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What are Some Tips for Communicating with my Boyfriend?

Improve communication by not having important conversations via phone.
It is helpful to keep conversations short and rational when communicating with your boyfriend.
Men and women have different ways of expressing themselves.
Spending time away from the distractions of everyday life can greatly improve communication.
Smiling can show an interest in what your boyfriend is saying.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: J. Beam
  • Revised By: Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2014
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Perhaps the biggest tip for communicating with your boyfriend is to acknowledge that people, especially men and women, do not always express themselves in the same way. Once you understands this, you can use certain techniques to improve the way you communicate: keep conversations simple and short, alert your boyfriend when you need to vent, use body language well and incorporate “I” statements into conversations. Other tips include giving your boyfriend plenty of time to answer, trying to see through his eyes and using his unique traits and interests to make points clearer. Complimenting him also can improve the communication situation, because it can make him feel more needed and capable, prompting him to talk openly.

Acknowledge Communication Differences

Men and woman often have different ways of expressing themselves. Women tend to want to explore a range of different feelings and opinions. They usually see communication as an effective way of preventing issues and planning what to do next. By contrast, discussing many opinions and feelings can be difficult for men, who typically prefer to keep things simple. They sometimes do not see communicating as necessary unless there is already the need to take action or fix a problem.

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Keep It Short and Simple

Due to the way that most men communicate, it’s typically helpful to keep conversations short and rational, addressing just one or two feelings or ideas at a time. This requires you to narrow down exactly what you want to say before a discussion happens, but it usually keeps a guy’s attention.

Give a Heads Up Before Venting

Most men are good problem solvers because of the way their brains are “wired.” This can get his partner out of a fix, but it also can make a boyfriend respond to venting the wrong way. He might think that you are giving him an issue to resolve, when really you just wants to get feelings off of your chest. To put a boyfriend more at ease, it’s a good idea to start the conversation with an honest disclaimer, such as “I don’t expect anybody to have a solution, but just talking about it will make me feel better.”

Speak With the Body

Communicating well in a romantic or other relationship requires that you pay close attention to your body language. Facial and other body gestures can pass on a huge amount of meaning during a conversation, so one way to manipulate a conversation well or avoid conflict with a boyfriend is to control your movements. If you sit with your arms crossed, for example, this conveys an unwillingness to listen or hear the other person out. By contrast, leaning forward and smiling can show an interest in what your boyfriend is saying.

Use “I” Language

Even though body language can speak louder than the actual words a person says, your boyfriend still is going to listen to your actual speech. Psychologists long have recommended using “I” statements such as “I think” or “I feel that...” while communicating, because such statements generally do not put the listener on the defensive. Avoiding “you” statements therefore might improve the effectiveness of your talks.

Give Time for Response

There is a huge difference between monologue and dialogue. In monologue, just one person talks, meaning two-way communication doesn’t happen. Getting your boyfriend to open up in a meaningful way, therefore, means that you can’t do all the talking. Give your boyfriend time to react to what you’ve said. This can be challenging, because even though some people like to take time to formulate a concise, simple and clear answer, others react emotionally to the brief periods of silence and sometimes feel the need to fill them with more talking.

See from His Point of View

One trick that sometimes boosts communication in a relationship is for one partner to put himself or herself in the other's shoes. If the guy has been spending a lot of extra time with his friends, for example, you might try to think about what those friends provide in terms of fun, relaxation and self-expression. You then can couple your understanding with “I” statements, such as “I know spending time with your friends lets you get rid of stress, but I feel like...”

Take Advantage of the Unique

Even though men display some general characteristics that are pretty similar, each man, just like each woman, is highly individual. Your boyfriend has his own dreams, philosophies, experiences, fears and preferences. Incorporating these things into the communication approach can make him more responsive. If your boyfriend is into video games, for instance, your might try using an analogy using a specific game to describe a situation, problem or feeling.

Compliment Him

Many men are naturally competitive to some degree, so complimenting your boyfriend can boost his ego, making him feel comfortable and needed. That can make him more willing to talk openly and really listen attentively.

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anon357330
Post 55

My boyfriend and I will have a conversation, where I will state what I am going to to do in a situation or because of an issue. The other day, we had this conversation, for example:

Me: "Hey babe, I have to run a few errands after work and pick my friend up from the airport. Hopefully I will be home early. Can you please gather the laundry so I can wash when I get home?"

B/F: "Sure baby."

Me: "Oh crap, I forgot about my car decals. I am going to the DMV after I pick my friend up. But can you please look (in a specific place) for them in the meantime, just in case?"

B/F: Yes, but I think you should go to the DMV. Just get replacements.

ME: "I just said that I was going."

This dialogue ticks me off. Am I upset within reason? I feel like he just repeats what the hell I just said, as if he thought of the big idea.

anon348491
Post 50

I got in a fight with my boyfriend when I was really drunk. I've been with him for two months, and it was my first time to say I love you, but he said his heart had been broken many times and blah blah. Because I was drunk, I started to cry and acted like he didn't love me. I told him to stop communicating with me. I apologized the next day and am still apologizing, but he won't answer me. -- bluegurl

blacklily32
Post 43

@amypollick; Thanks for the fast reply and advice. It will help me a lot. I already deleted him, and hoping his karma will come back to him. Every time that I think of my stupidity. I get shy in myself and cry because I wasted my time with this jerk guy, and never listened to my instinct, because of this stupid love. My friend married an American guy she met him online. But he's not like that other guy. Now they live happily here in Asia.

amypollick
Post 42

@blacklily32: He's not desperate. He's just a jerk. He can have an online relationship with you without any commitment on his part. I am an American woman, so I know American men. Let me be very honest with you: some American men are fascinated by Asian women. They have fantasies about Asian women, especially young ones. Some American men think that Asian women are especially sexual and are willing to have sex any time, and don't mind being treated like dirt in the process. They think Asian women are raised to be submissive to their husbands, so that's a perfect combination to them: a submissive woman who's a sex machine. It's disgusting and demeaning, but unfortunately, it's true. That's why they look online. No American-Asian woman would tolerate that crap.

He got upset about the teddy bear because he wasn't planning on spending any money on you. He came to see you for that hot Asian sex, not to actually have a relationship with you, which might include buying things for you. Essentially, he used you as a prostitute.

Dump this guy. Delete his profile and don't have any more contact with him. If you get in another online relationship, which I really don't recommend, don't take your clothes off for the camera and don't talk about naughty things with him. If he wants you to, that tells you immediately what he wants from you, and it isn't love and companionship.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but I hate to see anyone being treated like this jerk has treated you. Tell him an American woman told you to tell him to go play in the traffic and to leave you alone for good. He's not worth your time.

blacklily32
Post 41

I’ve read the different kinds of stories here, and they opened my eyes. I am Asian and he is an American guy, I am 28 years old and he is 46 years old. We just met through an online dating site, and felt we had a connection. We’ve been talking online for almost two years. We get on the webcam every day to see each other and we talk about anything -- hoping, wishing, fantasizing. Sometimes I get nude on camera to show him that I love him and I trust him, We talk about naughty things, too.

He has often told me that he loves me and he really wants me to be his wife. I believed him because I really love him too. It sounds crazy to love someone you haven’t meet in person yet, but I do. I feel happy every time we talk, or I see him on cam, We enjoy each other. After two years, he finally decided to come in my country to meet me in person. But the dream I had before we met has turned into my nightmare. It has cost me a lot of heartache. He stayed here a week, and we spent time together, but I really didn't feel his love. He wouldn't hold my hand in public and I often caught him staring at other pretty women who were passing by and he said, “Wow, she is pretty!” so I could hear him! I was hurt but never showed it to him. I loved him before we met and after we met. I never changed. When I asked him to buy me a teddy bear, he just called me materialistic and things like that. He said, “You need a rich boyfriend.” A bear is not too much, I just wanted to feel that I was special to him and that was all.

The next day we took a long walk and my feet were hurting because that was the first time I ever walked that long in my entire life, but I never complained. When we passing by one of the bars here, I was shocked. What I heard from him made me cry! He said he was lucky because I would have sex with him for free. I wanted to leave him, but I didn't because that was his first time to visit here in Asia and I didn't want bad things happen to him in my own country.

When we were private, I talked to him and asked him if he really love me, and he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Of course I love you.” I was quiet and wondered why he treated me like this if he loves me? So I was not convinced. When it was time for him to go back to America, I told him, “If you don’t really love me, do not contact me anymore. Don’t just give me false hope.” When he got home, he was still calling me and continued chatting with me, and that makes me really confused. We talked online again and it has been almost a year since he came here.

I asked him what was his plan for us and when would he come back to be with me, but he just said he’s not sure, that he has a lot of things planned for us. But why is he still calling me?

I told him that the way he treated me he was here offended me, and he said he hadn't been with a woman in a long time so he don’t know how to handle it and he was sorry he acted that way and so on. Now I am really confused and hurting. My question is: is he just using me? Is he just bored with his life and that’s why he’s still communicating with me, or is he just a desperate jerk? Please help me. I need your advice, guys! The sad thing is I really love him and it’s killing me.

anon336859
Post 38

I have been with my fiance for five years. We have been through all kinds of hell: financial, emotional and physical. We have had a long fight our whole relationship. One of the emotional reasons is when we met and fell in love, I was under the impression he was divorced from his wife. "Separated" as he put it. Well, almost a year into our engagement and one miscarriage behind us, I get a phone call from his wife. Mind you, he's been living with me for the entire time and hardly away from me; we even worked together. She tells me she wants him to file divorce! (heart attack fallowed by heartache).

She didn't stop there. She posted it all over my and his Facebook pages, called anyone she could who knew him, called my house at all hours of the day and night.

After five months, I couldn't go out the front door without people looking at his “other” woman. His defense was he thought that their separation was the same thing as a divorce, but he never was legally separated! My family my friends all saw me as a home wrecker and sided with his wife. never mind that I was unaware of her for the entire first year.

So, we went to court battled her for another year to get the divorce final. We lost our jobs, our home and our car, and at one point we were homeless! Through the five years we have been together, it seems that every time we get close to being O.K., something drastically changes and we are screwed again.

I love him to death and he isn't a bright guy so I believe he didn't mean for our life to become this way. He's cheated on me online, and even met up with other women "to talk" without telling me and I have never been able to openly trust him.

Now things are finally getting better for us and I find I am terrified to open up to him and be mutual about my wants and needs with him. And trust me: five years of crappy ten minute sex on top of all the rest of the stuff has left me unhappy and wanting change. I don't know how to open up to him, and I'm beginning to think that its just to late for us to be happy.

anon329807
Post 36

@Benengle: I have no idea when you posted your concern, but I am going to respond in hopes that it was somewhat recent. I know this may hurt, but please tell me you will break up with her. It is not the "monster" who is causing this, it is also her.

She chose to have sex with him, unprotected that is, and she has a history of cheating. She will continue to hurt you for the rest of your life. Break it off before it becomes too toxic. Find the girl of your dreams who will treat you right and is not attracted to "monsters"!

anon267310
Post 29

I'm reading many of these posts and I'm really discouraged. I've been with my fiance for seven years. We are getting married in September. We have had such a hard time communicating. I am having a hard time understanding something and I'm not sure how to make it go away.

My fiance is truly a great person. I do believe he loves me with all of his heart. He has taken care of me and been there for me since I was 18 years old. We have been through a lot. He got me out of my abusive family situation. We were together for three years, and when he got a job offer we moved in together and have been living together ever since.

The only problem is, I can't seem to get any emotions out of him. He will tell me he loves me but he's gotten really out of tune to my feelings. When I express them, he just gives up. He doesn't really want to talk or he will say, "I'm sorry," but in the whiny way like he's just trying to shut me up. He jokes about sex all the time. He's constantly feeling me up. Talking about boobies and stuff. I am just starting to feel more like a sex machine than a fiance. I tell him this and he doesn't do much of anything.

I am exhausted. It's just easier if I shut my feelings out. The only time he seems interested in being remotely emotional is before sex. I'm very worried and sad right now. Not sure what to do.

anon263472
Post 27

@anon261919: Reading your post was like reading my own post. I'm on this site because I am having the exact same problem. I got up to write him a letter because talking is useless and this way I can get out what needs to be said without him interrupting, yelling, making up excuses and saying I heard wrong, or I'm getting confused, even when I know damn well those things were said. He finally admitted to basically cheating on me while I was in hospital, but then continued to say "he was looking after my place and was alone and what else was he supposed to do? Men have more testosterone than women". Pfft. Then went back and said he never said it!

We broke up and I wanted to move out but we live together and have just signed a 12-month lease and I don't want to burden anyone with my needing a place to stay or paying major fees for breaking the lease, and I do love him.

Men like this are not worth our trouble, or love and affection. So here I am writing my final letter to him and I think we will end up breaking up over it because he won't pay any attention to it. It's not healthy to be in a relationship like that. I'd suggest writing a letter and couples counseling, then leaving if none of the above work. We all deserve to be happy and healthy. Good luck hon.

anon261919
Post 26

So many of the comments here describe exactly how I feel, too. I've been in a relationship about two years and we have tried everything – I mean everything – to communicate better. Nothing will change how defensive he gets. He even admits that he gets very defensive, but then just says it's my fault for the way I approach him. And I've tried every way under the sun to approach him, but nothing works. He blows up.

I feel like I'm not allowed to have any feelings about anything, if they are even remotely negative or remotely related to him or something he may have done. This makes me feel like he doesn't care how I feel about anything. I'm just told I shouldn't feel that way, and then he justifies himself with some sort of explanation.

Is there any chance to make a relationship work with someone like this? I'm not saying I'm perfect. I probably get too emotional and I need a lot of sensitivity, empathy and understanding in a partner. And I don't get any of that from him, and never have over the entire course of our relationship. Is there any man who is not like that, though? The relationships I've had don't offer love and caring when it is needed most. He is perfect when we are getting along.

benengle70
Post 24

I have a girlfriend who is now my fiancee and whom I love deeply. We recently had a very beautiful baby girl. I was happy every step of the way throughout the pregnancy, and when the time came, I cut the umbilical cord. It was absolutely amazing.

I was so happy, I didn't realize the dates didn't match up. After she was born, it was mentioned at the hospital that the dates didn't match up, that my girlfriend had her at seven months. I just laughed and said must've been super sperm. A week later, my girlfriend broke down and cried and told me the baby wasn't mine and that she was sorry and thought I would've figured it out myself. I then told her she needed to tell the biological father, being the good man I try to be. No sooner had she contacted him than he immediately wanted to be a part of the baby's life and wants to get back together and be one family. Oh, and by the way, the reason they broke up before was infidelity, not to mention he was in the military, to make him sound like the perfect guy. He used to be a real monster to my girl and now he wants to prove to her that he really changed. Don't get me wrong -- he really does want to be a part of the child's life and I respect that, but seeing me in the picture turns him around and he has no respect for me at all. He just doesn't know when to quit.

I love my little family very much and would lay down my life for both of them, but it's like she's talking to him and to me, now. I looked at a couple of their conversations together and one morning as I went to work, no sooner had I walked out the door, than he called her and they talked for 15 minutes. I am very jealous of him and I don't know what I'm really supposed to do.

What makes me the maddest is they're talking behind my back. I feel like I could tell him off but she would flip out. She's very manipulative and convincing, but she is growing stronger and really working on it and I want our love back like it was before he came back into the picture. What do I do?

Please ask any questions that you have and I'll try and get on here every day. I really need someone's advice. My heart is eating me from the inside. It seems like every time they talk I feel very bad inside, like he is going to take them away from me. Please help me save my girls from this monster and selfish jerk.

anon241909
Post 23

Okay my boyfriend and I have been dating for a month and a half, and it's starting to get difficult to talk to each other. Sometimes if annoyed or something he did is bothering me, I get too afraid to bring it up, because I want to keep from getting in a fight. But he a good guy and I really like him but I have no idea how to fix this.

anon239807
Post 22

I have been with my boyfriend for ten months and I'm two months pregnant with his baby. He has no communication skills whatsoever. He gets mad immediately when I bring something up calmly that bothers me, and then he somehow tries to turn it around on me. The next day comes and he tells me I never communicate with him!

Also, he's never wrong and never apologizes for being a jerk. I'm always the one who has to break the ice. It's emotionally draining and I can't handle the stress of fighting especially while being pregnant. He has verbally abused me in the past as well as physically. Girls, if this sounds familiar get out!

anon239611
Post 21

This post is either correct or wrong. Men are the most naturally insecure, volatile creatures in the world. Any woman who has engaged men in verbal discussions or debates will find very quickly that men cannot handle it when a woman has the verbal acumen and mental ability to go toe to toe with then on a topic. He may engage her politely at first, but once he realizes she cannot be dominated through his words or through what he thinks is his superior intellect or reasoning skills, he will immediately resort to abuse in the form of verbal insults, intimidation, discrediting her thoughts, asking for “proof” to show validity of her ideas, questioning her sexuality or viability as a mate, insulting her beauty or femininity, calling her a vile name, accusing her of being "angry or bitter', or claiming she is under the influence of some evil outside force like the devil.

The government, the CIA, co intel pro, demonic spirits, feminism, materialism, intellectualism – there must be some reason why she isn't backing down, agreeing with or acquiescing to his manhood! They become very emotional, or as sis Letava says, “bromantic,” catching all sorts of feelings because you bruise their egos.

I have found the male of our species, especially the black one, to be one of the most emotionally out of control, ego driven creatures on this planet. And it shows up long before violence hits the scene. That temperament makes its appearance through the computer with people he has never laid eyes on! Forget wars and murder. Go to any blog, website, thread or comment section of newspaper, magazine or other form of written media, and you will see male emotion in full bloom!

And this has nothing to do with feminine traits. This is rogue masculinity in its primal form. Men are naturally insecure creatures, and if they are not conditioned and trained properly, they will always fall back to this behavior when challenged -- especially if they are challenged by a woman.

I have experienced this foolishness over and over again, so much so, that it doesn't even ruffle my feathers any more. I just sit at my computer and laugh, and laugh, and laugh, because I know where the ultimate fear of the average male is, and it's not in losing the war, physically. It's in losing his pride and feeling shame. That is the greatest fear most men seem to have. And they will do whatever it takes not to feel shame or embarrassment. And a person who is easily embarrassed is one of the most emotionally volatile creatures out there, especially if they have the physical strength to back up the bruised ego.

anon239592
Post 20

Women, if your boyfriend doesn't communicate with you and he blows up like a light switch and storms out to his mother and is 45 years old like the one I dealt with who carries a demon, please get out of the relationship as soon as possible. They are going through some evil thing and he can hurt you mentally and physically. Leave the relationship as soon as possible.

anon238211
Post 19

My boyfriend cannot have any conversation with an opposing point of view involved or he must make it into a fight. Then he blames me and repeats his point of view over and over, screaming I don't get it. Every single time I'm saying, "Baby I understand why you think this and why you feel this" and then I repeat what he says so he understands I get it, but then I say "However my point of view is different and I think..." and then he cuts me off screaming I don't get it. Then he will hang up if we are on the phone or starts throwing things if I'm there. It is insane.

My advice to a lot of you ladies, just leave these guys before it gets worse. I know I should have.

anon231760
Post 18

Thank you for writing this article. I read it and used it in my relationship and I feel that my boyfriend and I have never been happier. It's just a matter of miscommunication that messes a relationship up.

anon225358
Post 17

My boyfriend and I have been together for six months. We talk about everything and know everything about each other. It's long distance, so I pretty much only get to see him once a month. His issues mostly deal with my past; he won't accept it or try to get past it. he is overly emotional, and we fight almost every day usually about stupid things, but i have to disagree when this article says men are always easy and simple minded. He is actually very complex, and that's what makes it difficult because I find it hard to express my feelings and get my words out, and he is usually the one to guess and speak for me.

But today we had a fight, and he says he is tired of carrying both of our pasts and all of my burden, it is my last chance, and I don't know how to change. I had a rough time in my life and he picked me up and put me back on my feet, but now I have to fix this mess I made and do it myself.

anon193114
Post 16

I like a boy, and I'm somewhat sure that he likes me too, but the problem is that he never accepts that. I don't know why. I just want him to express himself before me so what should I do or say to him so he will tell me his feelings? Should I talk with him on the phone so that by getting into the habit he will express himself or should I avoid this? Please help me know what to do.

scared1
Post 15

I have been dating my bf for four months and he is a great man but simply won't communicate at all. He will ask me what's wrong and when I tell him he gets very angry and tells me to go home.

He has mood swings that come out of nowhere and I am beginning to think that there is something wrong. He absolutely refuses to communicate about anything. Everything is a joke to him. I really like him and have feelings of love for him but need us to communicate and don't know what to do. It is really bothering me a lot.

anon164333
Post 14

I have only been with my boyfriend for a little over six months. We have been living together for two. We have not been communicating effectively at all and now he says he is not in love with me anymore.

I don't think I am in love either. It seems like it just slipped away because of our communication and intimacy issues. When we first met, we had a few arguments that ended badly. I was "too emotional" and I just got this sense from him that he wasn't down with my emotional reactions. I am very sensitive.

To compensate, I just tried to keep my emotions under wraps and I think this led to a blockage in being able to express myself to him. Now it may be too late to fix it. He says I am just a shell. I am not. I am so much in here. I just need another chance. Or maybe I should leave before it gets worse.

anon163403
Post 13

I'm going through this as well with my boyfriend. He is unable to discuss what he wants and needs and blows up every six months and tells me all these general issues that are in the past and cannot be changed (it's almost impossible to change behaviours when you don't even know what you've done).

I have been trying to open up dialogue with him and have heard some of his issues (when i have to actually drag it out of him painfully slowly). I said i would do what i can to resolve them and actually changed my behaviour, but have found that my only request for more affection, or for him to react to my affection (he was so affectionate the first two years) was met with a total boycott of all affection, and when i approached him about it he said he was angry at me and was sorry, then continued to avoid all affection for the rest of the time I was there!

From all avenues, i feel he's slowly blocking me out of his life but i want to give him time if he is just having issues outside of the relationship and can't talk about them.

anon157602
Post 11

My boyfriend and I have been together for four years, living together for three and he thinks I don't express myself, or I never have anything to say.

He is getting frustrated with me and I need to be able to show him that I do care and I do love him. Expressing my emotions has always been difficult and he feels we are more like roommates than a loving couple. Please help!

anon152842
Post 10

This article really sums up a lot of things for me. lately I have been having doubts and become a little bit insecure for no reason.

I want to talk to my boyfriend and express how I'm feeling, he seems willing to listen but I'm afraid if i open up my mind to him he'll get angry and say I'm over reacting. I feel the words come to my lips but every time i go to speak nothing comes out.

I think I'm being stupid and should just let it all out, but what if he thinks badly of me? I want our relationship to work, i really do.

anon150433
Post 9

I tried to communicate with my boyfriend and he always ends up getting frustrated and stress out. After that he just completely shuts down and does not listen to what I have to say and begin to find fault on me.

He is fine communicating to his friends, only me. Is he just trying to be difficult on me. I really don't know what to do.

anon141898
Post 8

Kind of in the same situation. Been in a long distance relationship for four years and every time I have tried to talk about important topics on the phone it always ended in an argument. Very difficult.

He says he loves me and misses me, but after four years we are still living 1400 km apart, mainly because his conditions are not right to start to live with someone else.

michelles21
Post 7

I just ready this it's good and it's it's the truth about communicating in a relationship. I have a boyfriend and every time we start talking he gets mad and gets up and walks away from me and then takes a few day's to talk about the problem.

That's one thing that does get on my nerves is him getting up and walking away from me when I start talking. It's like he don't even care what I have to say, but when he talks I sit there and listen to him but as soon as I start talking he gets up and walks away from me.

How do I talk to him if he just keep walking away from me? how are we supposed to fixes anything if keeps walking away. Please help. I want our relationship to work but I don't want him always walking away from me either. What do I do? how do I get him to communicate with me and have him listen to me without walking away? please help.

anon90334
Post 5

Funny - my boyfriend talks too much and is unwilling to listen effectively. However, the article is correct on the fact that men only want to deal with simple problems and solutions. Anything too emotional or with too many opinions just upsets them and nothing will come of the conversation other than an argument.

anon80107
Post 3

i have a boyfriend and i read this article. i really want our relationship to work so I'm doing all that i can. he is trying to do his part also. I'll keep this site updated. Mrs troof sc

anon44078
Post 2

This, whole article discribes my situation. It's true life. --K.Stinson.

RetteMich483
Post 1

I am concerned though. I've done at least *half* of this, and I'm still lost in translation with my boyfriend. I ask him to express his feelings, because I talk about myself a lot, and then he just closes up completely without me saying anything. I'm worried that I'm going to lose him, and I don't really know *what* to exactly do.

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