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On Life, Love and the Pursuit of Happiness

How to Make "The Talk" More Productive

Robert Manni - Friday, December 27, 2013

Let’s face it. Guys don’t like “the talk”.

In fact, most guys don’t like discussing their relationships or their feelings at all. Hey, please don’t shoot the messenger. I’m on your side, but it's time we have our own little “talk”.  I want to help you get your guy in the mindset of being open and honest about the relationship and make it as wonderful as it can be. Unfortunately, if we leave that up to men, it’s got about as much chance of succeeding as the Jamaican bobsled team winning the gold medal in the upcoming Winter Olympics. That would be great, but don’t bet on it. So ladies, please accept my Guy’s Guy tips for making the most of those “talks” with your man.

Men have a different perspective on relationships.

When a guy doesn’t have much to say you can assume he is happy with the relationship. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. When a guy has a problem, he usually brings it up when it happens. Once it’s discussed and hopefully resolved, he moves on. If only things were that easy, right? While some ladies may fester internally about a comment or something he did for weeks or months before discussing, it might be healthier to bring it up as it happens. Of course this doesn't necessarily apply to all women or all relationships. Some women bring up each and every little thing that bothers them, whether they're right or wrong, making their man feel that he’s under attack and not making his partner happy. Although it’s the guy’s responsibility to choose how he feels, it’s also the fastest way to see a guy shut down. Do your best to find the right balance.

Timing is everything.

You don’t go ice fishing in July. And you don’t plop down next to your guy and bring up relationship issues during the seventh inning of the World Series when his team, and maybe your team, is playing (Not to say your issue is any less important than the game). The point is, you want his full attention. Find a time and a place where the two of you can relax and not be pressed for time--maybe a walk in the park or after a nice meal in your favorite restaurant. Notice I did not say in the restaurant where you’ll be sitting across from your partner. Also, do your best to avoid alcohol before the “talk”. Just trying to help.

Prioritize your issues.

The women I know really care about their relationships. And they do so to the point of occasionally obsessing about the details. It drives them crazy when their guy is all smiles yet unaware that his behavior is troubling to her and preventing their relationship from getting to the next level. And rightly so. Guys can be lazy-minded, and it is unfair that women have to harbor unhappiness because their man is not paying attention and respecting the relationship the way they are. That said it helps if you can focus the “talk” on the most important aspects of the relationship. Too many issues in one discussion can feel like a condemnation of the guy as a person. I’m not defending this response, but the fact is, guys are sensitive when it comes to their egos, so if you want to get through keep things simple. I’ll bet he’ll respond if you do. And tell him that this is important.

It’s about love, not winning.

I’m the first to admit that throughout the many “talks” I’ve had, I was usually in the wrong. Although that was never the intention, I learned through the ‘talks” to open up and view my relationships through my partners’ lens. And more often than not, her lens was filled with love, even though it may not have felt like it at the time. Like other guys, I want nothing more than to make my partner happy. So please keep in mind that if your talks are based on love and not criticism or winning an argument, I think you will find that your guy will be open and inspired to be a better and more loving partner.

Are you ready to have a productive “talk” with your guy?

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