7 Times You’re Probably Failing To Communicate
You might be bold, honest and articulate in most areas of your life, but the stakes are always higher when it comes to speaking up in love. Here are 7 times you’re probably failing to communicate, for fear of freaking your guy out, when you should be speaking up.
When you wish he’d put you first
You’ve had a romantic weekend together planned for months, but a really great networking opportunity comes up for your guy. Your guy is on the fence, saying the event isn’t crucial but he could make a lot of good contacts there. You of course jump into martyr mode and say, “We can skip our plans, it’s no problem! Go to the networking thing! It’s totally cool!” But you’re actually dying a little inside.
What to say
It’s in a woman’s nature to put more importance on interpersonal relationships—we’re just a little better at “balancing it all.” Men take a while in life to realize that there’s something to be said for passing up on some status, or money, if it means keeping your family and relationships stable, and close. Just tell your guy, “I know this event could be important. But there will be plenty like them and sometimes in life, we have to dedicate a little extra time to our relationships. I’m giving up work stuff too to have this weekend with you! Because this relationship is important to me. And I know there will always be other opportunities.”
When you feel slighted by his family
His mom makes a comment about the way you dress and of course, you can’t talk back because it’s your boyfriend’s mother. But, it’s killing you that you can’t defend yourself. And, you don’t exactly love the fact that your boyfriend’s mom doesn’t exactly love you—and all over something as frivolous as the way you dress?
What to say
It can feel awkward to essentially “tell on” your guy’s mom to your guy. But he would hate to know that anybody—including his family—had made you feel disrespected, and nothing had been done about it. He can probably find a subtle way to bring it up to your mother, defend you and make her reconsider what she thinks about you because he loves you for many reasons, besides how you dress.
When you’re not, um, finished in bed
The last thing you want to do is harm your guy’s fragile ego. Plus, he’s already been working so hard for the last thirty minutes—he’s exhausted, sweaty and about to pass out. BUT…you did not have a you know what. And you were close. Really close. And a little more work on your guy’s part could get you there. But you let him go to sleep instead.
What to say
Honestly, keep it simple. It can’t sound like a demand or a complaint because then neither of you will enjoy what comes next. A straight forward, “I want your mouth on me, I didn’t __ yet but I know that you can make me…” should suffice.
When you feel he doesn’t care about your work
You’ve had a really rough day, you’re at odds with your boss and don’t know what to do about it. Or, you have your own company, and are torn between whom to hire. You talk for ten minutes about all that’s happening in your mind—important stuff!—and your guy says, “That’s tough babe,” with a patronizing pat on your knee, while he’s still reading his book. This hurts you, but you tell yourself, “It’s okay. He has a lot on his own plate. He doesn’t need my stuff too. I can handle this myself.”
What to say
You take stuff off of his plate and put it on yours all the time! How is it fair that he not do the same for you? Sorry but, this one won’t be put delicately. Tell him, “Hey—I know you have a lot on your mind but I’m clearly upset about something and could use your advice. There have been times when I’ve been overwhelmed but I’ve put my problems aside and focused on yours. I would appreciate the same effort from you. That’s what makes this a partnership.”
When he won’t make a compromise that you’ve made
Every year you go to his parent’s house for Christmas because his mom is a widow, and he doesn’t want her to be alone. Or on the weekends, you see his friends because yours are easy to see during the week, and his aren’t. But your friends do often invite you to weekend things too that you’d really like to go to…And it breaks your heart that you haven’t been to Christmas with your parents in three years…
What to say
The reality is, just because you might be giving up less, doesn’t mean that to you, it doesn’t feel like a big sacrifice. It hurts you to skip out on weekends with your friends, or Christmas with your parents. Tell your guy that you’re happy to make compromises so that everyone can end up as happy as possible, but that in the end, you end up being the unhappy one most times. You’d appreciate it if your guy could see how it feels on your end to give up the things that you give up for him so that maybe, sometimes, he will make the same sacrifices for you. It doesn’t matter what “makes the most sense” all the time. Sometimes what matter is that your guy makes you happy.
When he’s hanging with a woman you wish he wouldn’t
His best female friend clearly doesn’t like you. In fact, she clearly has a crush on your guy that she just never fully pursues. She doesn’t invite you along to things they do. And makes backhanded remarks at you that your innocent, naïve man isn’t picking up on. But they’ve been friends for ten years…And hanging with her seems to make him happy. So you bite your tongue. Even though you’d like to bite her head off.
What to say
The truth is that the friend is the one in the wrong here! She is the one acting inappropriate. And yet somehow, you’re the one taking all the gruff and suffering in silence. If your guy knows that it’s not in your nature to be paranoid or jealous, just tell him the truth. Give him a few examples of times she has disrespected you. If he is a guy with a good head on his shoulders, he’ll tell his friend that she can either be nice to you, or not see him. Somebody needs to check that .
When you feel distant
Conversations aren’t what they used to be. You used to laugh so much together about nothing at all, and tell each other every detail of your day. Now phone sessions have fallen dull, and hanging out has become nothing more than Netflix. But nothing seems to have really changed, as far as you can see. So you tell yourself you’re being paranoid, and that he’s probably perfectly happy, and you let the feeling of distance grow.
What to say
Guys are not great at bringing up issues. They hate confrontation. If there is something on your guy’s mind, he’ll appreciate you providing the open forum for him to talk about it. That could be as easy as saying, “I feel distant from you lately. Do you feel that too?” If there is something happening in his life that he didn’t want to burden you with, he’ll probably finally open up. If he’s unhappy in the relationship, he may not immediately feel ready to talk about it, but now the fact that he can talk about it will stew with him. And soon enough, he will talk about it.