I know, sometimes getting your man to talk about his feelings can feel like pulling teeth!
And while one solution could be to figure out how to slip him some anaesthetic so you can just YANK it out of him, that’ll only get him to close his mouth up for good.
By now, you’ve probably realized that getting your romantic partner to open up emotionally isn’t about information – it’s about intimacy. And as much as you want the relationship to grow, it’s hard to do that when you feel shut out or when your man feels misunderstood.
Today, I’m going to show you how to communicate in a way that will help a man open up emotionally – empowering you to build that deeper, more meaningful connection you’ve been longing for!
#1 Help Your Partner Open Up By Going First
It can be tempting to wait until your man volunteers to confess his feelings, but you may end up reaching the end of your patience before that ever happens.
You see, men aren’t wired to step into a state of emotional vulnerability until they feel safe to do so. That’s because opening up also opens up an opportunity for rejection.
They fear rejection just as much as the next person, but it’s amplified in an intimate relationship.
Which means you’ll have a better chance of opening him up when you take the first step.
Now I know that “taking initiative” doesn’t sound like the sexiest advice ever. But by going first, you’ll lay out:
“Here’s who I am…”
“Here are my vulnerabilities…”
“Here’s my openness…”
Creating a safe space for him to do the same!
An easy way of doing this is by asking direct questions like:
“Can I be vulnerable with you?”
If you’re not convinced that it can be that simple, let me share a story of what my wife did to create that safe space for me when we were dating…
Six months into our relationship, my wife (my girlfriend, at the time) visited me on my 30th birthday.
We decided to stay in a cabin over the weekend. But once we got there, she set a boundary that she was going to sleep in the same bed with me but she wasn’t going to have sex with me.
I responded with, “Okay, I respect that!”
But the next morning, she wasn’t in bed with me. So I got up and went into the hallway to find her asleep on a Futon.
I asked her “Honey, what are you doing on the futon?”
And she looked up at me and asked “Can I be vulnerable with you?”
Immediately, I knew I had to prepare myself for whatever she was going to share with me…
I said “Yeah, of course – what’s going on?”
My wife continued, “Well… I was really gassy last night – and I didn’t want to blow you out of the bed!”
Now that was a vulnerable moment – and possibly the most awesome thing I’ve ever heard someone say! Early on in a relationship, it would be scary to broadcast a message like that to your romantic partner.
But that one moment brought our entire relationship to a deeper level.
It took courage to say that and it wasn’t an “attractive” thing to say – but she was super honest and vulnerable with me. By dropping those walls, I also let go of my own facade of “trying to put up a show in front of her to look good” and became more real with her.
It was encouraging to feel that if she can open up like that, I could too.
#2 Lead With Compassion When He Does Express His Feelings
Of course, in any intimate relationship, even the most communicative partners can turn an invitation into vulnerability into conflict. When this happens, you might hear deflections like:
“Just forget about it.”
“I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
“You don’t get it.”
These phrases come from a frustrated, closed-off partner. For most, the immediate reaction is to “force the fix” by trying to pry him back open. But if you do that, he’ll just retreat further behind his walls!
These moments of emotional unavailability can be prevented before the spiral happens. It’s all about noticing your verbal and non-verbal communication.
First and foremost, during an emotionally vulnerable conversation, don’t immediately act on the instinct to coach or give advice.
If you’re unsure of whether or not he wants that type of feedback, ask him:
“Do you want me to listen or are you looking for advice?”
In this way, you can handle the situation in a way that makes him feel heard, rather than having to guess what he needs.
Secondly, as he continues to share his feelings, be mindful of your own body language and emotions during the conversation. For instance, if you roll your eyes or smirk while he’s talking, he’ll pick up those signals in a heartbeat.
Your man will sense when you’re judging him, and the last thing your partner wants is for your opinion of him to diminish. No one wants to feel humiliated, but men especially don’t want to feel like their sense of identity is being threatened.
The moment he picks up on those negative feelings, he’ll cut the emotional connection off short.
Finally, to sum up why you’re doing this in the first place: practice compassion. No one is perfect and it takes a lot of courage and baby steps to help a man open up emotionally (especially with someone new).
But in order to lead your conversations with compassion you have to first cultivate compassion for yourself. When you give grace to your own shortcomings and create a healing environment for your own mistakes or flaws, your partner will notice and be more comfortable bringing up his own.
(If you’d like help creating an even deeper relationship with yourself so that compassion comes easily and naturally, I’d love to offer you this beautiful, free gift called the Self-Love Activation Kit!
This will help you nurture the emotional intimacy between yourself and your partner, which is one of the most important things you can do in a healthy relationship! So as you increase your self-love, you’ll be more grounded and ready to help your partner grow emotionally as well!)
#3 Keep Personal Conversations Private (And Intimate!)
This is one of the most overlooked, but easiest ways to help a man open up emotionally: take your conversations 1:1, in private, where no one can interrupt you.
It’s not difficult to imagine why this is so important!
Let’s say you take your partner to a fancy restaurant on his birthday – setting up the perfect opportunity for him to open up over a romantic dinner…
But just as your partner begins to explain that his father left him on his first birthday, the entire restaurant staff comes up to your table and sings “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” with all the fanfare necessary to ruin the mood!
So to avoid interruptions, take your conversations to a one-on-one level.
It will be much easier for your man to emotionally open up when it’s just the two of you at the beach, or even in the car after a celebratory birthday dinner! 🥳
Wherever you decide to go, remember that intimacy encourages emotional vulnerability – and that deserves uninterrupted quality time.
#4 Shoulder Up (To Open Him Up)
As you get settled into a safe, intimate place, pay close attention to how you’re positioned around each other. The natural position is to be directly in front of whoever you’re talking to, but your man will actually be more comfortable talking with you side-by-side.
In other words, make your shoulders touch.
I remember a fascinating research study that went into great detail about why this posture is so much more effective.
When a man is face-to-face with someone, they put themselves in a combative stance – like they’re squaring off. This subconsciously prepares them for conflict since it’s a naturally confrontational position.
On the other hand, being at a 90 degree position next to each other with your shoulders touching is a great way to keep the atmosphere relaxed and open.
So as subtle as the change may be, next time you want to help a man open up emotionally, shoulder up.
It may be the magical signal they need to finally let their guard down and open up!
#5 Talk Over an Activity
You: “Honey, we need to talk…”
*crying in the corner* (okay, not really – but still)
If you want your man to NOT feel safe opening up, this is the perfect sentence to close him up – signed, sealed, delivered right back into silence. 😉
Echoing back to one of the first things I shared in this article: men won’t talk for the sake of talking. It isn’t in our nature to be the first to step into an emotionally vulnerable state.
With that said, you can avoid the unsettling vibes and start a conversation by vibing with each other over an activity first!
This is a really practical, almost sneaky way of massaging a man into talking about their feelings.
Do this right, and he’ll just ease into it.
So how do you accomplish this proverbial sleight-of-hand?
Take them fishing – go on a walk – or better yet: sit around a campfire.
There’s something familiar and primitive about sitting next to a fire that makes it such an effective strategy to get men into a talking mood. It creates an atmosphere of safety, comfort, and natural flow – which is the unlocking combination for your partner to open up emotionally in a way that doesn’t tear his walls down.
Instead it’ll open the drawbridge into even the most fortified walls!
Conclusion: [Your Man WANTS To Be Closer With You!]
But you have to do it in a way that GROWS and DEEPENS your relationship. Because why else would you want your man to share his feelings and emotions?
But while you work on building a closer, deeper, and intimate relationship, remember that the best way to help a man open up emotionally is to build him up rather than tearing down his walls.
This isn’t contradictory because when you:
– Make him feel safe enough to be vulnerable…
– Lead conversations with compassion…
– Prioritize privacy and intimacy…
– And encourage him to open up naturally…
You will BUILD UP your relationship for the long run!
Finally, I want to offer you one more opportunity to build yourself up first!
In case you missed it above, click here to download my hugely popular Self Love Activation Kit – something you can take with you to develop deeper and deeper love and vulnerability, with yourself and your man!
To building love that lasts,