Why Some Guys Suck At Communicating In Relationships, According To A Guy

If you date enough guys, you’ll probably notice a pattern: a lot of us are terrible at communicating in relationships. I can assure you that this doesn’t happen intentionally, at least most of the time. There are a few reasons why it happens, and while you may not like them, here they are.

  1. We’re not great listeners. A huge part of communicating is being able to listen, understand, and absorb what the other person is saying. In fairness, there are some guys who are good at this and are actually listening to you. Sadly, most of us aren’t. I’d probably say selfishness is at the top of the list of reasons why this is the case. It’s no wonder we suck at communicating.
  2. We don’t listen just to listen. Even when a guy listens to you, he doesn’t always know the right way to respond. A lot of women just want a guy to listen to them just to feel like they’ve been heard. While I can understand that, most of us aren’t trained to listen just to listen. It’s in our instincts to protect the people we care about. That means if you share a problem, we want to find a solution. We don’t always recognize that you just need someone to hear you out.
  3. We don’t understand nuance. Most guys want to speak in a direct way, but that’s not always the case in relationships because women don’t always come out and say what they mean. This throws a lot of us off because we’re forced to read between the lines, which is not one of our strengths. Needless to say, this leads to some communication problems that usually get blamed on the guy. My advice for you ladies is to just say what you mean a little more rather than hoping he picks up the hint.
  4. We speak with a purpose. Another difference between men and women is that most of us don’t like to talk just to talk. Most of us think that if it’s not super-important, it’s not worth sharing. Of course, that’s not necessarily how it works in relationships when you should be sharing virtually everything. When guys fail to make this adjustment when they’re in a relationship, there are usually communication breakdowns.
  5. We don’t like difficult questions. I know this probably won’t go over well with some of you ladies, but guys don’t always know how to respond when women ask tricky questions. You know, stuff like “does this make me look fat?” or “do you think I’m getting old?” We don’t know how to answer those types of questions because we’re not sure if there’s even a right answer for them. We don’t know the right thing to say and that usually makes everything worse.
  6. We prefer alone time. For most guys, when we have a bad day or are going through a tough time, we just want to be on our own. We don’t want to talk about it, we just want to be left alone. In a relationship, a guy has to have a certain amount of trust before he’s comfortable opening up to you. Even then, he might prefer a little alone time to blow off steam before talking about something. Of course, things don’t work that way in a committed relationship, which is why it seems like he’s so bad at communicating.
  7. We don’t like texting as much as women. No offense, ladies, but you shouldn’t put too much stock in the texting habits of men. Sure, we like texting, but we don’t always want to do it as frequently as you do. We’re also not overly concerned with texting back right away. You might think that a guy is ignoring your texts, but really, he’s just being lazy. Naturally, our inability to adapt to a woman’s preferred texting habits can lead to problems in a relationship.
  8. We don’t like being forced to talk. Sometimes guys feel pressured into talking more than we’d prefer. We know you want us to open up, and so we feel pressure to share things. We end up trying too hard and everything we say comes off forced and disingenuous. Of course, if we resist opening up to you and don’t say a lot, it makes us seem like we’re bad at communicating our feelings. Either way, there’s a high possibility of drama.
Bryan Zarpentine graduated from Syracuse University and lives in upstate New York, where he writes largely about the world of sports. His work has appeared on Franchise Sports and WSN, among others. You can find him on Twitter @BZarp.