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hard time feeling an emotional / conversational connection with males


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Old 1st July 2007, 12:19 AM   #1
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hard time feeling an emotional / conversational connection with males

I'm female and I feel like I've always had a difficult time having a conversational or emotional connection with men (specifically, current and previous boyfriends, male acquaintances, and some relatives) in comparison to my connection with women. In my experience, the men are more into divulging their own opinions about things, and less interested in what I have to say... In addition, since men generally aren't as into or aware of the subtleties of emotion and such, I can't really discuss things like human relationships or existential crises and such. I don't blame them, I just think they're wired to be interested in different things.

The result is that though I've felt affection for past and current boyfriends, I just don't feel the kind of emotional / intellectual connection that i have with a few (granted, not all) of my female friends, where there feels like there's a real exchange of ideas, with both parties listening to the other, and discussing weightier life issues... Thing is, I'm not gay, so there goes the idea of finding a nice girl to be with

And in my observation, this is an issue in many male / female relationships, though generally it comes in the form of "boyfriend isn't supportive enough / doesn't listen" etc etc.

So should I just have different expectations from a romantic relationship, and turn to good female friends for the other stuff? This is what I've currently decided to do, except that over time (and this is becoming a pattern) I don't feel close to the boyfriend, and end up feeling like I don't get much out of the relationship psychologically, and then I leave...

I know people will reply that it's a matter of finding the right guy, but I think (and so do all those authors of male/female relationship guides) that there are some general differences between the genders and what they desire in a relationship, and as a result it is challenging for both parties to feel that their needs are fulfilled...

Thoughts?
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Old 1st July 2007, 12:33 AM   #2
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If you have any kind of expectations at all regarding other human beings you set yourself up for real disappointment.

I understand what you're trying to say and you are correct. Though men have softened up a little in recent years, society still labels a man as a wimp or wussie if he gets too communicative about emotional and other intimacy issues. Men do have deep feelings and they're usually the ones who go through the most pain in a divorce or break up, believe it or not. But they suppress their feelings rather than take the route that will make them highly vulnerable. For a man to talk about his feelings on highly personal matters...well, let's say he'd rather strip himself naked in the middle of the downtown lunch rush.

You're probably best off to sit and talk to your guy at some point and let him know what your needs are in that area. If he's really into you, he'll work at it. Don't expect instant success. Some men are just totally ignorant when it comes to expressing emotional content. Some are raised in families where all of that stuff is just forbidden to be brought up. Everybody's different so don't put all men into one big category.

This is something you're going to have to work out on an individual basis with each guy you may date...or the one you're with now. Many men are fulfilled if they're told the ball scores for the day. Women simply need a lot more and men often don't realize that. But that doesn't mean they're necessarily shallow...more like stupid.
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Old 1st July 2007, 12:52 AM   #3
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There are plenty of men who are good listeners and interested in discussing emotional issues. They may not have the exact same style as a woman would, but sometimes this is better, as it gives you a different angle on things. Not all men are uncomfortable with touchy-feely things.

True, a man is never going to be just like a woman in a conversation, but that would take all the fun out of it anyway, wouldn't it?
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Old 1st July 2007, 9:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangehose View Post
I'm female and I feel like I've always had a difficult time having a conversational or emotional connection with men (specifically, current and previous boyfriends, male acquaintances, and some relatives) in comparison to my connection with women. In my experience, the men are more into divulging their own opinions about things, and less interested in what I have to say...
There's this guy I've been good friends with ever since my teens. We used to hang about a lot together, but live in different cities now so we don't get the chance to catch up as often. When we do catch up, we always have those conversations where you feel like you're competing with airtime. I'll be speaking, he's nodding and laughing in a way that spells out (I know him damn well enough to be certain about this....) "hurry up and spit it out so that I can grab the mic and take my turn."

So it would be fair to assume he isn't really listening to me - yet that same guy can quote verbatim things I said years ago. He listens - it's just, maybe, that guys don't feel the same need to demonstrate all the empathic "look how closely I'm listening to you and reflecting what you're saying" skills.

My brother's the same. We'll meet up for lunch, I'll tell him what I believe to be a funny story - and he'll smirk and bark out a disinterested sounding laugh. Then at a later date, in a group situation and once he's merry with a few drinks inside him, he'll urge me "go and tell them that story about..." - and I'll tell them, and he'll be cracking up like a loon.

What I'm trying to say, I think, is that - the influence of alcohol aside - guys don't always give you the level of applause or positive/supportive feedback you get from female friends. It doesn't necessarily mean they're not listening to you. There's maybe just not that same sense of needing to validate everything you say and do (except in the first few months of courtship). It's not necessarily a bad thing, but I agree that it can make communication a bit more difficult at times.

I can relate to a lot of what you're saying, but as I've got older I've really learned to appreciate blokey men in a way that I didn't before. They're delightfully protective of and loyal towards the people they care about...they don't fake what they don't feel, and they can be adorably gruff and embarrassed about what they do feel. I think life will eventually teaches you to appreciate the differences, and the ways in which they complement eachother. If you let it.
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