There are few things in life more wonderful and life-affirming than a real emotional connection with another person. That’s true for friends and family, but it takes on a whole other level when you add romance to the equation.
In this article, we’ll help you figure out how to connect with a man on an emotional level, as well as how to foster and develop a deep connection with the opposite sex. Before we get into it, understand that every man, just like every woman, is different. Each of us has different preferences, standards of trust and safety, and levels of comfort regarding emotional intimacy and vulnerability with others.
So, there is no set formula to achieve an emotional connection with that man in your life. Still, some techniques and approaches are wiser than others. Throughout the article, we’ll offer some insightful tips and advice to consider in your approach.
Emotional connection in men vs. women
There is no standard difference between how men and women share and connect when it comes to emotions. Every man and every woman is unique and approach emotional connection in their own way. However, there are sometimes noticeable differences in the way men and women choose or prefer to connect emotionally.
Generally, women experience intimacy through emotional connection. Men do too, but there are generally more walls and filters in the way before a man is ready to connect and become emotionally vulnerable. Not to place blame, but men are often victims of the societal notion that sharing one’s feelings and emotional vulnerability is something to be cautious about.
There is a social discourse that suggests men view emotional vulnerability and sharing as a sign of weakness. Some do, but that’s a separate issue and simply isn’t true for a lot of men. The reality is that a man will require a lot of trust and respect from a person before they choose to open up about their emotions in a way that would make himself and another person connect on a deep, emotional level.
What does emotional connection mean to you?
Before you try to achieve the emotional connection you seek, it’s important to identify and understand on a radically authentic level exactly what emotional connection really means to you. If you don’t know what it means, but you have some vague notion of what it is, learned through romance movies and what other people say, then you might struggle to establish an authentic and lasting connection.
So, what standards, measurements, and boxes ticked do you require to feel emotionally connected? Does he need to tell you about his childhood? Does he need to open up about his insecurities? Will you need to see him cry before you believe that he’s being emotionally open and vulnerable?
A friendly reminder…
It’s completely natural to want to connect with someone on an emotional level, especially if you’re romantically interested in that person. Romantic, emotional connections can be a great source of love, pleasure, and affection and make life wonderfully enjoyable.
However, before you go to great efforts to connect with a man on an emotional level, don’t forget to check in with yourself and consider why you really want this emotional connection,
It’s important to ask yourself if your seeking and desire for this connection is really a means of filling an emotional void within yourself. To consider this and get a real answer requires radical honesty and authenticity. Moreover, any connection with anyone that stems from a place of needing to fill a void is inauthentic and is a great disservice to both yourself and that other person.
Tips for creating a deep emotional connection with a man
1. Offer support in times of need
Actions speak louder than words. For a lot of men, a prerequisite for a deep connection with someone is evidence that the person is there for them when things are challenging. Through showing love and support when he’s struggling or when he’s faced with difficulty, he’ll see that you care about him. When he knows you care, he’ll feel more ready and courageous to share his deeper feelings with you.
2. Allow him to be vulnerable
A man is going to close off emotionally if he knows that you’ll throw his vulnerability back in his face during an argument or disagreement. As such, don’t use his vulnerability and sensitivity as a weapon in times of conflict.
3. Stop trying to ‘fix’ him
Sometimes when we see a man struggling with something emotional and engaging in unhealthy coping behaviors, we want to jump in and correct him. We want to show him the error of his ways and help him engage in healthier, more life-affirming behaviors when he’s sad or stressed out.
Even when your intentions come from a place of care and compassion, you risk fraying your emotional connection with a man (or jeopardize its formation) if you try to control his behavior. Sure, when we gain helpful insight into someone’s behavior, we want to offer them advice, but sometimes this can be seen as an attempt to ‘fix’ and may cause some resistance.
What’s most helpful, and what really sets the foundation for deep emotional connections, is to show him that you accept him for who he is. He wants to know that you can accept him at his worst before he is willing you to show and offer you his best.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to tolerate unhealthy and toxic behavior – your own mental and emotional health and well-being are far more important than any kind of emotional connection with a man. What it does mean is that you don’t try to change him because you want him to fit some idealized version of him that you hold in mind.
If he knows that you’re not going to try to change and manipulate him, even in a way that would make him more productive or less stressed, then he’s more likely to trust you.
He’ll become more likely to actually want to be vulnerable and open with you. Moreover, the deepest change comes when we come to our own realization about our unhealthy behavior, not when someone else tells us what to do.
4. Let him know that you want to connect
Sometimes in a romantic relationship, we want our partner to read our minds. We wish they could just sense what we’re thinking and act accordingly so that we don’t have to ask for things.
In reality, we can’t read each other’s minds. Sure, sometimes we can attune to a person’s energy and get a sense of what they’re feeling, but for the health of a relationship, it’s important not to make an expectation of it.
Spend quality time together
Many men require a sense of trust and familiarity before they feel ready to open up and form a deep emotional connection with a partner. As such, have patience with him. If you want to connect with him emotionally, spend time together without trying to do so.
Of course, if connecting with him emotionally feels like trying to bleed a stone, and you’re not getting the emotional fulfillment you need from the relationship, then it’s essential to re-assess the relationship and how much value it holds for you.
You don’t have to wait forever for him to open up just so you can have that emotional connection. If he’s not willing to be vulnerable and connect with you, then you need to ask yourself if it’s worth having a relationship with him in the first place or if you two would be better off as friends.
Still, patience is a virtue. The man likely knows that you want to connect emotionally, but he’s just waiting to feel safe and secure before he opens up. In the meantime, you can help him feel safe, trusted, and loved by spending some quality time with him.
Don’t hyper-focus on the emotional connection
Have fun together, go on dates to romantic places, go to the movies, get out in nature. Do things you both enjoy, and that bring you feelings of happiness and excitement. When these feelings are present, they add quality to the relationship in which other feelings can be safely and compassionately shared and explored, including a deep sense of trust and appreciation.
5. Don’t overshare
Some of us tend to overshare. We open up on an emotional level, sometimes to people who aren’t actually that interested. Learning when and to whom you should share your vulnerable side is a valuable life skill.
There’s nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve, but you don’t have the emotional energy, and it’s wise to save that energy and spend it on people who will appreciate it. When we spend or share our energy unrequitedly, we’re to feel drained and exhausted sooner rather than later.
Maintain some mystery
Moreover, lots of men appreciate a little mystery. There’s an alluring quality to a woman who will share a little but know not to give the game away. That man with whom you want to connect is more likely to feel interested and curious if he senses that you value your own privacy.
If you tend to overshare, then whether the subject is a romantic partner, a coworker, or just a friend, they might feel reluctant to engage in deeper conversations. Oversharing is not a personality flaw, but people are usually far more sensitive than you think, and listening to someone share too much can drain a lot of emotional energy from the listener.
6. Manage your expectations
‘Manage your expectations‘ is an invaluable life tip and is as relevant here as any article on emotional well-being and lifestyle. Understand that we all share our emotions and vulnerabilities, regardless of gender. Gender-specifically, there is a common theme, somewhat stereotype, that women are more emotional than men and as such find it easier to speak from a place of emotional vulnerability.
Still, learn to respect and understand that many men simply choose not to be as emotionally open and vulnerable as they could be – not because they can’t, but because they don’t want to. Not out of fear of judgment or rejection, but because they don’t feel the need to express emotions and vulnerability as regularly or as in-depth as you do or might want them to.
To connect with a man on an emotional level, you need to let go of any expectation around how he should express himself. In general, a man won’t feel the need or desire to express his deeper emotions to someone who he does not believe is deeply invested in his emotional well-being.
7. Beyond verbal communication
The emotional connection you seek with a man may not stem entirely from conversation. Sure, a deep chat about hopes and dreams, fears, and insecurities may go a long way in bringing you two closer together, but men often require more than just verbal communication to experience that emotional bond.
The importance of physical intimacy
So, don’t underestimate the importance and power of physical touch and intimacy as means of connecting emotionally. That’s not to say that you need to have sex just to connect with him – that’s an unnecessary pressure you’d put on yourself and which does far more harm than good.
Still, don’t be afraid to touch him, to hold his hand, to cuddle up to him, and to kiss him. A back rub, a hand on his arm, or a loving cuddle, while you’re watching a movie or laying in bed, will go a long way in fostering that physical/emotional connection.
Body language is crucial to consider in any interaction, romantic, platonic, or professional. If you want someone to listen, it’s important to understand the tone and message you’re communicating-verbally through your eyes, face and energy.
Regarding your desire to emotionally connect with this man, use your body language wisely. He’ll need to know that you’re really listening and that you really care about what he has to say before everything even begins to open up.
Turn your body towards him, maintain eye contact, and avoid distraction. Nod that you hear him, express concern when he speaks about worries and fears, and in general, tune in to his tone and energy. The same rules apply to any social interaction that you want to go well.
To cultivate a real, authentic emotional connection with a man requires an honest look at yourself and understanding why you want the connection in the first place.
If you believe that your desire for connection comes from a place of lack and the need to fill a void, it’s wiser to work on yourself first before you try to enter a relationship or form an emotional tie to another person.
Hopefully, the advice outlined above will help you foster that connection, but don’t fret if it doesn’t work out. There are infinite reasons why some of us are harder to connect with than others, and the majority of the reasons will have nothing to do with you, so don’t lose your peace of mind if that connection doesn’t happen.