When he doesn’t open up and share, it feels like you’re trying to create intimacy with a brick wall.
It feels like you’re in a one-sided relationship.
Why is he so repressed?!!!
Whether you’re in a relationship and frustrated that your connection is suffering because your communication is suffering…
Or you’re in a long-distance relationship, and all you have are those moments of brief communication to sustain your connection, and it’s like pulling teeth!
Either way, you are unsatisfied and need to get him to open up in order to connect and feel like you’re in a fulfilling relationship. After all, you’ve got needs!!
The thing is many of our most honest attempts to connect with our men end up in even MORE disconnection!
That’s where MarsVenus intelligence comes in to save the day. I’m going to show you four ways to improve the quality of your communication to fulfill your need for a connection that leaves you both satisfied.
Help! I’m in a long-distance relationship, and we hardly talk at all. When we’re together in the same place, it’s great, but we can’t be together right now, and I feel like our connection is slipping away. When I try to give him feedback on his challenges, he gets offended and thinks I don’t trust him. When I try to get him talking, he gives me one-word answers, and I feel almost lonelier than I did before we talked! It’s never quite enough, and I know we’re both suffering. How can I improve communication in our LDR?
What Men and Women Each Need to Hotwire CONNECTION
Men are physical. Women are communicators.
Communication and physical affection are the main ways we connect in a relationship. Communication is where a woman tends to shine and feel the most connected. Physical affection is where a man tends to shine and feel the most connected. Ultimately we love and thrive with both!
However, when you’re in an LDR (or your partner is super busy or unavailable), you don’t have physical affection, so all the pressure ends up being on communication.
You don’t spend enough time together, so communication won’t be frequent. When you don’t have the option of quantity, you’re left with the task of improving the quality of your communication to create and fulfill your need for connection.
As I mentioned above, men shine by physically doing things for their ladies and being physically affectionate. She receives constant reassurance of his love through these gestures.
Women shine and connect through communication, which is NOT a man’s intuitive strong suit. So it’s going to take some conscious practices to create a connection in a long-distance or unsatisfying situation.
You can do it! I’ll show you how in four practical, approachable steps:
Step 1: Give him the love he needs.
When he’s sharing about his life and day, you want to contribute. You want to add another perspective and help him do even better.
But this kind of love isn’t received as love at all. It doesn’t mean what you think it means.
Unsolicited advice is the quickest way to turn a man off — literally. He stops opening up to you, and he’ll pull away. Ice cold or hot and defensive.
When you give him unsolicited advice, he thinks you don’t trust him to handle it himself. Trust is one of six primary ways a man feels loved. The opposite of trust — distrust — feels like the opposite of love — rejection. In response, he feels hurt, demoralized, and defensive. He DISconnects.
In order to create connection, and help him the MOST you can say:
“I believe in you. You’re so clever, and I know you’ll figure out a great solution.”
Your trust in him gives him the courage and energy to fight dragons — an issue at work shouldn’t be a problem.
If you’re dying to share your brilliance, compassion, and help, you can say:
“Do you want to know how I would handle it?” or…
“Do you want my advice?” or…
“I see it differently. Do you want to hear my perspective?”
If he says no, let it be. Don’t hold it against him. He needs your love through trust at the moment — not your advice.
If he says yes, it means he’s honoring you as an expert in this area of discussion, and he will listen to your advice and take it into consideration as he makes his own decision. This will NOT create the same level of connection, but it will not be taken as a rejection; this is akin to a beneficial business exchange.
The intimacy and connection lie in your trust and belief in him.
Step 2: Get him to open up.
When asking him questions to draw him out, there are two awesome questions that loosen his lips…
…and then there are the two questions that women tend to ask.
The two questions that will end the conversation before it begins:
- “How you do feel about…?”
- “How was your day?”
Why question 1 doesn’t work:
Unless he’s really upset, a man doesn’t immediately have access to his feelings. Think of feelings like a bag of chips: A woman just has to open the bag and reach in to start snacking; a man has a hard time opening the bag in the first place.
Why question 2 doesn’t work:
Unless his day was absolutely the worst EVER and he wants to rant about it, he’s going to give you a one-word answer to the question. How was his day? Fine. It’s fine. It’s always fine.
I remember being in the audience the day my dad did a whole Oprah show about this very topic. It was hysterical to see the results LIVE from wives and girlfriends asking their partners these questions vs. the ones I’m about to share with you.
One set got us nothing; the next opened the floodgates. Let me show you:
The two questions that will get him talking:
- “What do you think about…”
- “ What did you do (today)?”
Why question 1 is effective:
Because a man can easily and immediately access what he thinks. It’s always at the tip of his tongue and the forefront of his brain.
Why question 2 is effective:
He knows what he did, and he’s usually proud to share his accomplishments and problem solving he did with the woman he loves and wants to impress.
Step 3: Switch up the story on this limiting belief.
In a relationship, a woman should do most of the talking, and a man should do most of the listening.
Contrary to popular belief, this isn’t a limiting “gender role;” this is actually gender science!
But here’s the short version:
When a woman expresses herself, shares her day, and she feels heard, oxytocin is produced. Oxytocin is a bonding and pleasure hormone for women. Talking and sharing is a way to hotwire connection and improve the quality of your communication.
Listening releases the hormone testosterone, which in a man’s biology, is a pleasure hormone, and being there for his lady helps him feel bonded to her. This hotwires connection for him.
Okay okay. I can already hear the peanut gallery.
Men can ALSO produce the hormone oxytocin, but the effect in his body isn’t pleasure and bonding — he just gets sleepy. And often sharing his feelings only makes him more frustrated, making it more about the problems he’s dealing with and less about connection with YOU.
Women can ALSO produce testosterone through listening, but the effect isn’t pleasure and bonding. It just feels like going to work.
Without this crucial knowledge of gender differences, women often have a limiting belief around communication that stops them from experiencing quality, fulfilling, and intimate communication with their partners.
What’s the limiting belief?
They believe both partners need to share equally in order for it to be “fair” and “loving,” and only “fair and loving” can create connection.
When you try to make it “fair” and ask him a lot of questions to get him talking, a man feels undue pressure. It feels demanding and uncomfortable. Or worse, it encourages his complaining side, which doesn’t feel strong or sexy to him and certainly isn’t a turn on in the long-run for you.
When you can recognize that your job is to talk more than listen, you open the doors for quality communication.
A woman talking and a man listening provides all the hormonal vitamins and nutrients to create fulfilling and mutual connection – IF you get out of your own way.
Creating a safe, non-demanding, non-critical space for a man to open up and share is what steps 1, 2 and 3 are all about. But this sharing should always be seen as optional and a bonus rather than a necessary ingredient for connection. Unless you can switch up your story on this limiting belief, you will continue to feel frustrated, disconnected, unfulfilled, and insecure in your relationships.
And we can’t have that, can we?
Step 4: The most important step of all.
I once took a course on how to get more followers on Facebook for your business. I remember the teacher said, “The number one thing you should do to get more success on Facebook is to do more outside of Facebook. The more you do offline in the real world, the better your online business will be.”
Relationships are the same.
In order to experience fulfillment in a relationship, you have to find fulfillment outside of the relationship. The more you fill up outside your relationship, the better your experience of your relationship will be.
This is not a betrayal. This is a necessity. This is the most important step of all to improve the quality of your communication and connection!
A long-distance relationship or simply a busy schedule means less time together. This often leaves a woman feeling deprived, hungry, and empty, desperate for a letter, email, or phone call to fill the void. But this void is too big, and expecting this moment of communication to fill it is an unrealistic expectation.
The thing about unrealistic expectations is that they are absolute brick walls between you and the satisfaction you’re looking for; they are the ultimate source of disconnection between couples.
Find your happy elsewhere, nurture it, fill up on Me-Time joy, and then, when you communicate with your partner, enjoy the cherry on top!
This is important:
A man sees a happy, fulfilled woman, and he has the confidence to think, “Yes! I can make her happier,” and he shows up in an amazing way. This energy makes him feel connected to you and makes him WANT to spend more time with you because he feels like he can make your life better, that he matters, and that he can make a difference. Combine this with the non-judgemental safe space you’ve developed through steps 1-3, and you’ve got connection, Baby!
But this is also true:
A man sees an unhappy, unfulfilled, desperate, needy, insecure, or unsatisfied woman and thinks, “It’s my fault. I’m making her miserable. She’d be better off without me.” With this energy, he falls on his sword and disconnects. If nothing he does is good enough to make you satisfied, he believes HE’S not good enough, and that leads to the ultimate disconnection.
It is so so important for every woman to learn how to enhance her happy and fulfillment outside of the relationship to experience more happiness and fulfillment inside the relationship.
Whether you are in a long-distance relationship, you don’t get enough time together, or you’re just feeling like you want a deeper connection, these steps are for you. With steps 1-4, I know you can improve your communication and experience connection beyond your wildest dreams.