Interpersonal relationships can be one of the most satisfying aspects of human life. However, these relationships also can be very devastating. Many people struggle when attempting to communicate with the opposite sex. Personalities and experiences, as well as gender differences, play a large part in determining how individuals communicate with one another. Many women complain about the difficulty they experience trying to get their quiet boyfriends to open up to them. You can encourage your significant other to open up to you. The time to learn communication skills is while dating.
Share your own feelings. Don't be so focused on needing to know what your boyfriend's feelings are that you aren't expressing your own feelings. Lead the way to good communication by setting the example. Relationships require someone to take the initiative and break the ice. Share some personal details; this will help take your relationship to a deeper level.
Recognize your boyfriend's individual communication style. Many men and boys prefer to communicate through actions rather than words. Learn to speak his language by doing little things that mean a lot to him. Then tell him what you did and why. This will help him with word and action translations. Also verbalize to him how much it means to you when he does something for you. By learning and speaking his language, you can help him learn your communication style.
Encourage a safe environment for exposing feelings. Many people are afraid to open up for fear of negative judgment. Be prepared to be non-judgmental, even if you are surprised at the feelings and thoughts your boyfriend expresses. Allow yourself time to think about your own response before speaking. Your goal at this time is to encourage good communication; however, you might need to rethink your relationship if you become aware of things that trouble you. Good communication now will allow you to decide what type of future you might have with your boyfriend.
Learn to recognize non-verbal messages in the form of body language. Verbal messages are only one type of expression. Look for posture, eye contact and facial expressions. Your boyfriend might continually say he is fine when you ask, but his body language might indicate worry or sadness. Help him pick up on these feelings by voicing your concerns. Encourage verbal expressions by asking specific questions. Avoid general inquiries that provoke one word responses.
Show your boyfriend that you are listening when he talks. Repeat back to him what you think he is saying. This will let him know either that he is successfully sharing his thoughts, or that he needs to express himself differently to avoid misunderstandings. Let him know that the subjects he talks about are interesting to you. Ask specific questions to get more understanding about the things that interest him. Practice good eye contact while he is talking. Sometimes one topic will lead to another, and soon you might find yourself discussing your boyfriend's feelings and meaningful relationship issues.