3 Tiny Ways Guys Try To Communicate (That Women Totally Miss)

Here's how men communicate differently than women.

Last updated on Feb 27, 2024

Couple having awkward conversation Motortion | Canva 

We all know good communication is the cornerstone of a healthy relationship. So when communication is lacking, the relationship suffers. We have been told that men and women come from different planets (totally believable) and the fact that we aliens communicate differently just adds fuel to the fire. Women complain that men avoid talking like the plague.

Men complain that when they try to speak their truth, it starts a fight, they feel dismissed and so they give up and clam up. We have been socialized (both men and women) to believe that men are callous, don’t have feelings, and don’t desire to communicate like women do.  Despite my education and experience to the contrary, I am still surprised by the depth of feeling, emotion, and introspection men express in my office when they talk about their relationships.


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News flash: These deep thoughts and feelings are rarely shared with their partner. Why? Men don’t talk in relationships — not even with their guy friends. Oh sure they talk, but they don’t talk. But that doesn’t mean that men don’t feel, after all, they share with me. Why? Because when they feel absolutely comfortable they will spill the desires of their hearts, just like women do. And it is beautiful. And guess what? They want that too.

So, how do you get the man that I see on my couch instead of the Arctic Ocean that shows up on your couch? A surefire way not to get it is to ask the dreaded “can we talk” question. Although there are necessary times and places for these requests in your relationship, it does not set the stage for good dialogue. After all, when it comes to communication, it doesn’t matter what you say, it only matters what is heard.


When a woman asks to talk, the man hears: “You did something wrong. I am probably upset and you will be blindsided by a lot of questions you don’t know how to answer. This is going to take a long time. You will not win and you can probably forget about intimacy tonight too — unless you play your cards right, which you probably won’t.” Hmm, I don’t want to go to that party either. But the good news is that your man is trying to communicate with you — you are just missing it and he is shutting down.

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Here are 3 ways guys try to communicate that women totally miss:

1. He starts offering you lots of solutions  

To him, this is the same as saying “ I love you.” Your man wants to be the Knight in shining armor who swoops in and saves you from all your problems. But if you get hurt and frustrated because you didn’t want a solution, you wanted to be heard and validated or maybe you just wanted to vent, then you just missed it. He feels like he failed and he shuts down. And you wonder why he just grunts when you talk?



Next time, tell him what you want before you even start venting. He will happily give it to you and be relieved that he knows just what you want (yes you have to tell him because he’s not the mind-reading kind of alien). And in the future, when he does start offering solutions, thank him for it and start a dialogue about it. He will be thrilled that you value what he has to say and he will open up more.


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2. He gets very quiet

I know this seems counterintuitive — that’s why you miss it. The quiet is just a precursor to getting expressive for a guy. When a man is dealing with a lot of stress, worry, or fear, he gets quiet and retreats to his man cave. If you resist your urge to ask him a million nurturing questions and instead, give him his space or even just be quiet with him, he will open up after he has processed it. Remember, guys don’t talk to process their feelings — that’s what we women do. Guys process first and then talk to get a point across.

3 Ways Guys Try To Communicate That Women Totally MissPhoto: birkaybolushikayesi/pexels


3. He gets physical

Simply (and generally) put, when men are in relationships, they use physical affection to connect and create intimacy. Women need to feel intimate and connected in order to want to be intimate. I know, why can’t we be on the same page? So when your man is getting physical, he is communicating those desires for intimacy with you. As long as you aren’t in the middle of it, this is a great time to talk. This will create the intimacy you need to fuel your desire for him and you both reap the rewards!

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Dr. Zoe Shaw is a licensed psychotherapist and relationship expert with over 20 years of experience who consults with clients from all over the world. She has been featured in Recover Today, Weight Watchers, The Oprah Magazine, Forbes, Vox and more.