equation. Put your feelings and questions in writing. Give him the chance to respond on his own schedule, when he's not tired. Not all conversations have to be face-to-face. The two of you might do better with some space.

– Meredith

Readers? Can you decode an eye roll? A heavy sigh? Is all of this better in writing?