“Communication” is kind of a dirty word, right? In fact, more couples break up over the “c-word” than they do over almost any other issue!
But the really sad part is that most of these breakups stem from simple misunderstandings. So, how to communicate to a man to make him fall in love deeply with you and get his lifetime commitment.
Having “The Talk” is scary, right? You try to pick the right moment, pour him a glass of wine, and set out to open up your heart and share your deepest, most vulnerable feelings and it always ends up with him freaking out, withdrawing and pulling away, or getting cold and resentful.
Picture this and learn how to communicate with a man.
You’ve been dating for about six months, and you start getting that feeling where you need to do something to solidify the relationship somehow.
You’ve been together for a while, and you want to know more about how he feels about you and where the two of you might end up together.
You don’t want to get married or anything just yet, but you do want something more from him - more of a “commitment” and better communication to keep things moving forward peacefully.
So you decide to talk to him about it.
“Baby,” you say, “We’ve been dating for six months now, and I’m starting to feel like the clock is ticking ... I feel like I need more of a commitment from you.”
Remember, men are culturally pre-programmed to equate “commitment” with “marriage” ... so what happens when you say this to him?
He thinks you’re asking him for a diamond ring and a wedding ceremony!
And of course, since you’ve only been dating for six months, he’s nowhere near ready to get married yet (which is fine, because you’re not ready either - only he doesn’t know that!)
So he thinks, “Oh man ... she’s great, and I love her and all, but I don’t want to get MARRIED or anything yet”
So he says, “Commitment? You want me to make a commitment? Well, I just can’t do that right now, sorry.”
Then he ignores you and goes out to shoot hoops for six hours with his buddies ... and you burst into tears, thinking he doesn’t love you and he can’t possibly be the right man for you after all.
You don’t hear from him for the rest of the week and you freak out, thinking he’s cold and aloof and not at all the kind of man you thought he was ... all the while, he’s miserable and missing YOU and wondering what went wrong.
Does this sound at all familiar??
Fortunately, there is a better way to learn how to communicate to a man and get his commitment.
First of all, please remember what we talked in my of my previous articles that a relationship has different stages, and you’ll proceed through these stages as you get to know each other better.
But even more importantly, there are some things you can do to make sure that, when you do open up about what you want and need (just as you should, since true love is all about true communication) the conversation goes the way you hoped it would.
Commitment Communication Rule #1: Follow The Relationship Timeline!
A good communication about commitment and love needs a strong foundation of common sense and the ability to evaluate, at least partially accurately, where your relationship stands, so that your needs and wants are based in reality.
You don’t want to make crazy “demands” or scare the man - and you definitely don’t want to waste your time fooling yourself, either!
New York Times bestselling author Barbara de Angelis believes there are 4 stages to any commitment - that there’s an actual timeline (143 - 150).
Level 1 Commitment: Sexual and Emotional Monogamy
In this first stage (which takes place in about the first 3 months of dating), you both decide that you like each other enough to become emotionally and sexually monogamous.
That is, you both decide to focus your attention solely on each other, so that you can get to know one another and see if this is “going somewhere”.
This stage will not work if either of you are dating, fooling around with, or sleeping with other people.
All relationships need commitment to move forward, and the commitment you need at this stage is to explore one another romantically - and nobody else.
Level 2 Commitment: Working Toward True Partnership
In the second stage (approximately three to six months into a relationship), your connection has deepened.
Things are getting more “serious” and it’s likely that you both consider yourselves a real couple: in fact, you’re probably “in love”.
This stage is crucial, because this is where an emotional connection starts to take place and you both become more emotionally involved with one another.
You need to thoroughly explore one another and test the waters to see if this is someone you could become even more committed to.
You’ll know you’re in a Level 2 commitment because you both agree that this relationship has the potential to become serious in the future.
That your connection is special and one-of-a-kind; and that you need to commit to honest communication if you’re ever going to achieve the potential of your relationship.
Barbara de Angelis warns that many women in this stage make the mistake of assuming that your partner feels the same way you do (145).
Remember: his dreams are not your dreams! And that’s where you need to know how to communicate with him.
Just because he says he loves you doesn’t necessarily mean that he sees a future together, so don’t assume that you’re headed for more commitment, living together, or marriage if you never actually talked to him about it.
Level 3 Commitment: Committing To A Future Together
(Starting around six months, and lasting indefinitely into the future.)
Once you’ve created an honest partnership based on open communication and discussions of your future together, and you’ve both agreed that your relationship has a future and a lot of potential, you’re ready to start building the depth and intimacy of a level 3 commitment: spending your future together.
(Note: there’s a difference between “a future together” and “a life together” - don’t assume that commitment means forever! (147)) That’ not how men think.
When the two of you have talked about your love for each other and you are both sure that you want to spend your future together (not necessarily your whole life, but at least the indefinite future), you’re ready for a level 3 commitment.
Generally this means that the two of you are either engaged to be married; planning to get engaged as soon as possible; moving in together; or planning to move in together at a definite date in the near future.
Level 4 Commitment: The Ultimate Commitment Of A Life Together
Level 4 commitment is the deepest level of commitment possible.
You’ll find yourself at a level 4 commitment when you’ve had a level 3 commitment for a while (engaged, living together, etc) and you’ve both managed to work through whatever obstacles came your way during that 3rd level of commitment.
You are at a level 4 when you and your partner both agree that you want to spend your lives together, and that you are both committed to working through whatever problems may arise in the course of that life together.
Take a look at this timeline. Obviously it’s not set in stone; all relationships are different and will work on different timelines.
Some of us don’t believe in marriage, some of us need years of living together before we’re ready to even start thinking about moving forward again, and so on.
But the STAGES remain the same - you can’t leap from stage 1 straight to stage 4.
You can’t tell a man you’re in love with him (or expect to keep him in love with you) before you’ve even committed to exclusivity … and you can’t expect a high level of commitment from someone before you’ve even learned how to talk openly about what you want and what you need.
And that brings me to my next tip ...
Commitment Communication Rule #2: Avoid Ultimatums!
When you get right down to it, true closeness with a man is all about being honest.
If you can’t be honest about how you feel and what you want, then you can’t expect commitment and closeness from him - and you sure can’t expect a dream relationship.
Recently I spoke with a woman named Sarah who asked me how she could get her boyfriend to keep moving forward through the levels of commitment.
“We’ve been living together for about 18 months now, and my family are giving me a really hard time,” she said.
“Even my friends think he’s never going to ask me to marry him, because he’s getting all the benefits of marriage without any of the formality.
I feel like we live together, but he’s not really there - should I give him an ultimatum?
I love him, but I need to know where this is going, and I don’t want to waste my time.”
Here’s the deal: men want a soulmate just as much as you do.
But you’ll never know what your partner is really thinking or feeling unless you ask him.
Ultimatums are NEVER a good idea, because they come from fear and doubt - and they reek of pressure, guilt, and obligation (wow, how romantic.)
Face it: guys don’t like being told what to wear or what to eat by their moms when they were little boys; and they don’t like being mothered now that they’re all grown up, either.
If you want him to love you and need you, telling him how he ought to feel and what he ought to do about it is the worst possible move to make.
If you’ve made a commitment to be open with your feelings, and you have been honest about your own feelings for him, then chances are, you’re at the stage together where you can ask him point-
If he can’t tell you, or he seems unsure, well, there’s your answer.
Commitment Communication Rule #3: Dream girls Always Give Him The Benefit Of The Doubt
Don’t allow yourself the luxury of getting upset that YOU are the one bringing up commitment and closeness and the future of your relationship.
Real couples - the ones that last - make a practice of giving each other the benefit of the doubt, and this is your chance to prove you care.
In fact, caring is again one important aspect of communicating with a man.
Do you honestly believe that he’s stringing you along, using you for sex, or making you believe there’s a future when there’s not?
Unless the answer is a resounding “yes”, then give him the benefit of the doubt.
That means, don’t get mad, don’t get resentful, and don’t try to make him feel guilty.
He may have thought everything was fine; he may honestly have believed you were happy and content; he may have believed you were correctly interpreting the subtle signals of love and commitment he’s been giving you this whole time.
Commitment Communication Rule #4: Listen With Your Heart To What He’s Really Saying
Some people believe that commitment is scary for men, and that’s why they don’t talk about it.
Wrong! Men aren’t scared of commitment. They just aren’t big talkers like you are.
As a general rule, a man will show you how he feels, not “tell you”.
If he loves you, you’ll be able to feel it. You won’t need to discuss it all the time; you’ll be able to tell by the way he talks to you, the way he takes care of you, the things he does for you, and how happy he is when he’s around you.
If you need to hear the words as well (and that’s okay - most women do), then it’s fine to talk about your feelings - but that doesn’t mean you can try to “extort” his feelings by begging, guilt-tripping, threatening, crying, or getting upset.
You can’t get him to say the words just by asking - it must come from him if it’s going to mean anything.
So instead of asking him to tell you what you want to hear, instead, focus on creating a situation where it becomes EASY for him to open up.
This is your moment to really focus on him: make him feel like a prize, like he’s totally cherished and valued, like all his exes were insane to let him get away (and you know it.)
If he’s so inclined - i.e. if he’s feeling what you’re feeling - then you can rest assured that he will reciprocate. It may not happen immediately.
It may take a day, a week, or longer. But you must be patient. Don’t try to dig it out of him.
Listen: if the relationship is great, you’re having fun together, you care about each other (and you can FEEL that caring in your heart, not just hear it with your ears), then those are the important things.
Those are the foundation BEHIND the words - and that’s the important part!
So long as you’re patient, good company, caring, and fun to be around - and you’re considerate of the fact that he has his own timeline and he doesn’t need you to rush him into anything - you’ll be able to tell how he feels simply by opening your heart.
(And usually, that exact moment is when he senses your openness and decides to open his mouth and tell you how he feels anyway!)
Commitment Communication Rule #5: Remember That He Is Not Who You Think He Is
In most relationships, there’s a real tendency to become complacent.
You might start to feel that you know him almost better than he knows himself - that you know how he should be feeling by now, that you know what his next move ought to be, that you’re best equipped to figure out his life.
The truth is that this kind of thinking creates complacency, poor communication, and resentment on both sides.
And no matter how well you believe you know him, there is so much more to your partner than you will ever realize.
He’s like the dark side of the moon: there is a whole side of him that he will never, ever show you.
So instead of being frustrated by what you can’t understand or hurt because he’s acting according to his timeline, not yours - just view him as what he is: a mystery.
Try to find out more about him by communication properly with him.
Be interested in who he is, what his views are, how he’s changing. Find out what he’d like to do with the future, who he wants to be.
Stay interested. Don’t let the spark die.
And remember - a little bit of humbleness - a little bit of willingness to marvel at the mystery, instead of simply getting frustrated by its very mysteriousness - goes a long way.
Because men aren’t afraid of falling in love; they’re afraid of being told when to fall in love and how they should be doing it.
Hoop Jumping Questions
If you know he loves you, if you know his intentions are good, and he’s shown you 90 percent of the time how he feels—but he hasn’t quite shown you—by taking things to another level in your relationship…
…then it may mean that you’re not ‘hoop jumping.’
Hoop jumping is a method of getting what you want in your relationship without driving yourself crazy, or even exerting that much effort at all.
There’s something my aunt would always say to my mother about her boyfriend (before he became her husband): “Why would he buy the cow when he gets the milk for free?”
I used to laugh at this growing up, but now I totally get it (because I used to do it myself.)
Men may not be motivated to change anything in the relationship unless they have a fear of losing it.
Now, don’t get me wrong—my hoop jumping technique isn’t about evoking fear in your man to get what you want…
…it’s about asserting what you need so he’ll listen.
Choose any of my hoop jumping questions from the list below, and you’ll have the ability to put the power back into dating and relationships…
…instead of feeling like you’re being steered by someone else.
One more thing: use these questions only when your relationship has reached a point where it’s at a fork in the road: either you can stay where you are, and at the level of satisfaction you feel right now, or where you want it to be.
If you want to stay where you’re at (doing what you’ve always done), don’t use this list.
But, if you want to increase the amount of devotion, attention and affection (even praise to you and others) that your man gives, by all means…
…use these questions as your way to get there. But just remember, they were developed by me to create change.
Only use them if you want to make him realize that in order for him to keep you, he’s got to keep this relationship moving (these questions will do it) …
“If you aren’t sure about whether you can get together on Friday night, I’ll just make plans with Megan.” I don’t care whether you’ve just been dating someone for a few months, or a few years.
Date with respect and dignity—meaning, that neither person in the relationship should take for granted the other person’s time. Hold him accountable, firmly (but not in an aggressive way).
My clients have found that by simply stating, “If you don’t know if you’re available for sure, I’ll make other plans with (Megan, Stacy, etc.) This lets him know—directly—that you’re not going to sit around and wait for him to make concrete plans with you.
You’re going to make plans of your own.
Nine times out of ten, you’ll find a man quickly change his ways to guarantee that he’s not only taking you out on that Friday night…
…but that he’s successfully winning you over.
“Did we have plans tonight?” This is another easy way to make him clearly understand (just for a second) what a catch he’s found in you.
It can be easy to take a person for granted—and let’s face it, men are visual
creatures. So, going a few weeks without words of praise, or putting on those cute dresses he loves you in can sent his glance to other women.
It doesn’t mean he’ll be unfaithful—it just means that you need to come back into his focus.
By asking him a simple question like, “Did we have plans tonight?” you can set him straight, with a reaction of, “Of course we do,” making him cherish you all over again, and in a split second.
Should I wear this to your parents?” Again, another great question to ask a man—even if he hasn’t mentioned introducing you to his parents yet.
This is known as the ‘closing sale’ question, because it’s telling him what you want him to buy into, without really saying it.
At the same time, you’re posing it so that him taking the relationship to the next level will come from him—technically, it’ll be his idea.
So, if you want to get him to take the relationship more seriously and introduce you to his sister (otherwise known as his best friend), ask him a question of “Should I wear this to meet your brother?,” while walking out into the living room (where he’s watching TV) in just his t-shirt and your panties.
That should get his attention—and be a MAJOR motivator to act on whatever it is you want.
“I was thinking about something, and wanted your take on it. Do you think you need time to be by yourself for a while, to figure out what you want from us— with this relationship?”
True, this is a little reverse psychological technique to get him to do the opposite of what he’s been doing…
…but what it’s really about is a way to bypass all of the drama, the confusion and the heartache—because however it turns out, you deserve to be with someone who values you and will do right by you.
I think of this question as your shortcut there.
The thing about men—and what causes most men to pull away—is that they are used to, or fearful of, being trapped by a woman.
Many men have experienced being pressured by a woman who wants to get proposed to, married, and start a family—when he’s just not ready.
If you’ve been with someone for a while--;let’s say a few years—and he’s not budging from his ‘happy place’ (he’s more than comfortable keeping the relationship where it is)…
…then the smartest move you can make is freely giving him that opportunity to go on his own and ‘figure it out.’
Just know that if you use this one, and he says, “Ok, I need to figure it out,” that you need to peacefully respond with something like, “I think that’s best. I love you but I want (a, b, or c.) and I want someone who wants that too.
In many cases he’ll just need the shakeup.
A simple question of “Why don’t you take a little while to figure it out,” and he’ll quickly respond with, “I want you!”
As you’ve learned, men need independence and autonomy, in order to realize what they have and what they want…
…and when they have that (a woman who lets them have that), they can come back to the relationship more satisfied, and more motivated to devote himself to her than ever before.
“I thought we were set to go away this weekend but I’ve seen you made other plans. You know what? Here’s $20.
Why don’t you take a cab wherever you want to go tonight, and have a good time? I’m going to head to the cabin with my friends. When I get back, maybe we can talk.”
This last hoop jumper is an important one.
Again, it indirectly but (to-the-point) lets a man know that you know what you’re worth, and you’re not going to be jerked around.
The keyword to insert in this hoop jumper is “maybe.”
“Maybe” is the equivalent to what an urgent call to action is in marketing lingo.
It means that if he doesn’t get on it and get his act together figuring out what he wants from the relationship, then maybe he’ll win you back…
…maybe he still has a chance…
…or maybe not.
Nine times out of ten, he’ll be anxiously waiting for you to come home, and begging to be yours—all in this time—emotionally, physically and mentally.
So, I will stop here. I hope you loved reading this article on how to communicate with a man. If you’re still with me, I urge you to watch this amazing video below.