5 Ways To Get Your Guy To Open Up
The communication breakdown between the sexes can often be summed up like this: You like to talk about your feelings; he doesn’t. It’s not his fault. “Boys are taught to be less emotionally open than girls,” says Ronald Levant, a professor of psychology at the University of Akron. “They are socialized by their peers and parents never to cry and to embrace traditional norms of masculinity, like being aggressive.” (Those action-hero figures aren’t saving the world by negotiating with the bad guy….)
But the era of the man bun has ushered in a willingness on the part of guys to be less guarded. Millennial men are more down for deep conversations with their partner, says Levant, but there are differences in how men and women communicate that can make it seem like he’s hiding his feelings. “We all share the same need for love,” assures Levant, “but men don’t always grasp how to use talking as a way to get that.” For a lot of men, physical contact (read: sex!) or even just hanging with you is their way of letting you in. Here, some methods to get his lips moving.
STRIKE WHEN HE’S BUSY
When was the last time your boyfriend bonded with his buddies over a quiet dinner? Exactly. Guys aren’t wired for that at-close-range communication. “Face-to-face conversations can make men feel vulnerable, so getting into a serious discussion while engaged in an activity, like driving, feels safer,” says Deborah Tannen, PhD, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University and author of You Just Don’t Understand! Sustained eye contact can also cause confusion. “Between two men, a direct gaze can be a sign that you’re looking for a fight,” she explains. And with a woman, a guy may perceive a long stare as you being DTF, not down to talk. “Either way, he may close up because he’s either too on guard or too focused on sex,” Tannen says.