Have you ever date a man and he shows you a lot of interest. You know that he is physically attracted to you and you have a lot in common. You have been dating for a few months (and are probably having sex), so you want to know where the relationship is going.
What woman wants to know is if the man has feelings for her. She is usually feeling the beginning of LOVE and is hoping he does too. She feels vulnerable and before she invests her who heart into the relationship, she needs to know: Where are we going in this relationship. Translation: How do you feel about me?
The approach women use often end a relationship that has the potential to move forward.
Women use the “Can we talk” approach or worse, “We need to talk.” Men hate hearing these words worse than having a root canal. This means that they are going to be put on the spot or that they are in trouble for something.
The woman expresses her feeling for the man and asks him how he is feeling about her. When he takes a lot of time to answer, she feels rejected. What the woman doesn’t understand is that a man can not access his feelings as easily as a woman. So the man goes searching for his feelings and it takes a bit of time, and as he emerges from his search, he realizes that when he answers her question, he is making himself vulnerable to being hurt. Secondly, the man is at a disadvantage because the woman has had time to think about her feelings and how she is going to express how she feels. Often the man will respond with “I really care about you.” He is relieved that he has expressed his feelings for her.
After he has expressed his feelings for her, she reacts in one of two ways:
1) She is quiet and shakes her head up and down. That is not the response the woman is looking for. In fact, the words, “I really care about you” send a signal to the woman that man isn’t really interested in a relationship. (Men, are you confused yet? Read on and we will clarify.) Women often use those same words when they break up with a man: I really care about you, but________. (It doesn’t really matter what follows the “but,” because it usually isn’t true anyway.) The woman just isn’t feeling any love connection and she is trying to let the man down easy. So, when a man uses the same words, (and he feels like he has really committed himself to moving forward), he is surprised when the woman ends the relationship abruptly.
2) She will accuse the man of not being about to talk about his feelings. The man is quite confused at this reaction because he thought he has just expressed his feelings very clearly and concisely.
Women are much more open about their feelings. Women talk to other women much more openly. They share their feelings and experiences. They call up friends on the phone and talk about their lives and feelings. Men don’t call up other men and do this. So the man is acting and responding like a man and women expect him to respond like a “Big Hairy Woman.”
So, what is a woman to do? If a man expresses that he cares about you, this is a big step for him. Allow him time to process his feelings and then come out of his “processing cave” ready to start showing that he cares more. This takes time. It can take several weeks. So, if a woman nags the man to give more than he is ready or capable of giving at that time, he is likely to withdraw (back into his processing cave) until he feels safe again. If the cycle repeats itself and the woman pressures the man again to reveal his feeling (she wants to hear “I Love You.”), the man may withdraw permanently from the relationship.
Women: If a man tells you that he really cares about you and it is not followed by a BUT, then take it to mean: I have feelings for you and I am beginning to explore them and process them. Then give him the time and space to do so. You will be happy you did.