A young couple sitting at a restaurant drinking coffee

How to be Honest with a Man

by Eharmony Editorial Team - August 1, 2011

Can you really tell a man everything on your mind – even the not-so-pretty stuff?

Can you really tell a man everything on your mind – even the not-so-pretty stuff? Yes…as long as you know these critical elements about how to communicate with him first.

Has a man ever told you of some plans he had to hang out with his friends, or travel somewhere by himself for whatever reason, and you pretended to be perfectly okay with it because you didn’t want to seem “needy?” But then later, when he came back…BAM!

All those hurt, angry feelings came out, he withdrew, and then there’s a wedge between the two of you. You might conclude that you can’t be honest with a man, when in reality a little tweaking in terms of timing and delivery can make all the difference…


Here’s something you may not know about men, or even agree with, but it’s true. A man absolutely wants you to be honest and straightforward with him. This is what men like so much about the way they can communicate with each other. And, in fact, it drives them nuts when you aren’t open and direct. If they are planning something that you don’t agree with, they want you to let them know at the start – as soon as possible – before it becomes a bigger issue or concern. Here’s the beauty of telling a man what you think early on: it allows you to communicate in a way that’s less combative and negative than it would be if you were to have it fester in your mind for a while.


Men don’t “automatically” get upset when you let them know how you feel about something. They get upset when they see that YOU are upset. See, for most men, when a woman tells them something that isn’t great about their relationship, men take it very personally. He’ll instantly feel like you are blaming him – even though you might not be. Why? Men like to think and believe that the woman they’re with respects them and sees them as a great man. So when a woman shares something that isn’t “perfect,” a man will take it as you thinking that he is not good enough – and not just that something happened in your relationship that can easily be changed or improved in the future. To stop this cycle of a man feeling criticized, or like he doesn’t please you, you first need to find a “safe space” before you talk and share your feelings with him. Here’s how to do it…


By “safe,” I mean telling a man that what you think, feel ,and need will not jeopardize your connection, but instead make it stronger. Here’s your action plan: sit down with him today at some time when you’re both settled and relaxed. Then tell him that you respect his feelings, and that you appreciate the way he respects yours. (If you don’t believe this right now, simply the act of communicating these words will have a profoundly positive effect on him and actually help create more respect and appreciation – because you get what you give!) Then explain that communicating as early as possible and allowing that safe space to tell each other how you really feel and that you need to be open and honest with each other in the moment is crucial to your happiness – yours and his.

What you’re doing here is essentially agreeing together to accept and allow for each other’s real feelings – regardless of whether they happen to please the other person in that moment. This kind of real and authentic honesty is the first step, and the one and only path to a real, secure, and lasting relationship where both partners know that their feelings are heard and respected.


If you want to know more about how to share your feelings with a man – even the difficult ones – in a way that will really make him want to listen and will make him feel even deeper attraction for you, subscribe to Christian’sfree e-newsletter. You’ll learn what it is that a man needs to feel with you in order to want a committed, long-term relationship in which you both feel safe and secure.