Guys get a bad rap when it comes to feelings. Basically, people think we don’t have them, don’t want to share them, and don’t want to listen to them, either. But, that’s not true. Let me tell you about what’s really going on for men when it comes to feelings, and show you how you can use this knowledge to build a solid foundation for a secure, lasting relationship.
1. Understand that we don’t feel the way you do.
A lot of the pain and frustration I see in women results from thinking that when it comes to feelings, men function like women. But, the truth is that we have a much harder time processing and handling feelings than you do. We’re not as good at it. We also don’t have the extensive support system that women have, which explains why men escape into things like work, sports, and the television.
If you can understand this and learn to work with us instead of against us, you’re already getting a huge advantage when it comes to men and relationships. The other thing to remember is that as men, we want to fix things. And we get really frustrated when we can’t. Which brings me to …
2. Take the pressure off him to “fix” your feelings.
Of course, you want a man to acknowledge and satisfy your feelings and desires. It’s a man’s place in a relationship to be a good partner and a great lover, to care for you, listen to you, connect deeply, show loyalty, and to share.
But, when you demand that a man meet your emotional needs and you “lean” on him out of your own fears, frustrations, and uncertainty, you set the both of you up for disappointment. No relationship can meet all of your emotional needs. Relationships are about growth, and not about becoming dependent on someone else meeting your emotional needs at any time you want.
3. Take the lead in positive communication.
Now that you know you are much more adept at feeling your feelings and sharing them, use this knowledge to create a supportive environment for good communication with your man. How? First, always try to come from a place of compassion and understanding. I know this is hard to do, but think about it—you get what you give. And, you will get a lot further with a man when you approach your interactions with him this way. Understand that he doesn’t “get” feelings and communication the way you do.
Instead of approaching a conversation thinking he’s doing something on purpose or being insensitive, shift your awareness to thinking he just needs help understanding where you’re coming from. Then, communicate from that place.
Instead of saying, “I’m fed up that you never want to hang out with my friends,” try a positive set up like this: “You know I want us both to feel happy in this relationship, and I always want to share and communicate honestly with you. I notice that we don’t do a lot of things with my friends, and I’d really like them to know you better. How do you think we can make this work for both of us?” When you talk to a man with a positive set-up like this, you’re priming him to see that you are not looking to fight—you’re looking to get things right.
In order to make a relationship work, it’s critical for you to understand that men simply aren’t “wired” the same way women are when it comes to connecting on an emotional level. But, when you take responsibility for your own feelings and share them with him in a positive way, he’ll see that you are a capable, competent woman who puts the relationship first—the kind of woman he wants to have at his side