Men are not mindreaders. Yes, I know…shocking! Though hollywood can portray that in “chick flicks” and romantic movies, in real life where you and I are living, men can’t read minds.
In my coaching practice, most of the time my conversations with my clients revolve around how to talk to men. What do I say? How do I text? How to I respond? How do I set boundaries? How do I say yes/no/I’m interested/I’m not interested? The questions are endless, and of course it’s the most important and delicate part of the dating process.
You gotta understand something about quality men: they LOVE to hear from you. They love to know about your wants, your needs, your boundaries, and your dreams. They want to know everything about you and to be a part of it with you. And what would make them SO happy is for you to tell them what you want and to be direct yet kind about it. If you want him to call you rather than text you, then let him know. If you want him to call you first instead of you calling him (if you just met him online), then let him know. If you want him to wait to have sex with you, then let him know. Bottom line is he won’t know until you tell him.
Communication can make or break a relationship, as well as your chances of moving your status from Dating, to Exclusively dating, to In a relationship.
When we’re first dating and getting to know a man, it’s so easy to shy back from what we want to say or to express what we need. The fear of being judged, misunderstood, pushing him away, giving him the wrong message, creating a misunderstanding, and so on can often drive us to retreat and not say anything and eventually give up on getting our needs met and expressing our authentic amazing self in a relationship. On the other hand, some women think Well, I’m blunt or I say it like it is and I am honest, but unfortunately the way they say what they mean can make or break their dating process. There is a proverb in Persian that says: “Saying ‘Sit down,’ ‘Please have a seat,’ and ‘Sit the F*** down’ is all the same thing. The difference in the result you will get is in the way you say it.”
When two people who don’t know each other at all come into a dating situation, the only thing that is going to help both of them know if they are a match or not is the way they communicate.
Believe it or not, at the end of the day what keeps a relationship alive and going more than anything else is COMMUNICATION.
It’s super important for you to be able to state your needs, get them met, and to set boundaries. It’s also equally important for you to be able to listen and hear him out. I mean you can love each other endlessly, be madly attracted to each other, and share similar non-negotiables, but at the end of the day what keeps a relationship going for years and years is the way you communicate.
So here we go ladies: here are some effective, actionable tools to help you get what you want from men without being needy or bossy. And if he responds to you in a way that is in alignment with what you want, then he’s a keeper. 😉
1- Be clear about what you want
It’s 100% your job to have clarity around your needs. He can’t know what you really want if you don’t tell him. So before you bring up anything, first have a conversation with yourself and get clear as to what it is that you want. What need is not being met? What change would you like to see? It’s not his job to figure it out for you. You need to know what the change you want to experience looks like. For example, if you don’t like communicating via text, then be clear about what you would like instead. If you don’t want to have sex with him now, then be clear about what needs to happen for you to go to that level of intimacy. If you want more attention from him, what does that look like – how can he show that? Is it getting you flowers, cuddling, or checking in with you when you are out with friends at a party? He can’t know that unless you make it clear for him.
2- Express your needs from an “I” and “For me” stand point
If you want to get a man to listen to you and to not shut down or run the other direction, avoid using any sentence that points a finger at him and blames him. You’re wrong. You’re not listening. You’re late. You’re not paying attention to me. That just makes him feel like a loser with you and it doesn’t feel good. You want him to feel empowered and feel like he’s winning with you or at least has the chance to win with you. So instead say: I feel [feeling] when I experience [what he did or said]. Or For me, it’s important to [state your need]. When I experience [what you want], it makes me feel [feeling]. This way, you are bringing the attention to what it feels like for you, and you’re not attacking him.
3- Acknowledge the positive first
Like women, men enjoy knowing they’re doing things right and they’re winning. So always start your conversation by letting him know how much you enjoy getting to know him, or how much you enjoy spending time with him, or how awesome you think he is. Starting with the positive opens the door to communication. The last thing you want is for him to shut down before you even get to what you wanted to say, much less get any response from him.
4- Come from a place of compassion
Well this is basically the golden rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Be the person you want him to be with you. When you want to talk to him, come from a place of building partnership, and be kind. Don’t talk at him. Talk to him and in a way you would want him to talk to you. Take a moment to imagine the experience you want to create in the conversation and the mood you want to set. And always remember: what do you want to achieve? If you want to achieve a positive outcome, the conversation needs to be positive and kind.
5- Create an opportunity for collaboration
Use phrases like How does this sound to you? What can we do about this? and How does this feel for you? to get him to be part of the decision making. That way you have a much higher chance of getting him to create the change you want with you. And you are giving him a chance to be able to make a choice and a decision rather than being talked at and being given orders or ultimatums.
6- Be a good listener
An effective conversation is a balance of listening and talking. Make sure you give him space to talk and express his thoughts, and be sure you understand what he’s saying. If you’re not sure, ask him to clarify instead of just assuming you know. Part of being heard is hearing in return.
7- Let him express himself in his way
A lot of times women forget that they’re in a relationship with a different person and not themselves! The man you’re with comes with his own set of characteristics. Though it’s super important that you are a match, being a match doesn’t mean he will be a replica of you. And I don’t believe you really want to date yourself. Healthy relationships are a combination of what we have in common and what we learn from our differences. Allow him to talk the way he knows best in order to express himself, and don’t micromanage him. If he says something that triggers you or doesn’t feel right, go back to steps 1- 5 above.
As always, I wanna hear from you. I wanna know the biggest insight you’re taking away from this blog. Leave a comment below. And if you enjoyed this blog, join Dating with Confidence’s FREE and PRIVATE Facebook group, “Dating Tips For Savvy Single Ladies,” where you can have more personal interaction with me and get support around your love life. And share this blog with your friends.
To your dating success!
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