How would you feel if your partner said any of these phrases to you?
“You’re having a hard time, babe. Let me take over.”
“Don’t worry, sweetheart. Everything’s going to be okay.”
“Take all the time you need to get your thoughts and feelings out. I’m not going anywhere.”
“I love to just hold you tonight.”
“I was wrong.”
If you’re like most women, you’re dying to hear something like this coming out of his mouth.
You’d feel loved, protected, understood, and validated.
And you might think that, since these words feel so good to you, your partner would love to hear them as well.
You’d be wrong.
In my forty years of working with couples, I have observed and recorded how men and women respond and open up to very different stimuli.
Most men and women basically want the same thing from each other – to feel deeply known and still beloved.
Yet, they respond to different words and phrases that evoke those romantic feelings of acceptance and appreciation.
Romantic language is too often geared to what a woman wants to hear, and doesn’t allow for what captures a man’s heart. A woman responds to words that make her feel heard, cherished, cared for, and protected. She wants to feel secure.
For a man, the most romantic thing you can do is to respect and love him for who he is. He wants to know that you trust him to care for you and protect you.
This difference in expectation and desire results in many misunderstandings and relationship disconnects for both men and women.
You’ve probably become frustrated when you’ve approached your partner in what you thought was a loving way, only to have him dismiss you or not react in the way you hoped.
But now you know – his reaction has nothing to do with you!
It’s not that he doesn’t love you or appreciate the way you’re communicating; he just hears love differently.
Since it’s nice to have some useful phrases in your back pocket, I’ve gathered a few you can express to your man to make him feel more seen and desired for who he really is. Try them – they can make a significant difference to your partner.
Women tend to ramble when they share an experience and be indirect when they want something. Most men prefer to get to the point. You can work to develop a more direct approach that doesn’t keep your partner hanging, as well as generously offer only what your man asks to know about without unnecessary embellishments.
Sometimes it is perfectly reasonable to talk things out to make certain that love-making works better, but offering to forego that preliminary discussion is a sure-fire way to make a man feel understood and accepted.
Men often show their love by what they do for their women, especially when they’re not asked to do them. Washing a car, making a drink, pouring a bath, buying lingerie, arranging a surprise birthday party, picking up dinner, participating willingly in child care, or fixing something that’s broken are all great examples. Appreciate him.
Many men feel that if they don’t provide, protect, and serve, that they are not fully male. If they become ill, lose their job, or aren’t around when crises occur, they may feel like they are not honoring their obligations to their partners. Men who know that they are deeply loved and wanted, separate from what they should do or be, are grateful that they don’t have to suit up and show up no matter how they feel or what the circumstances are.
The quality of intimate relationships increases measurably when both people feel, in their moments of vulnerability, that they have been heard, seen, and beloved.
If men and women remember to express romantic feelings that reach into the hearts of their partners, they are more likely to get the intimate connection they want.
Effective communication is all about translation. To communicate love and cherishing in a way that your partner can understand, you must learn how your partner will interpret what you say.
For even more advice on how to communicate with your partner and listen to him, subscribe to receive my free relationship advice newsletter (below). You’ll also learn: