How do men communicate in relationships

How Men Communicate in Relationships

The way men communicate in relationships is completely different than the way women communicate.

When men and women in a relationship communicate, it’s hard to say who gets more frustrated. Men sometimes feel as if women spoke in tongues, and women, on the other hand, often cannot remember the last time they heard anything besides: “What’s for dinner?” from their men.

The reason behind this lies in the simple dissimilarities that cause storms in a relationship – in questions about when, why, and what men and women communicate to each other.

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So what are those simple dissimilarities?

Simply put, the main issue is the fact that men and women experience the purpose of communication differently. It may sound strange, but let’s test this. If you are a man reading this, you probably think: “How can it be seen differently? Communication has one simple purpose – to communicate information to someone!” On the other hand, a woman will probably think that yes, there are numerous varieties of conversations, but mostly, they all build some sort of a relationship between the two, and help bring people closer to each other.

Now, it is not just a lay opinion that there are significant differences in communication patterns between men and women. Psychological studies confirm that women in relationships often talk simply to bond, without a real intention to communicate any sort of relevant information. And this is not a bad thing. But for many men, it is utterly difficult to grasp such an interaction, and they get downright confused and frustrated by this.

Men believe that if one speaks, they ought to say something new, informative, practical and logical. They should present a problem, or offer a solution, express an attitude… If a man doesn’t have something useful to say, he won’t speak. Oh, but this is where the problem arises. A woman interprets this as an alarm, a sign that her partner is growing cold – because conversation means intimacy and mutual interest. A woman then wants to talk things through, but speaking about emotions puts a man into a challenging position. Not only does the culture demand him to be strong and composed, but there is a neurological obstacle to these conversations as well. Women can feel and speak at the same time. Interestingly, men actually have to switch from speech to emotions and back, which takes a lot of energy and focus.

Are men really born reserved?

When this sort of conversation about gender differences is started in a company, one of the first things you will hear is that women are born better (and more prolific) speakers. You’ve probably heard that men are superior at mathematics and science, and women in verbal assignments, and that these differences are biologically (evolutionally) determined. However, even though this idea originates from psychological findings, the disparities are truly not that big. To be more exact, a 1988 analysis of 165 studies, performed by Hyde and colleagues, showed that the belief that females are more verbally skillful is not at all scientifically substantiated, not for any aspect of verbal processing (same goes for math and science skills among males). The differences in the abilities that were found were actually slight and meaningless.

Therefore, if you were convinced that it is a nature given trait of yours that you have to communicate in a certain way, it may not be completely true. What is closer to truth is that in Western culture, girls are believed (expected) to be more talkative and verbally adapt, and boys not to talk much, especially not about emotions. So these expectations are actually the ones that do cause a sort of a Pygmalion effect. Parents raise their children in accordance with cultural beliefs, and that is what causes adult women to speak about twice as much as men. However, knowing that this is not a biological prerequisite may be of help if you wish to improve your relationship.

How can we improve the communication in our relationships?

And this is where we get to the question of enriching the communication with our significant others. We now know that there is not an inborn obstacle to it. Also, understanding how differently each of the genders experiences verbal exchange in a relationship may help us all to be more empathetic towards our partners. Finally, the most important thing you can do if you care about the future and happiness of your relationship or marriage, is letting a professional assist you. You may think “I don’t need an outsider teaching me how to speak to my wife,” and that is alright. However, it never hurts to have someone who is an expert in the field give you input on how you can improve further.

In this case, a therapist can provide you with insights you might not be able to acquire yourself, being inevitably subjective when it comes to your relationship. You may also learn how to assertively express yourself without the risk of coming off as aggressive (again). A few visits may save you and your partner a whole lot of time and nerves. And without the risk of exaggerating, it may even save your relationship.


Hyde, J. S., & Linn, M. C. (1988). Gender differences in verbal ability: A meta- analysis.   Psychological Bulletin, 104, 53-69

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15 Ways to Communicate in a Relationship With a Man

Being able to communicate effectively is the foundation of a strong relationship. It is a fact that men and women communicate differently. Physiologic and emotional approaches are different for them, which can lead to a breakdown of communication.

It is important to know how to communicate in a relationship with a man to take a relationship to the next level.

Remember, communication is a bridge, and you can never progress in a relationship without this bridge!

So, are you ready to build this bridge?

Why is communication vital in a relationship?

One of the most essential factors in a great relationship is the level of communication. All of us have the ability as well as the tools to communicate with our partners. It is the willingness and efficacy of using these tools that define the health of a relationship.

It has been established that male and female brains are wired differently. That is the primary reason why the genders communicate differently, and hence you must ‘learn’ how to communicate in a relationship with a man. This inherent biological difference can be logically explained by science.

However, lives and relationships do not rely on science to thrive or wither. These are formed and sustained by actual people who have to devise their ways to work out how best to communicate. Lack of adequate communication has been the bane of many relationships.

Related Reading: The Importance Of Communication In Your Marriage

15 ways to communicate when you are in a relationship with a man

Good communication can lead to a happy relationship. You just need to focus on the right approach when you are talking to someone, especially men, to make sure that your thoughts get across correctly.

Here are some points you need to keep in mind while communicating with a man in a relationship. 

1. Be direct

When something is bothering you, speak out directly. Do not go around the bush when you need to communicate with your man. Men lose interest when they have to deal with peripheral issues.

So, tell it directly, and with utmost clarity. Come to the point without being aggressive about it and there is much more chance that you will get through.

2. Cut out distractions

It is one thing to get a man’s attention, quite another to keep it where you want.

Please choose a time when he is likely not to be distracted. By that, we mean phones ringing or kids calling out or the TV playing some favorite sport.

In order to make your man actively listen to you, make sure to talk when he can focus entirely on what you want to share.

3. Put your thoughts into words

Remember that your man is not a clairvoyant and cannot read your mind. Assuming that your man will understand what you want or mean without spelling it out is wrong. That is not how you communicate in a relationship with a man.

Spell out what is on your mind and what your expectations are in clear terms. Once the cards are on the table, it is that much easier to take things forward.

Related Reading: 5 Easy and Effective Couples Communication Tips

4. Stop the blame game

It might feel very tempting to play the blame game but do not do that. Prime yourself to speak positively with your man to get him to communicate. 

Instead of blaming him for coming home late from work, rephrase by saying you miss his company.

Similar positioning of words in other aspects of communication will help keep confrontation out. This helps to lower the guard and allow smooth communication.

5. Stay focused

One important rule in the ‘how to communicate in a relationship with a man’ conundrum is to stay focused. It is easy to move into loosely related topics or incidents when in a conversation. However, men prefer to discuss the main issue at hand and sort it out.

Decide on the topic of conversation beforehand and try to stick to it if you wish to get the man’s attention.

6. Bury the past

‘Remember what you did at Dave’s party fiasco last year?’ is not the way you will get men communicating. What happened in the past needs to be left out of conversations at times. Repeated mentions of some past blunder will only cause your man to clam up more.

For effective communication with a man you are in a relationship with, it is best to learn from the past. It is even more important to let the past remain ‘past’ and move on.

Related Reading: Forgiveness & Intimacy: How to Leave the Past in the Past

7. Avoid emotional outbursts

We understand there is a lot of emotional investment that goes into building a relationship. In such situations, it is easy to feel overwhelmed in trying to communicate. Having said that, if your boyfriend doesn’t communicate well, compose yourself before sitting down to talk.

Having an emotional outburst in the middle of a talk might end up pushing your man deeper into his shell. Most men are not good at handling a partner who is overwrought.

8. Focus on priorities

It has been famously said to ‘choose one’s battles’. In any relationship, there are bound to be points of friction between couples. These can range from small things like which side of the bed each will occupy to more contentious ones like who takes the kids to soccer.

The best of men has faltered at the altar of man and communication. To make a success of this, make sure you prioritize what really matters.

9. Take a positive approach

Putting a negative spin on everything is the surest way of putting a lid on men and women talking. It might not be easy to do this, but remember what you are aiming at.

Positively presenting your point of view will keep your man interested in the conversation. He is more likely to communicate better in this setting.

Related Reading: How to Include Positive Communication in Marriage

10. Accept that men and women are different

If you are one of those whose boyfriend doesn’t communicate well, the first step towards resolution might well be acceptance. Men and women are different, period. 

There are physiological as well as social factors behind how men and women choose to reach out. Understanding this and accepting it will be the first step towards smoothing out communication.

11. Understand where he is coming from

A lot of how to have a relationship talk with a guy depends on where your guy is coming from. By that, we mean his social conditioning, how he reacts to situations, if he is an introvert by nature, does he like to be confronted, etc.

Many men open up more to empathetic partners, and many others do not like being talked to. A basic understanding of what kind of a person your guy is will help get the communication channels going.

12. Learn to listen well

Men often get to hear that they ‘do not listen’. The same can apply to you too. By listening, we do not mean only the words your man is speaking. What is more important is what he is not.

Learning to understand subtle signs, change in expression, tone, hand gestures, etc., can be more productive in communicating well.

Related Reading: 4 Tips to Be a Better Listener in a Relationship

13. Make it face to face

Remember you are trying to communicate with a man who may or may not be easy on communication. This may be the era of digital apps and social media, but such things are definitely not the right way to communicate in a relationship.

Avoid being virtual, and keep the communication physical, that is person to person.

Sit across your man and talk. That is “THE” best way. Remember that physical presence allows the guy to hear your words and understand the tone, the expressions, and the body language. These matter a lot in communication. 

14. Leave family out of it

This is the most important factor if you are trying to learn “how to communicate in a relationship with a man”. Many of us tend to drag in the family when trying to communicate with men effectively. 

What ‘your sister said’ or ‘how can your father do this’ will not help. Your man will either clam up or get going down the same lane himself.

There is no way you will get him to communicate in this situation. So, make sure to keep such family matters out.

Remember, this is about the two of you and trying to get talking. Stick to what matters and how roadblocks can be negotiated.

15. Choose the right place and time

A significant factor is a right ambiance when you want to communicate with your man effectively. It isn’t easy at times to control one’s feelings, and instinct is to vent it out. Choose a time when your man is relaxed and not in the middle of something at work.

Also, take care to choose the place for your talk. Ideally, this should be where either of you does not expect to bump into known people. Such a place will help put both of you at ease and get the communication going that much more easily.

If you need more help in communication, here’s a great practical tips video you can check out:


Knowing how to communicate with your man effectively can undoubtedly be the keystone of a robust relationship. A large part of this lies in accepting that men and women talk differently and understand differently.

While there is not much that can be done about inherent differences between genders, we can certainly work around these issues to get men and women talking. Meeting the man halfway is a great way to foster easy communication and build strong relationships.

How to communicate with a man in order to interest him

Do you like a man, but he does not show any feelings towards you? How to win over a man and arouse a feeling of sympathy in him, advises

Irina secretly envied her friend. Short, quiet, without any frills in clothes and makeup, with an ordinary appearance, she simply lured men to her like a magnet. Some wanted to meet her, others just came to chat - Tatyana found kind words for everyone. While Irina, who carefully monitors her appearance, dresses in fashion, visits the gym, English and driving courses, no one paid attention. Irina constantly wondered - why is this happening? And what needs to be done to please a man?

It's all about communication

Sound familiar? Yes, we all like to communicate, but not everyone does it right. Meanwhile, with the help of a skillfully constructed conversation, you can not only win over the interlocutor, but also help a man fall in love with you.

What do you need? The main rule of the conversation is that you must inspire a man to remember memories of his life that are important and reveal his feelings. Let him be the storyteller and you the grateful listener. The more he tells you, the more he will become attached to you.

What needs to be sacrificed? With your time, because any high-quality conversation takes time, with your negative emotions and negative assessment. You will have to abandon the replicas “Yes, how could you?”, “Your mother is just not herself!”, “Your ex is crazy” and sacrifice self-affirmation in the spirit of “But I was more interesting!” and the desire to tell him as much as possible about his life. Ready to give it up? Then go ahead!

The secret of easy communication

Mayakovsky's muse Lily Brik said: “You need to impress a man that he is wonderful and even brilliant, it's just that others don't understand it. And to allow what is forbidden to him at home.

You can win over a person if you gently ask him about everything. Imagine that you are an interviewer and you are talking from one exciting event in a man's life to another.

Explore his feelings and experiences together. Encourage a man to reveal his secrets, problems, ask him to talk about everything that comes to mind. Let him know that you are interested in him. By asking questions, show the man that he is an important person in your eyes. Create a friendly and trusting atmosphere, empathize.

We provide an indicative list, and you can come up with your own questions. Ask them so that the answers have a more positive connotation - so the man will quickly become attached to you and will associate communication with you with positive.

- How was the man's childhood? What was especially memorable? What were your most pleasant memories?
- Who was he friends with, what games did he play with friends, what else was he fond of?
- What moments of his childhood would he like to relive?
- Did he like school? What did you like, dislike?
- At what point did he realize that he was becoming an adult?
- What kind of girls did he like then? How did he take care of the girls? What did you experience while doing this? Let him describe. Ask to talk about first love. At the same time, analyze his feelings, aspirations.
- What kind of relationship did he have or does he have with his sisters, brothers, parents?
- What are his favorite holidays and why? What holidays do you remember the most? Were there any unusual gifts?
- Does he have enemies, true friends? What are they?
- What does he especially appreciate in people? What will he never forgive?
- What are his dreams? What are the wildest dreams?
- What does he especially appreciate in girls? Ask to describe the ideal girl - what does she do, how she talks, how she behaves in conflicts? Preferably with examples (let him come up with).

Arrange questions so that the man answers them in detail. For example, in addition to “Do you like football?” Ask “What do you like about football? Why did you start doing it?" Let your man speak openly, easily, without interruption. Let his stories, thoughts be confused, illogically constructed - do not criticize. Support the man, ask clarifying questions, actively listen.

Transference of Feelings

The great psychiatrist Sigmund Freud discovered that all of his patients fell in love with him after they shared their thoughts about their love experiences and other events of their lives that had special emotional significance. He was not handsome and therefore even hid from his wards behind a screen, but the conversation went on, and the patients fell in love anyway.

You can also make a man fall in love with you by capturing his feelings and thoughts. It is also necessary to build questions according to the principle listed above. Their only difference will be that here you will only ask about his love and sympathy for other women. The method is difficult because it hurts the woman's pride, it is unpleasant for her to ask about someone else.

But its effectiveness is based on the fact that every man is a child at heart, who seeks attention and craves it. The fact that men do not like to talk about themselves is a myth! It's just that no one gives them the opportunity to do it. Indeed, often women talk more about themselves, “advertise themselves” than they listen.

By the way, when you encourage a man to talk about his love interests, you don't have to talk about yours at all. Avoid such conversations and direct the conversation in the right direction - to the man.

Of course, this transfer method is not recommended at first. Perhaps a man will initially be embarrassed by such an open conversation or consider such topics too sensitive. First, ask about something neutral, and then gradually, when you are alone in a relaxing environment, bring him to the desired topic. Say you want to know everything about him, because he is a really interesting person.

When asking a man, imagine yourself as his wife. After all, a spouse, like no one else, should be a heartfelt listener and the first confidant.

Would you like to talk about yourself?

Of course, you shouldn't attack a man with questions and not tell anything about yourself. Otherwise, the man will think that you have something to hide, you are spying on him or have other bad intentions.

You will have to share something of your own, but when talking about yourself, try to keep the stories short, interesting and positive. After a short story about yourself, return the initiative of the narrator to the man.

What to avoid in communication

A man needs a relationship with a woman with whom he can forget about his problems and not make new ones. To avoid a bad opinion of yourself, you should not:

1. Flaunt your health problems (nearsightedness, weakness, fatigue, allergies, frequent colds), talk about the shortcomings of your appearance (overweight, underweight, flaky skin, big nose brittle hair).

2. To insist on something, for example, on one's religion, political beliefs. Also, do not criticize anyone (politicians, boss, ex) or anything (interpersonal relationships, fate). Remember, you have to be a positive person.

3. Complain about financial difficulties. Show that you are able to provide for yourself, but do not show financial superiority, even if it exists. If your financial situation leaves much to be desired, show the man that you can overcome difficulties.

"Understand me": why men and women often do not understand each other

"Understand me": why men and women often do not understand each other | Big Ideas Communications
Article published in Harvard Business Review Russia
Carol Fleming
Photo: rawpixel / Unsplash

Editorial. Why do women and men often have problems communicating with each other? The fact is that they are used to speaking and expressing their thoughts in different ways, the author of the book “Speaking is easy! How to become a pleasant conversationalist by communicating confidently and naturally, ”and communication skills specialist Carol Fleming. We are publishing a chapter from the book (her translation of the book comes out this winter by Mann, Ivanov and Ferber) in which Fleming explains how to maintain the right communication strategy regardless of the interlocutor's gender differences.

You must have noticed that men and women speak differently, and these differences are great. We have often heard desperate groans about this. We think we speak the same language (it sounds like the same language), but we wonder why men and women so often cannot understand each other.

The manner in which men and women communicate always brings us back to the problem of our biological nature. For centuries, men have demonstrated dominance when communicating with each other, while women, when talking to each other, have shown mutual care and protect friendly relations. These differences in communication styles often lead to misunderstandings between men and women.

Protocol and harmony, duel and duet

Much research has been devoted to the differences between male and female speech, in particular the work of Deborah Tannen. Tannen coined the term genderlect to describe the differences between male and female communication patterns: “there is no right and wrong, worse and better; they're just different."

Communicating with each other, men usually try to prove their superiority. They often disagree, play pranks on each other, and tease each other. Men seem to enjoy fighting for status, so they take on positions of authority or expertise to put themselves above others so that no one can outbid them. (Have you ever heard of "condescending tone"?)

Women's conversations are noticeably different, as they try to be equal and do not seek leadership in the conversation. Women have a deep need for networking. They worry about how their words affect others and also think about building and maintaining relationships. They often smile and easily express friendliness and sympathy.

Biolinguist John Locke in his book Duels and Duets: Why Men and Women Talk So Dierently focuses on the reasons for differences in male and female communication. He found that the purpose of the speech behavior of men and women is to influence people of the same sex: “Ancient biological predispositions differed because our ancestors, men and women, competed for the things they needed in two fundamentally different ways; they are two separate evolutionary trajectories.”

The main rule of male communication is: "Do everything to appear the best - the strongest and smartest, the most courageous and resourceful." Locke called this style of communication dueling.

Women, on the contrary, do everything to maintain harmony in society - they act as a duet. During a duet, you exchange something very personal (thoughts and feelings), and it occurs only with close communication and mutual trust of the interlocutors.

Similarly, Tannen labeled the male conversational style as the "language of protocols" and the female conversational style as the "language of harmony." The main differences are related to dominance (in men) and relationship maintenance (in women). Imagine a cross, where the horizontal line is the female line of equal relationships, and the vertical line is the male tendency to dominate.

Tannen insists that we must consider communication between men and women as intercultural. She advises to remember this in order to achieve mutual understanding and avoid problems. The fact is that men and women develop communicative features that contribute to communication with their own sex, and not with the opposite. When communicating with each other, men and women talk to people of the opposite sex in the same way as with members of their own. They have no other mode of communication that they can freely use in conversations with each other. Misunderstanding occurs due to the fact that society expects us to behave for which evolution has not prepared us.

Men and women at work

When it comes to communication at work, Tannen noticed that in occupations where men have been in leadership positions for centuries, there is already a norm for relationships between men. Hire a woman for this job who is ready to communicate as equals and compete for leadership positions. What do you think will happen next?

There's not much guesswork here, right?

Look at the headlines of self-development books in a bookstore. A very large part is intended for a female audience.

What interesting things will we see in these books?

- All authors write that women need to work on what they say, how they say and how they look when they speak - in general, on their communication skills.

- All authors believe that women must improve themselves in order to fit into the company of "straight white men." (No one, of course, writes about this directly, but I can read between the lines.)

- All books are written by women, mostly PhDs in communication skills like me.

- About 95% of the research in one of the books I flipped through was done by women. The remaining 5% are links to Webster's Dictionary or some research institute.

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