communication · emotional connection

Being Vulnerable and Connecting with Women (Part 4)

connecting 3Emotionally connecting goes beyond just listening and empathizing, however. That is the first step for sure but to really connect both parties have to open up.

This means that guys, we need to be more vulnerable. Now before I go further let me clarify something. This does not mean being a bask case and spilling your guts on the first day overwhelming her with stories how you were abused as a child and how your first girlfriend cheated on you. Bad idea.

Vulnerability does mean putting yourself out there, discussing your feelings, and allowing yourself to express emotions that you feel. Not all at once. But gradually. Match her pace or maybe fall a step behind. But do show your emotional side. Now if you haven’t learned how to control your emotions yet than I’d suggest pausing and working on this before you even try to communicate with women at all on a romantic level. If you do have relative control over your emotions, you are ready to allow them to be seen.

A large part of emotionally connecting with women has to do with being in touch with your own emotions. Men in general tend to be afraid to show emotion other than machismo (often displayed as anger or laughter). But displaying other emotions is hard for men to do. However, how can one really expect to relate to another if they have no idea what it feels like to have the emotions that person is having?

If you’ve never allowed yourself to feel lonely because you drown out all feelings with video games, beer, sports, loud music, and such; how can you relate to someone who is explaining to you that they felt lonely in the crowded NYC where they went last summer for an internship? Logically you will think “that makes no sense, there are millions of people there” and you will lose the opportunity to empathize and connect because you’ve never been vulnerable enough with yourself to understand your own emotions.

Sharing your emotions with a woman enables you to connect with her. But it starts with being open to yourself about your emotions. Our society in general is quick to drown out unwanted emotions with sights and sounds. We have gadgets to entertain us and distract us. We have constant business to keep us from thinking. Men and women alike are challenged with this. Connecting is hard for everyone in such a cluttered world.

One way to fight the distractions is to ask questions. This is simple and straight forward at first but you have to be intentional about the kind of questions you ask. Asking her about her job is can be boring, unless she really loves it and wants to talk about her experiences. Asking her why she feels like her boss is setting her up for failure is more intimate.

You want to create those intimate moments. Or at least create the opportunity for them. And not close them off by asking only factual questions and giving objective answers to everything. There is a place for that. Factual conversations are stimulating and interesting, and women are just as capable of having an intelligent conversation about science as men are. But that’s not all they want.

Emotionally connecting with women is not a formula or a list of steps. It’s about creating moments that are memorable, that you don’t want to end.

It’s about learning who you are and sharing that.

It’s about being someone who can empathize, who can see through someone else’s perspective.

Personal questions or comments? Need advice? Email me thelovemanifesto@gmail.com

Check me out on Twitter @jesse_leake

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46 thoughts on “Being Vulnerable and Connecting with Women (Part 4)

    1. I wouldn’t necessarily say that women are more complex than men. I think that men are complex too. They often hide that complexity. They are often told by society that is unacceptable. But men are complex as well. And sometimes difficult understands too. I hope that I get it. I don’t always. But I am trying

      1. I didn’t mean to imply that I don’t think men are complex, without a doubt that is true! Don’t you think that we are designed the way that we are to learn from each other. Via la difference..it is what draws us to each other and we learn and grow as a person from those differences. Both sexes are trained not to say or do certain things that are not acceptable. Hopefully over time we will learn to embrace both sides of each other. It would bring the sexes so much closer. You are doing a great job! Just wanted to encourage you in that.

  1. You have a lot of great insight. That’s a great idea to share. Vulnerability gets such a negative connotation. Where is really isn’t. Girls just like to be clear on things and feel comfortable sharing things with you.

    1. And don’t you think that girls like guys to be open with them as well? Do you feel that it makes a man last of a man when he opens up? I don’t mean being a baby or a pushover. But opening up about how we really feel. Thanks for the comment.

  2. Wow! I’m impressed. Very deep & emotionally intelligent advice here. 🙂 I am a woman who is working on the whole vulnerability thing… and I’ll tell ya, it’s a toughie! Male or female, I think many of us have fears of being hurt or of being truly seen. We fear intimacy- I know I do. But like you point out, rather essential so the work has to get done. Can’t wait to read more! Keep going.

    1. I am glad you are happily married. That is rare these days. Maybe you should tell your friends that many men are losing faith in women as well. Many of the guys in their mid twenties that I know have given up on a happy serious relationship. And it is not because they do not want it. In fact many of them want it more than girls their ages do. I think a lot of it has to do with men getting stuck in a rut. And not growing up until after 30. By then they are expected to have a great job and career and be stable. But for many men they are just getting started. And the ones who are on the right track are having a hard time convincing women they are the real deal.

      1. Woman would probably be accepting of a man that age not being fully established but her family, coworkers, friends and all those that judge would not. Peer pressure, expectations and competition can be relationship killers. It takes a certain kind of woman to take a man to meet her people if she has nothing to “brag” about. It’s a crazy world and I am happy I’m not navigating it alone.

  3. What an insightful series of articles. I do believe men are afraid to be vulnerable, and openly expressing their emotions (especially one such as love) is extremely difficult. But it is also difficult for women as well. As the one who has always said “I love you” first, not hearing the “I love you, too” is maddening…especially when you KNOW he returns your feelings. I am involved with a man who is very cautious about verbalizing his emotions. But, with patience and time, I am gradually getting him to open up. I guess what I’m saying is we women need to make the men in our lives feel “safe” in expressing their feelings with us. And, we need to teach our sons it’s okay to talk about feelings.

    1. So are you saying that it is up to the woman to make a man feel comfortable with sharing his feelings? I think that it definitely goes both ways. And many times man don’t feel comfortable sharing their feelings. But often we don’t need to say I love you all the time to know that is true. And I think some women have and securities that make them want to hear it all the time. Also don’t you think it is risky being the first 1 to say I love you? That is a pretty bold statement. Thanks for the comment.

  4. The key. Is to be honest and open about everything. And guys do have trouble doing this when it comes to feelings. But I think women do too. In fact I think that many women I have met or dated in the past have had more trouble being honest when their feelings change. Good point thanks for all your comments again.

  5. oh wow please make this article a requirement for every guy to read and be able to recite verbatim before he leaves middle school. I was left by my husband of 30 years who never loved me now I’m seeing a man…retired cage fighter…still just as macho…but he just can’t say the L word… boy he must have struggled finding a card at Valentines Day. found one said I’m crazy about you. I just thought wow the ones that can say…oh baby I love you turn out to be players the ones that can’t do nothing emotionally for me…Ahhh you are a breath of fresh air and bring hope to woman kind!

    1. Well that is sad that your husband left you. I am sure you left a great woman. Men do struggle but I don’t think is always there fault. Who is there telling them how to emotionally connect? Certainly not our fathers. And how many women put man down when they do try to connect. I think that society and lack of role models has a lot to do with the situation. And there are plenty of good men out there. Unfortunately they are often put down for being emotional. Best of luck. Thanks for the compliment

  6. Wish I coulda shared this post with the last guy I was involved with, when I was involved with him. He couldn’t hear this from me, extraordinary to hear a man say it. Kudos to you.

  7. Sir, are you doing studies on woman? This amazing stuff. If only we could all make these connections emotionally and mentally. You are ahhmmmaaazzzinnng!! I’m really enjoying all your pieces, all your wisdom you’re kind enough share. Thanks so much:)

    1. Thank you so much for the kind reply. I’m only sharing the things that I have learned or am morning. And many times learned the hard way. And yes in some ways I guess you could say I am studying women. Women are fascinating.

  8. Have you ever heard of soul ties? I was recently talking with friend of my about them. I think that would be interesting to hear people talk about. In fact…maybe I will send you what I experienced on your new page?

      1. Soul ties are made with someone when we are truly intimate with someone. For example our first love. Most people give there while selves to that one person so they “tie” themselves to them. Until the tie is broken emotionally we never really move on.

  9. Nice and insightful write up. My worry in all this is the fact that no matter who some women try in making their men comfortable and open up, it just never happens and am wondering why cos i believe, if a woman…as complex as we can be, can get to bring ourselves to open up, why can’t the men do likewise. Don’t get me wrong, am not saying that a man must wait for his woman to take the step first or that it’s a must for him to open up cos she did…but am just worried cos this sort of thing leads to lots of broken relationships and broken homes.

    1. Are you saying that you feel that women put themselves out there and open up. Only to have their man not do the same in return? I can see how that would be frustrating. Honestly as a guy I have had the same thing happened to me. Where I have opened up to a woman and she did not open up to me. So I was left guessing. I think it happens to all of us sometimes. We get scared to open up. We’ve been hurt in the past. Read my upcoming post this week. It is all about that.

  10. It’s actually not that hard for a man to be vulnerable if a man is secure with himself. If he’s not secure, well….there might be a bigger problem than trying to talk to a woman about feelings.
    What I was told once before is: “If you love yourself and you are happy with the way things are going, life’s a peach. However, if you have problems just like the rest of us, It’s better to talk about it then let it go. Instead of lugging it around with you so everyone can see it(baggage)”

    I think the men you’re referring to probably are not even trying to make a change i.e. not reading blogs(like your) or seeking out help. They might even not realize that it’s a problem until they are in a divorce fight for custody of a innocent child….Shame. I’d rather be single and work on myself than see that happen to me. I saw my parents go through it, and I vowed to never put myself in that situation. All I have to do is open up my mouth and compromise with the woman I’m dating.

    Nice blog!

    1. Very good points. I think you are right that many people not just men are in the situation where they don’t even want to learn how to change. Which is sad because they would be so much healthier otherwise. Change is a mindset. It is a lifestyle. Being open minded to the fact that maybe you are not living the best way and being willing to change. I think I agree with you that the last thing I want is to end in divorce because I had not developed myself enough to make a relationship last.

      1. I agree and also think that kindness, patience and basic acceptance of who another person is goes a long way towards encouraging someone to feel safe enough to open up. I think we need to allow each other to take the time they need to be courageous enough to trust. Openness comes with time and trust especially if someone has been hurt very badly in the past.

  11. As the other parts of this series, this is very valuable because it reminds us all to be open, vulnerable, respectful, and try to build connections like bridges in our relationships. That way we are all happier and healthier. Two together make longer lives!

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