3 easy ways to immediately improve communication with your partner.
Me and my boyfriend have been together for two years. The first year was bliss, the second year was also bliss but with some insecurities thrown in. The one thing I have been insecure about recently is that I feel that my boyfriend and I don't talk enough. Does this mean he isn't right for me? Can we improve our communication? Is he getting bored with me? PLEASE HELP.
Is it the END?
Right now, you are taking this silent treatment as a sign for “the end of days,” and it’s freaking you out. Is a lack of fluid and lively conversation a sign that it’s over between you? Maybe. But probably not!
Men and women view communication differently.
For women, talking and sharing is a form of intimacy. For men, talking is the tool they use to get a point across in order to achieve a goal or solve a problem. Men mainly get their dose of intimacy through touching, sex, and physically doing things for their woman.
The Communication Evolution
In the beginning of your relationship, conversation was easy because his goal was to woo you so that you would choose him to be your monogamous partner. That took some serious sweet talkin’ and some gettin’ to know ya time.
Now that he’s confident in his role, he can throw on some sweats, get comfy on the couch, and relax. He no longer sees the need to talk because his goal is accomplished.
3 key game-changing points of view
When you realize that men and women view and experience communication differently, it’s easy to wrap your head around these 3 key game-changing points of view.
POV #1. His silent treatment is not a sign that he doesn’t want to be intimate with you. It’s not a rejection. It just means he’s comfortable and confident in your relationship.
POV #2. Talking is not a priority for him like it is for you. He’s not going to get bored with you because you don’t talk “enough.” “Enough” to him are the words he needs in order to get a job done. Everything else is fluff. As long as he’s doing things for you physically, he’s taking care of his need for intimacy.
POV #3. It’s up to you to take responsibility for the need to communicate in your relationship. It’s not his need, so he’s not going to initiate action. It’s your need so it’s your job to initiate a change.
3 ways to immediately improve communication with your partner
Now that you know these 3 critical points of view, I can show you 3 ways to immediately improve communication with your partner.
1. The simplest way to elicit more conversation from your man is to change your question from, “How was your day?” to “What did you do today?”
The first question is asking him about his feelings and experience of the day. Women can talk for hours on this subject but a man usually limits his answer to one word, “good” “fine” or “okay.”
He’s not purposely being difficult. This question just doesn’t trigger a response in him.
You’ll notice a man rarely says, “bad.” This is because if a man’s day was bad, he’s not going to want to talk about it. Men have this amazing thing called an “off switch;” they’re actually capable of putting their unsolvable problems out of sight and out of mind. (I’m so jealous! I want one!)
If it’s a bad day and you interview him about the details, he’s going to resent you for bringing up an issue he had safely put away so that he could enjoy his time with you. (If you want to learn the suprising and counterintuitive way to support a man when he has a bad day, click HERE)
So instead of asking “How was your day” and getting that obnoxious one word answer or trying to interview him fishing for drama, ask him “What did you do today?”
This opens him up to all kinds of comfort zones. He knows the answer to this question. He knows what he did, where he went, what impossible problems he solved, what amazing feats of strength and honor he acted out. He likes showing his woman how smart, clever, strong and capable he is. He likes to answer this question.
Another simple word exchange is to change your question from, “How do you feel?” to “What do you think?”
I discuss this topic more in depth in my ebook Mars Venus Dating (for couples and singles) which you can get for FREE when you sign up for email updates at the bottom of this post!
2. Stimulate more communication by participating in projects and activities that you have in common.
This way you can inspire both of your intuitive communication styles. You can talk about your feelings, reactions, and experiences of the activity. He can talk about the problem solving aspects and the steps of action necessary to achieve the goal.
If he’s a little slow to start, feel free to prompt him with questions and ask him for his advice.
Here are 5 fun ideas of activities and projects you can share together:
1. Take a class together. Yoga, art, improvisation, dance, cooking…
2. Learn a new skill together. Photography, wine pairing, roasting your own coffee, playing guitar…
3. Make a new challenging recipe once a week together.
4. Plan a vacation together.
5. DIY project in your house. Painting, refinishing, tiling, decorating, landscaping…
Tailor it to you and your sweetie’s likes and passions. You’ll find that these can inspire the both of you to talk in a natural and intuitive way. No one has to force anything.
3. The most impactful thing you can do to improve communication is to realize that the one who should be doing most of the talking is YOU.
Don’t feel bad or self-centered for it. Communication in a relationship is not meant to be tit for tat. In fact, I always warn talkative men to ensure that they never talk more then their woman.
A woman experiences intimacy through sharing her feelings, stories, and experiences but only when a man sits in front of her, looks her in the eyes, and really listens. She needs to feel heard.
If your dinner conversations are light, know that you are the one who should be doing the talking. That way you can give him the opportunity to listen and you can give your relationship a chance to strengthen and deepen it’s bond.
The other day I spent almost the whole day in front of the computer and I needed a break. I caught my sweetie right as he was about to lie down for a nap. Ugh, bad timing right?
But instead of leaving him alone, I said, “Love, would you go for a walk with me? I need to clear my mind and get away from the computer.” (Click here to learn why this request isn't needy or demanding.)
He said, “But I was just about to lie down.”
I smiled real big, batted my eyelashes and said, “Please!”
He laughed, dutifully got up and said, “Sure.”
I observed our dynamic on the walk. We held hands. I asked, “How was your day?” He said, “Fine.” And for the next block we walked in silence.
Then I asked, “What did you do today?”
He launched into a play by play of his day that maybe took 3 minutes. Then, for the rest of the walk I talked. I talked and talked and then sometimes we were silent. I tried running him into things, he tried putting flowers and leaves in my hair. We played.
At the end of the walk I said, “Thank you so much! I feel so much better.”
He said, “Me too. I’m glad you made me go on this walk. I had a wonderful time.”
This wasn’t an accident.
By me talking and him listening, we had connected and were both rejuvenated by the mutual intimacy we felt. When a woman talks and expresses herself and in turn feels heard, not only is the relationship bond strengthened but a hormonal miracle occurs. It actually measurably lowers her stress levels and makes her feel good.
On the flip side, it measurably lowers stress levels in a man when he can be there for his woman and have her appreciate it.
So do what’s natural to you and talk your sweet little heart out. You’re both going to love it!
Now I want to hear from you!
I’ve given 3 suggestions to boost conversation in your relationship. Which one resonated with you the most? Which one will you try?
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12/22/2016 12:10:06 AM
We have been together for eight years M being accused of not wanting to talk, and at times i don't know where to start, normally when i get to work the first thing i do is to call here an check how she's doing and all that and after work i will call and let her know m on ma way home and she will say is it all you can say, can i please be assisted on how to handle this.
12/6/2016 4:28:06 PM
Hi RebeccaL, I understand that must have been really frustrating and hurtful. Great job practicing with a new tool and cut yourself and your partner some slack that it didn't work perfectly the first time you tried something new. Your instincts are right to pay attention to the exact words you used. Communication matters. Words matter. For the 5 step process to feel heard and set your partner up for success, check this out and try it verbatim: http://www.marsvenus.com/blog/lauren-gray/when-im-upset-he-just-makes-it-worse-how-couples-can-communicate-better-and-without-all-the-drama. ...
11/30/2016 11:19:45 PM
Hi, I just tried this yesterday, wanted to talk, he was about to go to bed (he has been working 12-16 hrs days 6-7 day a week for a few weeks now and we are long distance but have been spending time on weekends every 2nd weekend, we have been dating for 2 months) and I said i am available can we please talk for at least 10-15 min. He said he wasn't feeling good and was very tired. Then I got extreamly frustrated and I left it be, threw my phone down, cried, wanted to cancel going to see him this weekend because I have to rent a car to do that) he never said anything after and neither did I, I was so mad, I am trying to be patient with his heavy work load but I just needed some min from him and he couldn't give it. Seems the last thing I needed was to say please (I just did't say that, it can't be that simple, that I missed one word!!) and then after if we spoke, I would have told him how grateful I was which I would have (I have already learned to be more vocal with my appreciation, in previous relationships) Is/Was there something else I was missing?? I am still frustrated, hurt, sad, worried, anxious a day later. I haven't said anything to him, he has only texted me a simple text saying his phone is dying.... and that was it. What is happening? Thanks Bit of something, or nothing...
11/14/2016 11:19:35 PM
Hello there, I have a question: been talking to a guy for three years without swing him, we finally met in July this year. Our first meeting he was talking about how to have a successful marriage. When we met chemistry was so good even now but the most confusing thing is that we don't talk as much as we use to before we met. I live in a different state now, I try to meet with him every other weekend. This past weekend he finally took me to his place so I know where he lives. We had a good time together, we spoke about personal things. We both experienced lost in our lives. I lost my both parents when I was 17 years old( I'm 31 years old now) and he lost his father when he was 26( he's 49 years old now). We only communicate when we are going to meet. I asked him if he's dating another person and he said no! We haven't decided where we are in a relationship or not but we have a strong connection. Should I take a lead and initiate more communication? Thanks...
10/3/2016 3:59:13 PM
Hi KDV, The answer can be found in tip #1: The simplest way to elicit more conversation from your man is to change your question from, “HOW was your day?” to “WHAT did you do today?” And change "“HOW do you feel?” to “WHAT do you think?” This simple word change makes a world of difference in how a man opens up to you.
10/3/2016 6:14:58 AM
What is the ONE word? did I miss it? the ONE MAGIC word to get them to open up?