- Gender and Relationships
Is He Really Listening?
The most frustrating response a guy can offer, is to not fully listen when you are making an effort to share your feelings.
As women, we like to be able to share what we are feeling—and not receive a blank look from a guy or an "aha" that solidifies that he's not really paying attention. We want to know that what we are saying is being validated, taken in and hopefully made better by him—especially if what we are talking about has to do with him.
Have you ever had a talk with a guy about something that was really upsetting you? Something that he was doing, and he "acts" like he's listening, but doesn't change a thing? This can be very frustrating, driving a wedge into the relationship and a feeling of unimportance.
When a woman shares her feelings and continues to receive little or no response, as far as a man's actions changing, this is basically like the same feeling as a slap in the face. Not listening speaks volumes, "I don't care!" And no woman wants to feel this way.
Why be in a relationship if you aren't willing to listen to one another? You should be able to take in what the other person is saying, and do whatever you can to make the situation better. If the thought of listening in order to make a relationship closer and even stronger seems so awful, then perhaps a monogamous relationship is not for you. You may be much happier remaining single.
I dated a guy who was a bad listener. That's actually giving him more credit than he deserves since he didn't listen to my concerns At All. When his schedule started to become busier—he would coach basketball during part of the year, he started to disconnect from our relationship. When I spoke to him about his obvious checking out, his response was that he had a lot going on—busy work schedule, busy life, busy coaching on the side and therefore he was soooo tired. But, he would reassure me that we were fine because, "he missed me" (for whatever that was worth).
Since the distance he was creating made me feel as though he wasn't interested in a relationship with me, I decided that after hearing how busy and tired he was, but we were fine, that there could be other solutions so that we could keep our relationship from plummeting further into a rabbit hole. I expressed that I was willing to make him dinner at his place, have a night in and watch a movie or whatever would work so that week’s did not continue to go by without us seeing one another. His response, "yeah, I hear you." Did he?
Weeks would pass and his actions didn't change a bit. So, I tried again to talk to him because I wasn't signing up to have a boyfriend that I never saw. I was missing him—which by his reaction didn't seem to matter much to him. Even when I would tell him that I needed to feel important and not rank on the bottom of his priority list, he would "reassure" me with his words that I was not. Huh...these words were not a comfort.
I talked to him about planning a date ahead of time to see each other since both of our schedules would tend to fill up rather quickly. By having a date scheduled we would know when we would see one another and have something to look forward to. I also shared with him that seeing each other would help me to feel more connected to him, especially with everything going on in his life. I even shared that the distance was making me feel that he didn't want to be in a relationship. Again, "yeah, that makes sense" was his response, but still nothing changed. This guy was still not listening—so I was done trying to communicate and frankly, done trying.
Regardless of how much he told me he understood or what I was saying made sense, by not really listening and changing anything to make the situation better, it was a moot point. He made it very clear by his lack of effort and concern that I was not important to him—and never would be.
Ladies, when a guy really listens, it makes you feel valued, respected and that he does want to be in a lasting relationship with you. I was definitely not feeling that from the guy I was dating, so there was no point in staying in a relationship with him.
Not all men are bad listeners. There are many men who do care enough to listen and change any negative circumstances that arise….
One of my closest friends has a boyfriend who is very busy. He runs his own company and travels out of town frequently. Due to his hectic schedule, he has missed many special events/occasions, broken dates, or just hasn't had time to see her for weeks on end. There were many times that my friend started to feel that she was becoming very low on his priority list—with all he has going on, so, she expressed her concerns. She talked to him about what she was feeling, what she needed in order for the relationship to continue and to grow, and what she was willing to do in order for him to feel less stressed while still giving them moments to spend time together. He listened—really listened.
My friend's boyfriend didn't just listen and take in everything she was sharing, letting the words go in one ear and out the other, he fully listened and started to make many changes in order to strengthen their relationship. He told her that he wanted to connect closer to her heart—which she was feeling torn and abandoned by him. He also wanted her to know that he really heard her concerns and reassured her by given my friend time frames for things that would be changing in his life, so that they could have more quality time together. Yay! By really listening, he showed her that he still did care and that she was important to him and his life. Not only are they still together, their relationship continues to grow and move forward in a positive direction.
When a guy can take the time to listen—fully listen and take what you say and put into action—he is a keeper. If he's not listening and applying what you are saying, he's not invested in you. If he's not invested, do you really want to waste your time? Not listening is not only disrespectful, it's inconsiderate and rude, and you deserve better.
Ladies, you can tell if a guy is in your life for all the right reasons by how well he listens to you. Be willing to communicate and express how you are feeling. More importantly, it's about the communication you have together and the changes you're both open and willing to make to help your relationship grow.
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