“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee and just as hard to sleep after.”
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The key to conversation connection is the readiness to open up and reveal your true inner thoughts, ideas and opinions.
Vulnerability begets vulnerability. Isn’t it true that the whole object of “dating” is to get to know someone? In order to reach into the true, organic center of a person, one must first be willing to dig into his/her core and open up as well!
Oftentimes, when we are courageous enough to share our inner selves, it gives others permission to do the same.
This doesn’t mean we have to run around half-cocked spewing out family secrets or running rampant about all our past relationships. It’s about sharing who you are, what you like, what makes you tick and how you roll!
You see, we can tend to think we are not interesting or fascinating but that does not necessarily mean the other person will think the same way. Do not project your own subconscious beliefs onto others.
Give him the opportunity to form his own ideas of connection based on being your totally real, 100% authentic, self.
The key to finding our lifelong, heart-based connection with another is through allowing our uniqueness and beauty to shine in the most natural of ways.
I have heard many, many men say how they like when a woman is a-la natural – no makeup, ponytail, sweat pants etc. because with that appearance comes authenticity. No walls, no barriers, just self. The same is true for our personalities. Men want to know exactly who we are.
If you are truly craving and seeking a deep, meaningful relationship, start with you.
Yes, it may take a lot of courage at first to say it straight especially if you are one who tends to keep yourself hidden. However, the gains from leaning into your faith, allowing your uniqueness to shine and showing your “human” (imperfect) side, are all setting the foundation to finding the heart-connected relationship you have been seeking.
Try to stick to a “no subject off limit” guideline and let ‘er rip! You may be happily surprised at how truly refreshing this will be to your man.
Kristen Brown, Certified Empowerment Coach/Mentor – www.sweetempowerment.com
After a committed relationship, or even a series of sequential ones, many women anticipate the next relationship with trepidation.
Women are weavers of the past and future. They do life in motion pictures, every segment intricately connected to what has happened and what can still be.
Men tend to live more in the moment, alert to current satisfactions and disappointments but experiencing them more as snapshots in time. The exceptions are, of course, when they have felt taken or mocked by a prior relationship.
Because of their unique perspective, women often overlap feelings, behaviors, and experiences from one relationship to another.
That makes the way prior relationships have ended instrumental in how she faces the next one. If she has felt treasured, her trust has not been betrayed, and she was agreeable to the ending of a prior relationship, she is much more likely to enter the next one confident and open to her new adventure.
If, on the other hand, she is wounded, bitter, and cynical, she will be understandably reticent and anticipatory of future failure.
The most ideal way to end any relationship would be, “Lots of mistakes; no regrets,” focusing on the precious moments that were whatever the eventual costs might have been.
Lessons learned and damages minimal are powerful drivers of excitement of what comes next.
Feeling ripped off, betrayed, or dumped leaves anyone more insecure and tentative about risking again. That can lead to taking less and less of a chance, and living each subsequent relationship more carefully, which leads to an ever downward spiral of “Nothing ventured, nothing lost.”
However a new relationship beckons, every woman will feel some concern as to who that man has been in the past and how the women on the other end of him have fared.
They want to know if he can provide, if he’s successful, if he has good relationships with family and friends, how he feels about children, if he has any worrisome diseases, if he lives by any higher power, if he is an addict, if he owes any money, if he’s looking for a committed relationship or a temporary adventure, etc. The list goes on and on.
Men, on the other hand, are looking for secure women who are confident, friendly and joyful to be with, who have no long term agenda too early, aren’t bitter or biased, and are not looking for a “meal ticket.”
They don’t want to be responsible for damages done by other men in the past. The time is now and the future unwritten.
That is a long way of saying that new conversations should not be mental and psychological interrogations about personal histories, or current long-term attitudes toward future availabilities.
Most men are more than willing to extend a relationship while it feels good to them, especially if they feel those interactions will last.
So what kinds of conversations deepen a woman’s knowledge of a new man without cornering him into premature exposure or forced commitment? It really is simpler than would be imagined.
Here are a few opening statements that produce intimacy without invasion.
Notice that I said “statements,” not questions, whether they refer to your date or to yourself.
- “I’d be so interested in some of the most important moments (people, experiences) in your life that you feel have shaped your dreams and interests.”
- “I always wonder how men maintain their confidence when they are under pressure or in stressful competitions with other men for something that is important to them.”
- “I’d love to know how your past relationships have formed your expectations and desires in the ones yet to come.”
- “I’m a person who does really well in relationships when I know how I’m affecting someone and whether they’re having a good time, or not. I know that negative feedback is harder to give too soon in a relationship, but I’m really receptive to whatever you’re feeling or thinking, and I’d really rather know.
- “I’d be open to hearing anything you want to share that would help me to know you better. I’ve found in other relationship that negative surprises can really uproot even the best of them and that most people just put their best foot forward. I’d feel so much more comfortable if we were totally authentic up front. That way, if we like each other, it will not only be real, but will hold.”
- “Tell me, if you’d like to, the things you love to do that make life meaningful to you.”
When you ask open ended, caring, and truly interested questions about what makes a man who he is, rather than what would make you comfortable to know about him, he will usually end up telling you even more than you want to know.
It is all in the style and presentation. Of course, you hope he will reciprocate and want to know you as well, but that may come much later.
Dr. Randi Gunther – www.randigunther.com
Going on a first date can be very daunting; it is for most women.
There are so many variables to think about. It’s even more nerve racking if you don’t know the person. You may be asking yourself: “What do I talk to this person about?”. This is even more heightened when you haven’t been on the dating scene.
My biggest recommendation to you is “Practice, practice practice”.
Practice with your female friends:
Do role-plays with your friends. Have them ask you questions and then you answer them like you were on a date. Have them give you feedback on your answers. Try different answers and see which ones really fit for you.
Write down a bunch of questions you would want to ask on a first date and then answer them with your friends. This is a great way to get comfortable with whatever line of questioning comes your way.
Practice with your male friends:
Let’s face it, when it comes to communication, men do come from Mars and women from Venus. Therefore, it’s important to get balanced feedback regarding your approach.
Men will give you feedback from a man’s perspective and that will give you an angle your girlfriends just can’t provide.
Have them ask you questions they would ask on a first date. Ask them your questions, give them follow up information and then ask for feedback. You might be surprised what you find out about your male friend.
Practice on dates:
There is nothing wrong with going out with a guy you are only semi-interested in as a way of getting comfortable on the dating scene. You never know what will end up happening.
Maybe the guy you were really interested in over the phone turned out to be a total dud and the guy you thought was “nice” turned out to be just your type. The more dates you go on, the more you will be comfortable with how it works.
The first date or two is usually about the “pleasantries”; where do you work, where did you go to school, what do you like to do on the weekends.
You should have these all answered if you followed the previous two recommendations. Then once you get past the first two dates, you will feel more comfortable with the person and communication will be more spontaneous and fluid.
Amanda Patterson, LMHC – www.amandapattersonlmhc.com
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