How to Understand and Emotionally Connect With Men
Women often misunderstand men. My podcast guest, Jordan Gray, shared ways for women to emotionally connect with men. So much depth and wisdom shared!
My podcast guest, Jordan Gray, is a #1 Amazon best-selling author, blogger, and sex and relationship coach with a decade of practice behind him. His work has been featured in The Huffington Post, The New York Times, Psychology Today, Business Insider, Forbes, and countless other publications around the globe. He has made it his life’s mission to make thriving relationships attainable to everyone.
Check out highlights below for episode #338: Jordan Gray on How to Emotionally Connect With Men.
Listen to/download the episode below. Or click here for the direct link to the show.
What’s your backstory? Why did you get into the field of relationships, love, and sex?
I had a lot of pain tied to the theme of relationships at a young age. I found myself obsessing over what makes a healthy relationship. I read books on sex, intimacy, and parenting from seven- to eight-years-old onwards. My bedroom had hundreds of books.
I had a significant breakup at 19-20 years-old. I was in film school, drawn to creative mediums. I realized there were no books in my room on lighting and cinematography and so many on relationships. I started my coaching practice 6 years ago.
What are the top three fears people have that keep them from a thriving relationship?
- Integrating, loving, and accepting the full range of the emotional spectrum. For men it’s sadness, grief, and tenderness. For women, it’s anger. Women are socialized to be highly agreeable.
- Sexual dysfunction. Inability to orgasm, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation in men. People are more in their heads, less connected to their bodies.
- There are no good ones left. People believe all the quality partners are snatched up. I missed the boat.
How do you coach men to work through difficult emotions?
It starts with their internal relationship. Why accept sadness if I believe all women will reject my sadness? They’re projections, but also based on past experiences. I tell them, it’s not your job to get from zero percent belief to 100% belief. They have to be healed in relationship. Be willing to soften your position/self-judgment and let go of it. Maybe there are some women who can accept my tough emotions.
Stop the mental masturbation and deploy the courage to have those things be received by other people. Show your sadness to a partner or friend. See that there are more people who accept you for those tender gifts. With positive feedback, it builds your confidence.
Why are men’s groups so important?
I think all groups are valuable. Spending time in a safe container is so healing. Everyone is starving for connection, and it’s a healing balm. Why men’s groups? The male suicide rate is very high. I am chipping away at it with my life’s work. The lone work mentality is: life is suffering, it’s all on your shoulders. So much pressure that’s impossible to navigate on our own.
We need other people to survive and thrive. We require others to support us. I’ve been in a group every Tuesday for three years. We talk about everything that’s on our minds. We had two guys who came to a meeting and told us they’d be fathers for the first time. Hearing their internal dialogue is instructive to us all.
There are men going through depression, angry fathers, men with repressed anger and swallowed anger. These men start to trust and cultivate relationships and learn human connection. It’s beautiful. It’s so easy for me to imagine these groups chipping away at the high divorce rate, suicide rate, and so much more.
How are men misunderstood? What do women need to know?
Take a man at his word. Deborah Tannen talks about how men often speak in message and women speak in meta message. Believe him when he says you look great. Don’t chop away at the tree of his words too much. If he feels his woman doesn’t trust him, that chips away at the relationships.
Trust is earned and cultivated over time. Keep him sharp and honest, but give him the benefit of the doubt as often as you can. Don’t assume the worst.
Can men be ‘nice’ and sexy? If so, what’s the secret?
Having a spine or not is a much bigger factor than someone’s capacity to be nice. If you say you’re a nice guy, but you’re really a passive liar, it’s not nice. It’s manipulating someone’s perception of you. You can’t trust their yes or their no.
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