Thursday, November 03, 2005

If You Want Him to Open Up, Don't Use a Can Opener

Dear Terry,

I want to thank you again for the teleclass. It was really inspirational. I am sure that I can put what you discussed into practice rather soon. I do have a question though. How do you get a man to open up to you about all parts of his life, even those that do not concern you, without curbing his freedom and independence?

-Quite Curious

Well, hello, Quite-

I'm glad you enjoyed the call.

If you're spending a lot of time with a man, he should eventually trust you enough to open up about himself. I wouldn't force anything. If, after a reasonable amount of time, you feel that you don't really know him much better than you did when you first met, you can say, "We've been going out together for (insert amount of time), but I don't know you very well." See what happens.

If he takes that as a cue to be forthcoming, good. If he doesn't, you could make a joke. Smile and say something like, "You're very mysterious, but I'm really into comedies these days." If he remains clammed up, I would take that as a sign to keep moving.

You never want to interrogate a guy, but it's perfectly acceptable to open up about your experiences. For instance, you could say: "My favorite Christmas was (fill in the blank) when (fill in the blank); and "I love the Fall because it reminds me of (insert your very special memory here). This way, you're giving him an opportunity to tell you about himself and his experiences.

A good relationship depends on respect, consideration, and, most of all, communication. You can't do it alone, and you shouldn't try. Be sure to keep that in mind.