By David Wygant

How many times have you tried to interpret man-talk? Woman-talk is the polar opposite of man-talk. It is all about feelings. It is all about coming home, talking about your day, and getting it all out in the open. But man-talk is different. Man-talk requires some time apart so he can sort out what he’s thinking and feeling. For women, it requires some patience not to bother him and to let him work it out on his own.

For instance, what happens when your man retreats and goes into his cave for a day? Think about it: How many times have you been dating a man, and he just goes into silent mode, driving you crazy? You want to talk about your feelings as they happen, but he needs to process his feelings before he feels comfortable talking about it.

When men go in their caves, women want to pull them out as quickly as possible. But here’s the deal: that’s not the most effective way to deal with their mood at that moment.

So next time he goes into his cave, ask him, “Are you okay?” If he says, “I’m fine. I just don’t want to talk about it right now”–believe him. Look at him and say, “That’s okay. I’m here for you. I’m here to listen whenever you’re ready to talk about it.”

When a man feels safe, he will talk about it, and he will come to you–believe me, you’ll be the first person who he tells whatever is on his mind. But if you try to force him out of his cave, if you try to force him to talk about things when he’s not ready, then he’s not going to relate to you. He’s going to go darker and deeper into that cave.

When a man tells you that he finally wants to talk about something, you need to listen to his every word without interrupting. Let him get it out. Remember that it’s hard for him to talk to you about his feelings, so when he does, he wants to make sure that it’s safe.

The problem with a lot of women is that they want to interject. You immediately want to jump in and start sharing your feelings too or at least comment on something. But when he comes out of his cave to speak with you, he just wants you to listen to him. He wants to feel safe. Because it’s so hard for him to talk about his feelings in the first place, he wants to know that you really care about what he has to say. He wants to get closer to you, but he finds it very hard to do so with a woman who doesn’t allow this process to happen.

So if you understand these principles of man-talk, it’s going to help you get closer to your man. Isn’t that what you want anyway? You’re looking for love. You’re looking for ways to relate. But it all starts with your man feeling safe. He wants you to listen.

David Wygant is an internationally-renowned dating and relationship coach, author of the new book Naked and speaker. Through his boot camps, personal coaching and his website, his advice has transformed the dating lives and relationships of hundreds of thousands of people from every corner of the globe.