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people are love and respecting (now).
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I want to answer this question in three parts. Let’s be honest, it’s all finished and ready to go, but we are all A.D.D. and can’t handle reading anything longer tha…I wonder if I should update my Facebook status to “catching up on my blog reading!”
As I was saying. Here is the beginning of three short parts…
How do I talk to my boyfriend about his temptations? I haven’t seen anything or experienced anything with him that makes me concerned, but I think it would be naive to assume he doesn’t struggle. I know that I do, and I guess I just want an open conversation. Maybe just be honest about my own struggles and ask him about his?
You are wise because you want to have an open and honest conversation with someone you are dating. This creates a place to know and be known. It creates intimacy—something that people will need to embark upon if they are going to have a real relationship.
So how do you have this conversation?
Are there different techniques for men and women? What if his vulnerability doesn’t look the way you want it to look? What if you can’t handle what he says!?
Create. People open up when they feel safe to do so. Research and my own personal experience reveal that guys will open up most during shoulder-to-shoulder activities. Mature guys can make eye contact when being vulnerable—but it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s how they feel most comfortable opening up.
As a woman, I have learned to engage with men this way because I have seen how effective it can be. While strong eye contact in a relationship can help put a woman at ease and increase trust, for a man, it can be intimidating or a sign of aggression if the topic is uncomfortable.
Example: Picture the neighbor’s dog that always barks at you when you are on a jog. He is just waiting for you to make eye contact so he can get the go-ahead to rip your face off. But, if you look away and stay calm, he won’t touch you because he realizes you aren’t picking a fight.
Joy, are you saying men are dogs?
Seriously? Are we going to get that PC all up in here?
So, if you don’t want him to think you are trying to interrogate or find “dirt” on him, it might be best to open up when you are doing something “shoulder to shoulder.” (You can read more about this in Chapter 20 of my father’s book Love and Respect.)
I’ve seen this work with men in my life when we are having side by side conversation during a walk, run, or bike ride. If it’s dark out or we are working on a project together, it’s often more comfortable for him to share what is on his mind than if I’m in a bright room face to face asking him to share his heart…
More to come!
Men: Who knows you the best? Why have you allowed him or her to know you?
Women: What makes you feel safe in a conversation?
Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.