Thursday, April 13, 2006

Break-up Busting 101: Understanding Her In Conversation

As we continue our study of what leads you into break-ups and divorce and how to stop it, it’s time to talk about communications.

What a day this is turning out to be already! I sincerely hope yours goes as smoothly as mine has as your daily challenges arise. It’s one of those that in spite of all the problems and nuisances that show up make you know that it was worth living and like a good night’s sleep at the end of it has been well-earned, not because you’ve endured it, but because you’ve still managed to achieve what you set out to do that day in spite of all the interference.

As I mentioned yesterday, we definitely need to talk about communications and how the differences between how men and women do it are caused by the difference in how they are equipped to do it, so while it’s possible to prove your ability to understand and respond to the other gender, they also need to better understand and better respond to you to make it possible to “meet in the middle.”

If you can’t meet in the middle, the end result is the stereotypical impressions that women talk too much about nothing, whine all the time, and get upset over nothing, and that men are insensitive boobs who got married to have a woman serve them instead of sharing a life with them. Boredom and frustration set in, the partners drift apart and ultimately into the arms of another and/or divorce.

I’ve published an excerpt from “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love” a couple of times in my newsletter in the past to demonstrate how serious a problem this is, and according to the statistics and comments it’s been widely read and considered a big help, so I’m going to reprint that excerpt here with some additional commentary at the end. But before we get into it, I’ll warn you…

By the end of the excerpt, most of the women will be thinking, “Yep! That’s it. I need to call David and see if he’ll do private tutoring for my man.”

The guys, on the other hand, will be split up into several distinct groups. One will say, “There’s no way that it works like that,” (these are the ones that should just forget it, and consign themselves to an unhappy life, because well over 100 women were involved in developing and verifying this little scenario, so it’s accurate).

Another group will say, “Well, now I know why she’s always getting pissed at me,” (this group has an excellent chance of learning from this blog and my book and successfully kicking their relationship up to levels unknown to mankind).

And another, smaller group, that will say, “I get it! This guy’s good! I gotta get that book!” (these will be the Jedi masters of keeping their partners lit up like a Christmas tree, because they’ve already got a head start in both intellect and attitude).

Again, it’s a little over two fairly dense pages straight out of the book, and it’s some pretty critical material, so if you don’t have time to sit down and study it now, mark it for study tonight. It will be a long time before anybody does you this big a favor again, so don’t sell yourself short.

Without further ado, here are pages 43-45 of “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love”:


Men State, Women Negotiate

This one will probably be an eye-opener as well, probably for both men and women. With regard to male-female relations, when men speak, it’s most often in a context of obtaining or distributing information, and ethics notwithstanding, you can pretty much take him at his word – what you see is what you get – no hidden agenda, no ulterior motives, no signal, no hints, additives, preservatives, or fillers. Women, on the
other hand, seldom speak directly about anything, and quite often you find that questions are statements, statements are questions, and being far more social in nature than men, the purpose of speaking is to negotiate.

As an example, consider a man and a woman in a car driving somewhere, and the woman says, “Are you hungry?” If the guy isn’t, he just says, “No,” and keeps driving.

Now, every woman reading this will immediately know that she’s pissed off at this point, and every guy will be scratching his head wondering why the woman would be pissed off and why it should be so obvious.

What has happened is that her question was actually a statement: She is hungry, and what’s more, she’s attempting to open negotiations as to where they are going to eat. But wait! There’s more, and guys, go ahead and just consign yourself right now to being momentarily confused and frustrated, remember that you love her or you wouldn’t be trying to improve or protect your relationship, and try to learn something here and be amused by this truly fascinating revelation.
She’s probably already decided where and what she wants to eat! But, she has to go through this ritual to comply with the social forms that she’s wired for.

Incidentally, as you will see in a later section on defining authority, overtly leaving the decision about where and what the couple (making a unilateral decision that affects nobody but her is not a problem) is to eat to the woman is anything but considerate. We’ve all been led to believe that this is somehow gentlemanly or polite, but the plain truth is that women don’t enjoy decision-making in most cases, and do enjoy seeing a man able to make a decision about what he wants, or at least take the lead in making a suggestion.

Dumping the decision in her lap is one of those “nice guy” things that will get you labeled as a wimp, relegate you to “just a friend or buddy” status, frustrate her to death, and possibly irritate her to the point of starting a fight. It may sound overly simplistic, but to be considerate, you must actually consider her point of view. Being a social creature by nature, she usually wants to be involved in the decision, but rarely wants to take the lead in making it. If she does have a preference, even an extreme one, there will still be a negotiation, one in which she hopes you agree with her choice, but doesn’t want you settling for her choice, which is ass-kissing, and women hate that.

Getting back to our example, how is this scenario to play out? There are several twists and turns, depending on whether he’s hungry and whether she has a taste for something special. There are only four possible right answers at this point, two good ones and two great ones:

  • “No, I’m not. Are you?” (Good, because it shows consideration.)
  • “Yes. Are you?” (Good, because it also shows consideration.)

  • “Yes, let’s go to (whatever).” (Great, because it shows leadership and decisiveness.)

  • “Yes, let’s go to (whatever). Will that work for you?” (The Jedi master answer, because it not only shows leadership and decisiveness, it shows consideration and overtly leaves the door open for and invites the negotiation that she expects to ensue.)

Women hate to be ignored, and while they like to see a man acting as a leader and able to make decisions, they hate being bossed around and being completely left out of decisions. Are you with me so far? If not, go back through it again, and think back to exchanges of this nature you’ve had with women in the past. It will become clear.

Now, the next step depends on her mood at the moment. Regardless of where she wants to go, she wants you to make the first suggestion to show that you’re capable of it. So if you answer with one of the first two options, her response will be something to the effect of, “Yes, I am,” or “I’m getting there,” or if she’s really coy about it and not wanting to admit that she has an appetite, “Well, it’s getting late and if we don’t get something soon we’ll (run into traffic, run into long lines, be eating too late, be late for our appointment, etc. – something to blame the clock instead of her hunger). Where would you like to go?”

It gets really amusing here, because this is where you find out how you’re being tested today. She’s either looking for you to make the decision or for you to be a good boy and open the door for her to voice the one she’s already made. Your best bet at this point is to name your own favorite place to go as long as it’s not someplace that she hates to go, which is insensitive and will be taken as an insult, followed by asking her for input, but not her approval. The difference is subtle, so be careful here. To a woman, there is a huge difference between, “Will that work for you?”, “Do they have something you like?” and “Is that okay with you?” If you speak as though you are seeking her approval you have just done what a wimp would do and she’s disappointed because she’s now in a public place about to share a meal with a wimp.

Now for the last step of this little dance. She’ll most likely either say that your choice will be fine and smile, or she’ll say she’d rather go elsewhere, and give you a specific place. Go there, and do it with mild enthusiasm, unless you just despise the place, and especially if she knows you despise the place, in which case you’re being tested a bit extra today. Another sign that you’re being tested further is if instead of saying “yes” in some form with a smile, or offering a specific alternative, she says something vague like, “Well, if that’s what you want,” and doesn’t smile about it, an indeed looks and sounds just a tad negative, which is your hint that she’s being very considerate in dropping, at least in her mind.

Don’t be alarmed, it’s still possible to come out of this one alive, but you have to pay attention to what you do and to her body language at this point. You can take the easy way out, and say, “Well, I certainly won’t die if we don’t eat there today. Actually, I think I might enjoy (name of some other place) just as much. Do they have something you can enjoy? I wouldn’t settle for something I didn’t like, and I don’t want you to settle for something you don’t like on my account.” This is a declaration of sensitivity and respect that she can’t miss or refuse, and will likely at this point get back on cue and either accept some suggestion or finally make the one that she’s been holding back.

The other option, for advanced users of body language only, is to name several options and watch for her pupils to dilate or eyebrows to raise at one of them, which will be the one she really likes, and quickly jump on it, something like “Well, there’s Chung’s, Morton’s, The Crab Shack, Il Dolce Vita (pupils dilate here) – Yeah, Italian! That really sounds good. Are you up for a good wine and a garlic fix?” She’ll most likely agree with you if you got the cue right, but if not, she’ll at least give you credit for making a game of it and finally voice a preference.

Yes, it sounds complicated. It’s a sexual form of diplomatic relations, and until you understand the basics, it is complicated. However, the basics, while not obvious to the uninitiated, are really very basic:

  • Women don’t speak directly without making some announcement that they are about to do so, and if they do, there’s probably about to be some real trouble. Generally, opening questions are statements, opening statements are questions, and the purpose of her using these devices is to start a negotiation.

  • You have to feel your way through the negotiation, just like you were buying a car or something. Make suggestions in such a way as to leave a dignified channel for her input without seeking her approval for your own. Treat her as an equal, not as a superior or inferior party to yourself in the negotiation.

  • Always vigilantly watch for the dreaded “double jeopardy” test, the second test that occasionally follows the first if she’s in a slightly needy mood.

You see? That long, complicated affair came down to three simple rules applied to every juncture of a conversation. Remember these three rules and employ them and you’ll not only be far more attractive to your woman and women in general, you’ll never again be stuck in that sickening void of “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” which kills relationships fast, because by taking part in it, you are declaring that you don’t know how to communicate, she’s not important enough for you to consider learning proper communication, and that you can’t make a decision – three things that are on every woman’s list of top “X” things that they hate about men.


If you have any doubt whatsoever about the validity of what you just read, put it in front of as many women as you care to. The only ones with dissenting opinions will be those who exhibit markedly masculine communications habits themselves, and possibly some mildly masculine physical traits as well. Remember that the hormone balances related to gender do determine brain structure and function to a degree. It’s not that unusual to encounter a woman who looks quite womanly, but upon close inspection you notice that her shoulders are slightly (or more) broader than her hips, her cheekbones are not as high nor her cheekbone-to-chin area quite as “heart-shaped” as for other women, and her manner and communications style are noticeably more direct than what you notice in most women

This doesn’t make her any less of a woman, but her hormone balance has induced a brain structure and chemistry that has caused these traits that are caused by higher levels of testosterone to manifest. By the way, a woman with high levels of both estrogen and testosterone will have a very active libido, because testosterone levels are the cause of libido…it’s the only true aphrodisiac known to science.

Getting back to communication, you should now see just how much of a gap there can be between a man and woman, and this gap MUST be bridged successfully for a relationship to last beyond the initial year or two of intense attraction before it starts causing serious problems, the kind in which little “spats” end up exploding into catastrophes where partners don’t speak for days or one spends several nights in the guest bedroom, and then things just start “swirling around the drain” before “going down the tube.” This happens because she thinks he isn't listening, while he thinks she's being unreasonable, but the truth is that neither is really hearing or understanding the other. But, the good news is…

After you’ve spent years appearing to be an insensitive boob and suddenly start “getting it,” your partner will notice, and she will definitely respond as long as there have been no restraining orders issued, just as she will respond to you suddenly understanding what she wants, how she feels, why she does the things she does, taking the lead and trying to save her from the total damnation of boredom, etc. There is nothing in the world to stop a divorce and reinstitute a honeymoon like a whirlwind romance if you can start one with her, and I don’t have to tell you what happens if some other guy beats you to it, do I?

I hope you enjoyed this lesson and find it useful. Feel free to share it with your friends, and you and your friends are invited to visit the main website at http://www.makingherhappy.com, subscribe to my free newsletter (if you prefer using RSS feeds to blog), and maybe even grabbing a copy of “How to Be Attractive to the Woman You Love”and putting it to work in your life. Life is too short to waste it waiting floundering around and fighting because you don't know what else to do. Be smart and start fixing it now, before you’re in a crisis like a break-up or divorce, because it’s many, many times easier to heal a few small wounds than lots of big ones, and to overcome a short period of unrest and bad habits than a long period.

In the meantime, live well, be well, and have a wonderful day!
David Cunningham

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