Tons of women do this one thing and it must leave them feeling awful…I wonder if you do it too?

I’m talking about women who hide their true feelings from a man and fear sharing their desire for a closer relationship and for love. Ever felt this way?

It happens when you won’t communicate directly with a man about your feelings because you think you’ll “scare him away”. Unfortunately, you’re right…it could scare him away.

The way you talk to a man about a relationship turns out to be THE BIGGEST MISTAKE ANY WOMAN CAN MAKE WITH A MAN.

I’ll come back to this giant mistake in just a quick second, but first, I’d like to talk about what I’ve seen in the dating world as a guy and share a FASCINATING story with you.

I’ve had women communicate their feelings with me in all sorts of different ways from joy to anger to frustration, and I know what each one does to a man (and in a larger context, what communicating this way does to any person in general – man or woman.)

In other words, there’s a pattern to the dating experiences that I’d like to share. THE STORY GOES SOMETHING LIKE THIS…(let’s pretend I’m the man in this story and you’re the woman)…

pushing a man awayYou and I meet. We both like each other. (lucky me!) Feelings develop for us both on several levels. (Physically, emotionally, socially) You try to be “patient” and not express too many feelings and what you want to play it cool.

We have a great “connection”, but we never talk about what we want in our future around dating, a relationship or marriage. Time goes by and things are great for us.

Eventually, you begin to see that you’re not getting what you want from me in the relationship.

You want more, but you’re scared of talking to me about it because you don’t know where I’m at. You’re scared because I’ve talked to you about all the bad experiences I’ve had with women in the past. And sometimes I even make negative remarks about women and their emotions.

You don’t want to ruin the good things we have going and rock the boat, but in the back of your mind you know that you’ll want to deal with the negative emotions that are slowly but surely building in your mind.

Why Men Push Women Away

Then as I start to see us growing closer, I begin to use my past issues to tell you that I’m not looking for much more than what we have right now. So you don’t say anything to me directly to communicate what’s going on for you and your feelings. And of course, being a normal guy, I don’t say anything either. (Of course, I’m a man!)

You become frustrated and confused that I’m not acting how I used to act. I begin to change with the way I treat you. I don’t pay as much attention to you anymore. I don’t surprise you or bring you flowers anymore. I’m tired every day after work and just want to watch TV when I get home. I call you less frequently. I don’t initiate sex as much anymore. You even consider that I could be seeing someone else. And after a few months – I’ve become distant.

So what happens next? You decide you’re not happy with where things are and it’s time to have a talk about where we’re at.

But you’re SCARED of expressing your feelings about what you want, so you let things build up inside you until you begin to let your frustrations with me show. And to wrap the story up…You make THE BIGGEST MISTAKE YOU CAN MAKE WITH A MAN…

You start a conversation about the relationship and then you “let me have it” (you get upset and lose your cool with me!)

All your desires, fears, frustrations and dreams that you’ve been holding inside away from me all pour out in one big emotional explosion…

This “Big Mistake” can take the form of arguing and yelling, but not exclusively. Sometimes it’s just extreme intensity, perhaps tears. It might include:

  • Complaining about the current state of the relationship
  • Talking about the things he does wrong with you
  • Showing your frustrations about what you feel is missing
  • Becoming upset that he doesn’t feel how you’d like him to feel
  • Bringing up past issues, arguments or disappointments.

But it always creates a lot of emotional tension and “drama”. Especially in the guys mind.

If you want to learn “How To Talk To A Man” so he can truly hear you, <=== click here!

This is THE LAST THING you want to do with a man if you want to get some positive result with him. That tension that’s created stays with him, and he NEVER forgets it. In his mind, he now thinks of you as “hysterical” and full of issues. His mind defines you by what he saw in your behavior, and it scares him.

Yep, I know it’s not fair, but it’s the man’s weird and twisted reality… I’ve heard hundreds, maybe thousands, of men talk about this exact perception of a woman and how they fear being with a woman who they think will make this giant mistake.

Yeah, I know… it’s immature, selfish and not fair of the man, but it’s the reality of the situation that lots of women end up in with men.

So how do you avoid this….? I’ll tell you how in THREE EASY STEPS.

1. You Need To Understand What’s Going On Inside The Mind Of Your Man….

Let me tell it to you straight, as a man… Women secretly believe that their connection with a man will “naturally” turn into something deeper without any communication taking place. Kind of like it’s the unspoken truth about what’s going on.

Honestly… this isn’t how it works for us men. If you’re “assuming” you have a relationship, and that he feels like you do, you’re wrong. Men don’t assume that a connection, being together, spending quality time and all the rest means they’re in a committed relationship. Some men do, but not most.

For a man to know he’s in a committed relationship, and understand the things YOU want in that relationship, YOU have to communicate with him in CLEAR AND DIRECT terms.

Yeah, that’s right… You have to put yourself out there and be vulnerable. Scary! But I hear lots of women think that other women are just lucky to have found such a great guy.

And while there are some men who are more equipped and ready for a healthy situation with a woman, it’s NOT luck that women in great relationships have found a way to communicate with their guy.

That’s right, they’ve taken time to find the right information and to learn to integrate a certain way of communicating into their thinking and behavior. It’s not easy, but there’s help.

2. You Need To Understand What Causes You To Make “The Big Mistake”

EVERYONE wants to have THEIR needs met first. It’s basic human nature. But being able to delay your gratification is an AMAZING thing to develop in your life – (in every part of your life!) Most people (men and women) want to talk, talk, talk about what THEY think and what THEY want. The root of this problem basically boils down to needs that are unmet.

So making “The Big Mistake” is really all about being driven by your unmet needs and desires and solely focusing on what YOU want the relationship to be, without honestly and critically considering the man’s perspective, his emotional state, his communication skills and where he’s coming from at the same time.

When you do this with a man, you are subconsciously telling him that you’re more interested in your feelings and what YOU want than you are in his feelings and what he wants. And men can read and pick up on women who do this instantly.

I see a form of this “Big Mistake” communication all the time in business by the way. Some business professionals are the worst at this self-absorbed “need” oriented communication.

Like when someone calls me who wants to get something from me or sell me something and they’re not very experienced or polished at it. The first thing I pick up on is their selfish agenda…and it instantly puts me on the defensive.

But if they’ve done their “homework” on me and what I’m looking for, and not what THEY WANT from me, when they talk it changes the whole situation the second they show me they’ve thought about what I want. It’s very simple but extremely powerful.

So let’s take this concept directly back to communicating with men.

It might sound cliche’, but you’ve got to learn to listen and understand where’s he’s at and where’s he’s coming from. This cliche’ is a around for a reason. It works. Patience, empathy and understanding are the first steps towards creating the relationship you dream about. But you’ve got to be careful to not become the woman who gives him EVERYTHING and gets walked on.

Use your common sense and intuition to safeguard yourself – I know that your female perceptive abilities aren’t used nearly enough, so put these strong tools to good use.

3. How To Avoid Making The Big Mistake

Let me give you a vital piece of information when dealing with men…

Men are CLUELESS when it comes to identifying the things that are “obvious” to women in dating and relationships.

Sorry to break the bad news, but it’s almost always up to you to make this communication happen.

It’s important to remember to approach the entire conversation from the perspective of talking about what you want AND what he wants.

If you can make a guy feel like you put his feelings and needs a priority in this conversation, and always consider what he wants, I promise he will LOVE YOU for it!

There’s no rule that says you can’t consider another person’s opinions and feelings first in order to get what you want. In fact, a key goal in negotiating is to let the other person talk first. When you get to listen first, you ALWAYS have the advantage. You know exactly what the other person wants… and knowledge is influence and power.

I’m not saying you need to take on hard-core negotiating here with a man, but some of the same rules and principles about people and psychology apply. When you talk to a man from a positive place of listening first, he will be 10,000 times more receptive to what you have to say and what you want once you bring it up than if you approach him from a place of feeling hurt, communicate need and projecting fear and anxiety.

Try this instead…

Ask a positive question or give a positive statement such as, “Honey, I was thinking today that I was happy to be with you.” It might sound submissive, corny or difficult to say to someone you’re having a tough time with, but think about it… If you’re going through all the trouble to worry so much about the future with this person, this is already what you’re thinking.

Communication in a relationship DOES require skills. In “How To Talk To A Man” you’ll learn skills, strategies and scripts for saying what you want and need in a way that he can hear you.


  1. Jill Dolcini-Allard on July 20, 2009 at 11:28 am

    Wow! Thanks for this awesome article! I am in a situation with a man that wants friends with benefits, no strings attached. It has gone beyond that at this point. He knows that I have feelings for him. He was married to someone who wanted to know his every whereabouts to the point that he had no freedom at all. He was accused of cheating, which he was not, but she was. I am respecting that he may not have how I feel in return. He tells me NOT to hold back my feelings or letting him know. Which, to me is a bit confusing. What does he really want. His actions show differently then his words. I am learning to understand that men don’t know how to be in relationships. I get that “scared” to say really how I feel, but I have to remember he told me not to hold back telling him how I feel. He is very happy being around me and with me. I feel the same. He says lets just see what happens. This “FWB” is just not a sleep together only. We go places together, go out for dinner, movies, sailing and weekend/day trips (2-3 days). He has meet my mom and my 15 year old son. He is going to be introducing me to his daughters.
    I just don’t want to push him out of my life by my insecurities and me being to aggressive. Like a lot of women, we think with our hearts and not our heads. Easier said then done.
    Thanks for the awesome articles. I must say though, relationships are very confusing, hard to maintain and take a lot of work. Both sexes are complicated creatures.

  2. joselyn on July 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I already did the big mistake,but without the fight….What can I do to get him back?

  3. Editor on July 31, 2009 at 9:54 pm

    Thank you, Joselyn…yeah, I’ve made those mistakes so many times I lost count…so I’m not even going to try to give you advice, but I know that Rori Raye has a blog…she answers questions there, and other women who comment all help each other. To take a look, it’s at:

    If you’re not already getting her free newsletters, you’ll want to…they’ll answer so many of your questions and give you so much help…

    Sincerely, Sarah

  4. Rona on August 29, 2011 at 2:35 am

    Thank you! I can see the depth of my mistake and I’m feeling ashamed of myself. My partner left me 3 weeks ago. No wonder he tired of sticking around to see it through, which has been my biggest grief. I see it so simply now, though he’s a highly reactive person, avoiding the big mistake would’ve gone a long way toward him being able to handle his reactivity better. I blamed him too much, refused to sugar coat everything for him, but really, the love we did have would’ve made it worth if for me to have done so. He loved me. How does one make up for such a mistake?

  5. keke on November 8, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    thi really suks. im a teen and have made those mistackes maaannny tims this article just makes me feel bad about my self. thanks alot.

  6. Beaunka on November 26, 2011 at 7:26 am

    i’ve been talking to this guy for a couple of months but i’ve known him for about 4 years. He says he likes me and everything but he then says he’s not ready for a relationship. But I am. i mean he’s a great guy but im too impatient to wait for him. Im talking to this new guy and he acts way different from the first guy.. what do i do :/

  7. Ana Loiselle on December 6, 2011 at 10:31 am

    I do a lot of reading, listening to CDs, and watching DVDs on topics related to communication. As a Relationship Coach, I found your article to be refreshing bit of advice. I often cringe at some of the information that is being pedaled out there; most of which focuses on how we can others to be different. Your “Big Mistake” asks your reader to take a look at how they are acting in their relationship.

    Unfortunately, many times women’s attempts at communication tend to result in misunderstandings, defensive reactiveness, and often involve trying to influence the other person through fear and guilt.

    These common approaches can make men feel quite adversarial, or they will completely shut down. Can you blame them? Who wants someone being exaggerative or implying blame, or implying we are wrong in some way. Ugh!
    Taking the time to learn communication skills that move you beyond “right” or “wrong” to a place of understanding is a beautiful thing. Men love and really appreciate it!

  8. Mara on December 27, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    I am not really sure if I believe this. I have dealt with all kinds of men from recently divorced to been single for a while and it boils down to one thing in my case: they don’t want a relationship (or that is what they have told me) and I hear, “I am not ready for a relationship,” “I am not looking to seriously date (but I will sleep with you repeatedly),” “it is not OUR time,” “you are great, but I can’t do a relationship.” Basically these men did not want a relationship, but soon after they found someone who would put up with their crap (and it was not me!). They wanted the benefits of a relationship without working for it. They said they enjoyed being with me and still wanted to be friends (I know this is a formality but they still want to be friends! I get texts, party invitations, emails from them) I don’t want to be friends with them!!! I always put their needs first, maybe that is my problem, but I did not smother them. I am over accommodating and too easy-going. Maybe I did not communicate my needs clearly enough to let them know what I wanted.

    I do communicate my needs and I involved theirs too which ends up pushing them away because this is or was not part of my normal relationship behavior.I think men get scared and that us women should not hold back on what we are thinking and feeling. IF a man really wants to be with a woman, there will be a mutual working relationship where values, goals (short and long-term) are discussed, interests and lives are willing to be shared. If there is not a solid foundation built on these four things, no matter how feelings and thoughts are expressed the relationship will not work!

  9. sharon on January 13, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    an opinion….since when do mature males have to be coddled ? They appear on dating sites, etc… baggage…from women. This stuff on your site is all about caretaking the fragile male ego…and how women are making mistakes about “dealing with men”…….wha wha…. Maybe the key words should be “emotionally mature males”… invited you to write me…a form letter was sent from your staff..indicating you would followup …yeah..just like after a first date..”.I’ll call you.” That was months ago. No follow through…no surprise! Just proves your point…..being direct with men gets a woman nowhere…..because they don’t want to HEAR it. Some of us are not into playing games with egos….some of us are straight up and speak our mind AND say it like it is….and no one on this planet should have to walk on eggshells and research on how to communicate with an intended love. Forget all the psychology…he said….she said stuff…You either like each other or not…you have a future together or not….and it is not just about the MAN and what he NEEDS to be happy. Backwards thinking, guys…make your woman happy and you will be king. And by making your woman happy….trust….fidelity…safety from harm. Really, men pretty much that’s what it boils down to…and so I would like to hear from men that agree with that…and of course women as well. Am sure there will be an overwhelming response from more women than men…..which may prove the point.

  10. KIRSTEN on January 28, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    this article is spot on. over the summer i started dating someone i’ve known for about 15 years. i ASSUMED because he knew me for so long he already knew what i was about and what i wanted (relationship that leads to marriage.. nothing casual…no friends with benefits). he was a great guy obviously.. that’s why we have been friends for so long. we talked about EVERYTHING–except where our “dating” was going. it was the most comfortable i’ve ever been with someone and had blind trust based on our friendship which was a nice comforting feeling. i was being “patient” and “going with the flow” by NOT asking him about “US.” i’m usually in a rush with people. (in hindsight, I feel like I knew in my gut I wasn’t going to hear what I wanted so I never asked.) To make a long story short, after about 3 months of things being good.. but NOT seeming like the “relationship” was progressing as it should… it all came out at once.. my frustrations, anger…. all negative… and to top it off i had a few glasses of wine lol….. and that was the last time we spoke. he has since e-mailed me apologizing for how things turned out. but anyway… i am now happily dating someone who was DIRECT with me about what he wanted from the beginning and wanted to know exactly what i wanted as well… a breath of fresh air. he laid everything out on the table from the start: how he is, what he wants, what he expects…and asked me to share the same. he encourages communication.. and we discuss our progress and never hold anything in. i am enjoying communicating for once. but i also WANT this/him, feel it’s right, and not just another “practice.” i also truly believe he cares for me and loves me and WANTS this/me as well. it’s been about 10 years of trail and error and practice for me (i am 27). both of these men DID tell me they’ve “been hurt” and “want to take things slow.” but my man now also said what none of the others have.. that he WANTED A RELATIONSHIP.. and WANTED A RELATIONSHIP WITH **ME** and wanted to do it RIGHT. That right there is KEY. it’s hard to accept i guess but like all these relationship advice pages say, if he doesnt say in the exact words: I WANT A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOU… he doesn’t want one…or will drag out the dating process.. no mater HOW good the dating is, how sweet he is. As I mentioned in the beginning, I did not communicate with my best friend who became lover about things who had no real intention on hurting me, and I was hurt. I hurt myself. don’t WAIT for a guy who says he doesn’t directly say I WANT A RELATIONSHIP.. because 99.9% of the time, he won’t ever “come around” … at the end of the day you have to know WHAT YOU WANT as a woman. i have worked on myself for sometime and want and am ready for a mature relationship.. i will NOT accept “let’s see where this goes” / “go with the flow” … or anything less than someone who clearly expresses he wants to work on US together.

  11. Mr. D on January 29, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I’ve made this mistake from the male end of things. I’d liked her immediately upon sight when we first met; but she was in a struggling relationship at the time so I kept my distance. She left the group we were both a part of within a few months, but I never stopped thinking about her. A little less than two years later, we bumped into one another at her work and had a brief catch-up conversation.

    I visited her there a couple more times (this time intentionally), then I started going to the church she was at (I was searching for a replacement for my old one anyway, due to the tense climate of division that sadly was forming there). Many times, we would be talking after the service for more than an hour, whether in the sanctuary or out in the parking lot. She frequently touched my arm and her pupils were dilated. Her relationship had long ended by the time we started talking, and she was very open about the things that had gone wrong. A couple of times, she talked about wanting to get her career settled before entering another relationship, a philosophy I understood and silently endeavored to respect, although my heart definitely desired for that particular caution to be thrown to the wind! We went out to eat a couple of times, and I took her to a party where she got to meet many of my closest friends. She fit in very nicely and it all just started feeling more and more right.

    Around this time, my mom and female friends were telling me more and more that I needed to take a chance, make a move lest I miss out and get kicked to the curb. Knowing what she had told me about her career, I countered this to my mom; her response to that was many times people focus on their careers to fill the void of not having anyone in their lives. So I ended up taking the girl out on Valentine’s Day…the terms of the evening were never discussed, which was my first mistake. I felt it should be platonic, given what she had said about her career, though of course I preferred otherwise. However, I didn’t come right out and say either way, so who knows what she thought it all was?

    During the evening, she brought up her career again, as well as some former co-worker who had been interested in her in the past that she was now speaking to again. I noted that but didn’t think of it too much at the time. At the end of the evening I gave her a flower, a pink token which I had intended to say, “This is to say thank you for being here tonight and for your friendship.” She responded quite nervously but accepted it with thanks, graciously exited my car, and the evening was over. Strike two.

    A week went by and I hear nothing. I had called once and gotten voicemail (didn’t leave a message), texted once with no response. So back to her work I went. While she didn’t directly reject me, she said she wouldn’t be coming to church “for awhile” and mentioned the former co-worker again and basically said the ball was in his court (he ended up not taking it). She also said that if she didn’t find a new job here in town in a year that she was moving away (four years later she’s still around and at the same job). A couple weeks after this conversation was when I violated the tenets of this article and sent a lengthy email detailing every nuance I could think of as to how I felt and why. Of course, a response never came and I’ve heard nothing since or seen her since. Strike three, I’m out. If she ever does get her career resolved locally, I might revisit the situation, because I do think there was legitimate interest there that only that issue was inhibiting. It was a valuable lesson though: when you have many voices clamoring, pick the one that really matters and listen.

  12. Margaux on March 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

    I made this mistake. Is there any way to come back from it?

  13. Mr E on June 2, 2014 at 11:41 am

    Complete opinion from one viewpoint littered with sweeping generalizations. Bottling emotions will lead to trouble; true but kind of stating the bleeding obvious! Women should have to make an extra effort because ‘men are clueless’? Anybody that takes this article with anything more than a pinch of salt is clueless.

  14. John on November 1, 2014 at 3:15 am

    My partner finished a 4 year relationship after hysterectomy.still asks after me as and is very curious she avoids me my calls and my txt is there anyway back or should I just move on love this women with all my heart.

  15. Dave on March 7, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I love my wife. She does this bad. I think she has moved from pushing me away. To removing herself emotionally and blaming me. I try to tell her that her emotions are projected to me wich are confusing. I don’t understand why I’m always defending myself. Can’t she just be clear and stable. And please give me something to work with. So if you women do this and he stays because he can see the love thru it. You will eventually start blaming him instead of yourselves. Good luck try talking before your emotionally distressed. With clear messages like your explaining to yourself when you were maybe 3 or 4 years old. Because I feel I’m as edept as my dog at understanding. Guys don’t have the same instincts. Another thing is men don’t want to get committed as much as women. But women also start the divorces most often. So my take is if the mans committed it truly is for life feeling wich is not returned. So who really is the less loving in relationships. Men who don’t react enouph or women that don’t really care enouph.

  16. Yvonne on December 9, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve thought I tried communicating this…and I’m still confused & reeling because from the BEGINNING (consistently) he’s said he see’s no future with me…so he didn’t want to pursue a relationship. We got to a place where so much worked & we clicked in alot of ways but he is driven to find a permanent solution to his loneliness. Every outing (bicycling, bowling…playing pool, ribfest/band) was an evaluation of my candidacy for a mate. And somehow he was keeping a mental file. We had such a HIGH level of intimacy (total candor/openness) so after several months he propositioned FWB but with clear boundaries. Still asserting that amazing sex (he used to gush about happy he was, comforted, at ease & the sex amazing) he wasn’t going to ‘stay in it’. It would have to come to an end. He thought of it like an Oasis. A vacation from boredom. Every high seemed to be anchored with a ‘downer’. Well, we’ve hit our end when I began expressing myself & he figured I was developing feelings. I didn’t know & was regimented in objectifying his needs & wants versus mine. But some leaked through & the rest wishful thinking. Desire was at a peak, then tapered but my consistent yearnings of wanting to be with him soon turned into him feeling pressured for instant gratification. He erupted in a frustrated fit & didn’t just put a stop to the benefits…but said he was done, couldn’t do it anymore. It became a matter of being unable to fulfill my needs. He texted a couple days later to express amends for leaving it so lousy. He admitted wrong doing in ending it on a displeasing note & I said I needed closure. But I sometimes wondered if he secretly wanted me to say that I want a relationship with him. I didn’t; I do but I don’t. I just don’t think it would work. He doesn’t think it would work…it’s like he figures the FWB part was the ‘trial’ relationship & he blew it up, TWICE. Told me near the end I don’t hear him. I am not daft but I fail to comprehend. I was like a submissive play mate. I aimed to please & I enjoyed pleasing him. He said he was never so satiated/pacified in all his life. So idk what went wrong. The page is turned on us. The chapter over, but it doesn’t seem the book is closed. So idk if I can salvage this…if I should just boldly go for it & ASK him what his REAL thoughts & feelings are about me as a person? Or is it that he needed for me to say I love you. I don’t love him, I have endearment. I’ve said many times I care about him but he still ended it all. Said not to hold onto something that isn’t there…& that we both need to move on our time is over.

  17. Yvonne on December 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm

    footnote to my ‘comment’. Is that he’s told his roommate nearly 3’xs in the 3 months we’d become FWB (knew each other 7 months prior to that) that he wished he could MAKE it work with me because I make him feel amazing; even prior to terminating things for a final time he said he’d been talking to his roomie about me. It’s a classic scenario of him keeping it bottled & then getting so exasperated he just ‘gave up’. But it’s still such madness because we didn’t date…we didn’t go on date type things. We ate out together as an essential part of activities, but he never ordered in (I’d cooked for him, cleaned for him…did his laundry. He’d asked me to come up & stay with him as often as I’d like. I only visited once. I overspent on groceries & he found fault. It was playing house. He kept saying ‘nothing more’. Like role playing, fantasy. But after circumstances weren’t on our side & it was an awful time, hard with my pet along. He’d been sick, I put my back out…) I decided not to return & I had difficulty with transit arrangements to get there (senior people who’d initially cooperated but stopped going to the city). I said I could maybe get up once every 2 wks for a couple hours, see him after work. Did that once, but I tried expressing my feelings for him & he got exasperated over my attachment, said it was never meant to be. I decided it best to take my residual things from his closet & not return…he would have to come down to me. He agreed to do it my way….but only came down once (after several weeks) spent a passionate night & day & then blew it all up again Sunday morning before he left. I feel like I can’t win with him.

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