When He’s Not Hearing What You’re Saying
Toni Munoz-Hunt’s stylish relationship advice column continues today, sorting out a sticky communication situation. Have a question for Toni to tackle in the future? Visit our Contact Page and tell us all about it.
I’ve been seeing this guy for six months and I’d like us to make a commitment, but I’m not sure how to initiate the conversation. When we met, he said that he didn’t want a girlfriend, and I stupidly agreed that I wasn’t looking for anything serious either. Now I’m stuck in this in-between space, filled with text messages and late-night trysts. What can I say to start over and make him mine?
Start over? You can’t! That’s like deciding to become a virgin again, after you’ve already done the deed.
In other words, once you’ve established the terms of your relationship, he’s not going to see you any differently. And so, six months later and no-date-earlier-than-midnight, you’re still in the same place. The real problem here is a failure to communicate.
If you continue to play the cool chick game, agreeing to things you don’t like and answering his booty calls, the next step in your relationship will be spending your weekends fly fishing and hand waxing his car.
In order to communicate with a man – and therefore get what you really want – you have to learn how he thinks. And, just as importantly, what he hears. Below I’ve listed common relationship situations, along with a few key phrases.
Check out what you’re saying and what he’s really hearing.
1. Scenario: You’re late for a date
You say: I’m so sorry, but I was stuck in traffic.
He hears: I’m so sorry, but I’m really high maintenance.
2. Scenario: A comfortable silence
You say: What’s wrong?
He hears: Let’s talk about our feelings.
3. Scenario: Your friend receives a gift
You say: Look at her new bracelet, Honey. Isn’t it amazing?
He hears: Why don’t you ever buy me jewelry?
4. Scenario: A chat about his friends
You say: Paul is so nice. I’d love to set him up with one of my girlfriends.
He hears: If you and I ever break up, I’m definitely going to bang Paul.
5. Scenario: Your skinny jeans don’t fit
You say: I have to go to the gym, but it’s just so hard, when I work all day.
He hears: Warning! I only stay in shape when I’m single.
6. Scenario: You’re venting about a co-worker
You say: I swear, she deliberately tries to piss me off.
He hears: Blah, blah, blah…I’m so jealous. I wish she’d get fired.
7. Scenario: You feel moody and stressed
You say: I need a day to focus on myself and have some alone time.
He hears: I’m hormonal now, but just you wait until I go through menopause.
8. Scenario: You remark on a scantily-clad young woman
You say: Can you believe what she’s wearing? I can see her butt cheeks!
He hears: I wish I were hot like that, and back in college again.
9. Scenario: You return from a trip to the mall
You say: Look how much money I saved you, Babe. I bought everything on sale.
He hears: I love to spend your cash.
10. Scenario: You’re not in the mood
You say: I’m so sorry, Honey, but I’m too tired tonight.
He hears: I’m sorry, Honey, but I don’t want to have sex ever again.
Get the idea?
KT, now that you’ve had a quick glimpse into the mind of the opposite sex, you’ll be better prepared for the art of communication. It may be too late to begin again in this relationship, but next time will be different.
Of course, that isn’t to say that you couldn’t still land the commitment-phobe right now. You could pull it off. But trust me, it’s more trouble than he’s worth. Words and phrases aside, all roads lead to the same understanding: Not every guy can be made a boyfriend, and not every boyfriend can be made a husband.
Until next time,
Photo features real-life model couple Shanan & Stuart Ridnour. Hair and makeup by Yvonne Coan, Kim Dawson Agency.