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The Secret to Emotional Intimacy

by Eharmony Editorial Team - March 2, 2012

Did you know you can skyrocket the connection you feel with a man simply by choosing different words when you speak to him? 

Did you know you can skyrocket the connection you feel with a man simply by choosing different words when you speak to him?

There comes a time – maybe shortly after you get to know a man, or maybe a little later – when you’ll want to tell him something that’s bothering you, and yet you feel afraid to tell him the truth for fear of messing things up or pushing him away. This happens to all of us. Even now, before I speak a hard “truth” to my husband, I feel that thrill of fear go through me – the “good girl” part of me that thinks I’m better off “keeping things to myself.”

And yet, what if the hardest things imaginable to say to a man…could make him love you more? Well, they can.


It’s absolutely crucial to speak your truth using the right words – at the right time, with the right body language, and radiating the right “vibe” from inside of you. To show you what I mean and help you practice this, I’ve created a Tool. It’s called “Tell the Truth”:

1. If I made “telling the truth to a man” a game for you, where you couldn’t vent, or yell, or complain, or make him wrong – or even say the word “you” to him – how would you say it in the most truthful, fully-expressed way possible? I want you to just consider this. Give yourself some time to breathe and mull it over.

2. Now, imagine a situation with a man that comes up all the time, that’s bothering you constantly, or seemed to be a pattern of conflict and upset for you in past relationships.

3.  Imagine that he’s standing in front of you. Allow yourself to FEEL what you feel, what you’ve felt, what the memory brings up for you, and how you feel imagining him standing right there in front of you.

4.  Stand in a comfortable position, with your palms turned toward the man you imagine standing in front of you. Now, as silly as this may sound, imagine there’s a big plastic zipper over your heart – and pull that zipper down to expose your heart. Allow yourself to feel what it feels like to have your heart open to the world and the man in front of you. Track your entire body so that you notice what parts are tense, and, as you gently allow the tense parts to release and relax and rest, notice where tension shows up in other parts of your body.

6. Now imagine what you want to say to him about what you need and want and would change about him and your situation together – and say it out loud if you can.

7. Write it out for yourself – what you would normally say to him, what you’re imagining saying to him, what you’ve said out loud. (It’s great to carry a journal or piece of paper with you to practice this tool as much as you can to change things as fast as you can.) Just write what you instinctively first want to say…using the words you most usually want to use. And then…

8. Translate it into what I call “Feeling Messages.” This means using words that actually say what you FEEL – you focus entirely on the feeling you’re having rather than on his behavior. Just rework what you instinctively want to say – how you want to hurl your upset at him – and write it all in poetry, from your heart, instead of “descriptions” and “reportings” from your head. Make it only from you, sharing your feeling state and not linking it at ALL to what has happened or what he did or didn’t do, or who he seems to be or not be.

For instance, you might want to say: “You never make plans anymore – it’s always me making plans for the two of us. If I don’t make the plans, nothing happens – we just sit and watch TV. I need for you to move this relationship forward, and I want to improve our connection by doing more things together.”

Instead, try: “I feel bad and uncomfortable without plans for the two of us anymore. I miss that.” Then: “I feel so alone and lonely and like I’m single and leading a life so separate from you. I miss you. I miss feeling close to you. I don’t want a relationship with you right now that feels like just dating.”

Can you see the differences?

In the first instance, you’re talking about him, and what he’s doing and not doing, and what you think he could do to solve the problem. In the second approach, you’re only using the word “I” as a frame of reference. You’re not asking him to do anything, you’re not making him wrong, and you’re not asking him why he’s acting the way he does.

When you talk to a man this way, something miraculous happens. He doesn’t feel attacked, so he doesn’t feel a need to defend himself. You’re also communicating to him that you trust him – you trust him enough to reveal yourself to him, and you trust him to want to make you happy.  In essence, you’ve created instant intimacy.


To learn more about Feeling Messages to help you express your feelings in a way that will make a man want to listen to you and come closer to you, subscribe to Rori’s free relationship advice e-newsletter.  You’ll learn a simple three-step system you can use in any situation to connect more deeply with your man whether you’re dating or in a committed relationship.