In spite of how hard I've worked to try, every communication tip I've gotten when it comes to talking to men doesn't work.
Why? Because men don't enjoy communication. They don't want to talk. They want to be alone with you next to them.
My boyfriend asked me how I was doing the other day, and 45 minutes later, I wasn't done telling him. Women enjoy talking; we're good at it. We like it SO much, we'll buy and read entire books about talking.
You're reading an article about it now, because communicating about communication is like experiencing a meta double rainbow inside your own brain!
So in the spirit of that, here are a few communication tips to try with your BF that he probably won't understand or even notice, but that you'll probably enjoy anyway.
Accept That Men And Women Communicate Differently.
...But don't let that stop you from trying to force them into communicating exactly the same as we do.
In fact, try beginning every sentence with, "I know we communicate differently, but..." to let him know that the way he doesn't talk is just not really acceptable.
I mean, how can we be sure that men and women communicate differently when women are the only ones doing it?
Try letting your man know that you "accept" that he has nothing to say, but you're gonna need him to expand on that silence, verbally.
Try Using "I Feel" Statements
Saying the words "I feel" before speaking diffuses any defensiveness that may come up in the conversation, because you are speaking about your own personal feelings, which cannot be questioned.
When it comes to feelings, you're always right because feelings are subjective — even if they're followed up by an objective statement like, "I feel like you are a huge slob and are going to die alone unless you learn to properly clean a dinner plate."
What can he say, "no, you don't feel that way?" I don't think so.
This is not about winning, but you just won.
Know What You're Feeling
Before you say anything to your partner, it's important to know how you're feeling going into the conversation.
Even if you are feeling 12 totally conflicting ways about something simultaneously, it's good to pause and take a moment to identify all of your incongruous emotions.
Then, when you're ready, ask your partner when he'll be able to clear 11 hours from his day so that he can not only listen, but really hear all of your violently clashing and dissonant feelings all at once.
By taking the time to identify your emotions you're in the best position to share them with your partner, who will probably respond with a compassionate and attentive "Uh-huh," or "Yeah, totally..."
Put Your Feelings Into Words
When you finally sit down with your partner, put your all your complex feelings into simple words that men can understand. This means avoiding details or working through moments. The conversation could be a little one-sided, and may last for approximately 24 hours, but it could go something like this:
"I want to get married in the next year. I feel like I'd also like to see other people. I haven't ever experimented sexually with another woman and might be really into that, and I need to know if you want to have kids, because I think I'm ready now. I hate that you buy all your shirts online from China and I worry about your ability to restrain yourself financially."
Once you've voiced everything you want to say, you'll feel so empowered by the look of complete confusion on his face that you won't even require a verbal response, and now both parties are happy.
Right boys? Are you listening?
...Just kidding, who cares!? All this communication feels f*cking great.
Speak With Him, Not At Him.
This one is tricky, because it requires listening, and men are mostly unwilling to speak. That doesn't mean you get to get out of listening, though. Remember, communication is a two-way street.
What it means is you have to develop an ability to practice special kind of listening. This isn't a medical/psychological technique (yet), but I've been practicing it for years.
I call it imaginative listening, where you infer from your BF's total silence whatever you think he would be saying if he was a different and better communicator, and arrive at your own conclusions.
Like I said, I've been doing it for years, and I'm currently single-but-looking, so I don't see what could go wrong with it.