If you’re an open book and dating a guy who is the exact opposite, you may be wondering how to get a guy to open up. Don’t make assumptions about your guy.
Just to break the stereotype, not all men are emotionally stunted or hesitant to open up. Don’t assume your guy is just because you’re wondering how to get a guy to open up. It takes some guys time to feel comfortable enough to open up to you. This can be due to his past or simply society’s outdated gender standards that guys shouldn’t be vulnerable or sensitive.
This could be something he has been battling with his whole life. So, before you get aggravated that your guy won’t open up, consider the situation from his perspective.
Patiently get a guy to open up
I’m sorry to say there isn’t a phrase, speech, or look you can give your guy to get him to open up to you. It just doesn’t work that way.
Sure you might have one night where he opened up a bit more but it doesn’t mean you broke the seal and he will just bare his soul to you every day.
Opening up isn’t easy for everyone. Whether you’ve been hurt before or not, you can understand how being vulnerable with someone is scary. No matter how much you want someone to understand you, it can be hard to put those things into words.
Because of this, pressuring your guy to open up will not get you the results you want. Being angry or frustrated that he isn’t as vocal about his feelings as you are will only create animosity and resentment.
Understand that he is someone you want to be with and you should let him come to these things in his own time. Sure, there are things you can do to help him feel secure and safe, but if he doesn’t want to open up, you can’t make him.
Remember that not everyone shows their feelings in the same way. You may like sharing your past and how you feel verbally. Maybe for him, helping you with things, making you dinner, or introducing you to his family is his way of opening up.
Recognize that vulnerability isn’t the same for everyone. And just because it may not be the same for you doesn’t mean it can’t work out.
Be patient and work on what works for you both. When you’re wondering how to get a guy to open up, think about what you both need.
How to get a guy to open up
As important as it is to be patient with your guy when trying to get him to open up, it is also important to know why you want him to open up. If you feel like he owes you something because you are so open or that he isn’t verbal enough for you, things could go awry.
You should want to get a guy to open up for the benefit of the relationship as a whole, not just for your own desires. Of course, your desires are important too, but forcing someone out of their comfort zone won’t do anyone any good. [Read: How to get someone to open up so you both can truly connect]
In fact, the more you push in many cases, the more he is likely to close himself off. This can become very frustrating for you. It can feel like the relationship is riding on your ability to get him to open up.
That pressure will only stress you out. To get a guy to open up, take your time and work together.
#1 Don’t blame him. Unless he has been breaking promises or treating you badly, you can’t blame him for his fear or hesitancy to open up. These things are ingrained in you from a young age. While you may have been comforted when opening up, he may have been shut down.
It is frustrating. Instead of getting mad, remain calm and help him feel more comfortable for himself as well as your relationship.
#2 Trust him. If you can’t open up to him, you can’t expect him to open up to you. Show him that you trust him. Let him know that you’re happy to do the same for him. Next time he listens to you vent, thank him. Then, tell him you’re there for him anytime he needs you.
Setting an example for him will help him realize that your relationship is a safe space.
#3 Don’t judge. As much as we like to think we won’t judge our guy when he opens up, that isn’t always the case. What we think of as help, advice, or comfort could be seen as patronizing or a desire to fix him. When he does open up, let him do the talking. You can ask if he wants advice, if not, just let him vent.
#4 Be open to hearing him. Wanting to know how to get your guy to open up could be about getting the response you want. Maybe you want him to open up with the expectation that he’ll say he loves you. But be prepared for not liking everything he shares.
You can’t just want him to open up only when it is something you can face or be happy about.
#5 Start with something simple. If he is really a closed book with a lock on it that’s hidden in a safe, let him come to you. Start by asking him simple things like how work was. Break into how his mom or dad is doing. Just small questions like this will ease him into something deeper like his relationship with his family, his goals for the future, etc.
#6 Are you being open? Have you let him know how you feel? Have you talked to him about wishing he would open up more and why? Let him know how hearing from him and how he’s feeling helps you feel needed or appreciated. This is the difference between nagging versus caring on getting a guy to open up to you.
#7 Change the scenery. Sometimes being in bed or at the dinner table, a conversation can seem too intense or upfront. Try to have these conversation somewhere else. The car, on the train, or even just sitting outdoors can put everyone more at ease.
#8 Be active. Talking face-to-face can be overwhelming for some guys. These conversations feel too intense and can make them even more nervous. Talk while on a hike, working on a project, or doing something that keeps him from overthinking.
#9 Know and use your love languages. Love languages are so important to a relationship. Knowing how your partner gives and receives love, and they, you, can take a relationship from frustrating to fulfilling.
Your partner may give and receive love through time spent together whether that means playing a game or cooking dinner. But perhaps your love language is words of affirmation. Hearing your partner share their feelings is what makes you feel loved.
Letting each other know your respective love languages will help you actively fill each other’s needs and your own.
#10 Learn how he deals. You can learn how to get a guy to open up, but you cannot change who he is. If he is someone who recedes into himself when he has a bad day, you cannot coddle him into leaning on you.
Realize he deals with things differently and let that be. If he prefers to be alone when he is struggling that is his decision. It may make you feel helpless, but when he is upset he doesn’t need to make you feel needed, let him heal on his own terms.
A lot of learning how to get a guy to open up is about accepting him for who he is. Use these steps to help him open up, and then, work together to feel connected.