We’ve all heard women say they wish their partners, or guys in general, would be better “communicators,” but I’m suspect of this meme: pleas for better “communication” often mean “I want the other person to do what I want,” and indirect communication often means “I know the other person doesn’t want what I want, so I’m going to be deliberately ambiguous.” A very common form of this: a man and woman have been f**king for a while, a few weeks, maybe even a month or two, and the woman wants to define the relationship, while the man doesn’t. “What does he really want?” the woman asks, and asks her friends. “Why won’t he communicate with me?” He really wants to keep f**king her but also be able to try and f**k other girls, while not having to deal with building a woman’s idea of a “relationship” that means instead of studying Bitcoin sourcecode on the weekend, she wants to drag him to brunch with her inane friends, the hot ones of whom won’t have a threesome anyway. Insert your own examples here. When sex dries up, a man often becomes more interested in communicating, that is, debugging why the sex is going away. Early in the relationship, the woman is often ambiguous about her desire to have a family, because many guys want to f**k around, not take care of infants and postpartum women who’ve forgotten that the blowjob is the essential tool for relationships harmony, perhaps even more important than making dinner and not complaining.
So a lot of “not communicating” is really “liking what’s happening now and not wanting to f**k it up by being direct, instead of ambiguous.” For long-term relationships ambiguity strategies are often worse than not. A lot of guys know that admitting to women, “I want to f**k every hot chick with big tits I see” is not an attractive thing to say, so we don’t “communicate” our innermost feelings. A lot of chicks don’t want to say, “I’m highly attracted to photogenic 6’4” guys online, just like every other woman, and I chase him like all the other women, and we’re lemmings running off a cliff together.” Part of growing up is learning when to communicate, and when not to. For women, “good communication” means “doing the thing I want to do.” Xbtusd recently suffered a peculiar setback when his primary partner and another woman he’s sleeping with went out for drinks together, got drunk, misunderstood each other, and then caused problems for him, and for each of them. Whatever happened to women as master communicators? Not in xbtusd’s case. Many bi women can’t make it happen with another woman because neither woman will “communicate” the first move. They rely on men to make that happen. Men, to no one’s surprise, set up and execute most sex clubs and sex parties, although often with a woman in the mix, ideally as a figurehead, the same way women in music are almost always singers and never play instruments. Lead singers are figures of intense attention. For men, playing music at all, in any capacity, is linked to sexual success.
In non-monogamy, people talk about how communication is essential. That’s true, but here, also, there’s often an element of one person wanting one thing and another wanting something else. Compromise is possible and desirable. People doing non-monogamy also say it’s unwise to “keep score,” which is somewhat true: if one person went on 11 dates in the last four months and the other person went on 9, one doesn’t “owe” the person two dates. But, at the same time, if the woman is going on two dates a week from online dating and the man is going on zero, that’s not “sustainable.” Without formal score, the mind keeps score to some extent, and that’s true in all relationships. If you have that friend who keeps trying to borrow $100 from you, by the third time he does it, you’re going to be annoyed, because your inner sense of justice and reciprocity is off. But if your friend loses his job, you might give him some cash to tide him over. How he behaves after that will be revealing. Most relationships have a kind of “goodwill bank,” and if withdrawals exceed deposits for too long, the relationship terminates, usually on poor terms.
“Poor communication” is so often “not wanting to say something the other person’s not going to like.” Red Quest blog communicates some antisocial truths. Most women do not want to hear what is stated here. Saying hard things where there is a risk of conflict or hurting someone else’s feelings women are very bad at, in my experience. Communication is a tactic, but the end goal is often more important. In non-monogamy, the goal is to make your partner feel safe when you’re violating a social norm that society has told them they need to attach negative emotions to. It’s important to be able to read those cues and care for them and communication is one tool used to achieve that. Giving them information, veto power, boundaries, trust, etc. are all tools in service of the goal and communication is just one way of achieving the goal. Men are often completely unable to understand women’s emotions, which causes all kinds of problems, from not being able to seduce a woman properly, to not being able to understand what she wants/needs when you do something that threatens the safety she feels in the relationship… like f**king another woman. Women often don’t want “communication” so much as they want the guy to read their minds and make them feel a certain way. Learn to make her feel how she wants to feel, and she’ll never care how you do it. Does anyone ask after someone gave them the best orgasm of their life, how the person did it? People don’t want to know how you did it, they care about the end goals. Focus on the implicit need/desire of the woman, not the tactic she believes will make her feel the way she wants to feel with you.
(This next paragraph isn’t for everyone, skip if you don’t like extended metaphors or geopolitics.) This isn’t purely about romantic relationships. Right now, Russia, Ukraine, the European Union, and the United States are “communicating” diplomatically with each other about the fate of Ukraine. But the main “communication” is that Putin is a dictator and will remain so until Russia’s economic-political elite tire of him, and he is obsessed with and driven by, above all else, power; everything he does is about increasing his own personal power and influence. He believes, probably correctly, that no one is going to seriously counteract his invasion of Ukraine. Thousands will die, everyone else will sit back and watch, and Germany foolishly and short-sightedly relies on Russian gas because it didn’t start building nuclear plants two decades ago. Fortunately, that also has the positive side effects of increasing air pollution and particulate emissions, as Germany increasingly burns lignite coal, “Lignite emits far more CO2 than other fossil fuels — 1,100 grams per kilowatt-hour, compared to between 150 and 430 grams for natural gas. It is the main reason why German CO2 emissions have started rising.” Go Germany! Show Russia who’s boss! Germany has effectively communicated with actions that it doesn’t care about carbon emissions and that it doesn’t care about democracy abroad, despite the squawking of its politicians to the contrary. Like most “Green” parties, its “Green” party lives in a delusional, ineffective fantasy land, like most college-age “socialists.” The U.S. is little better but at least we’re burning our own methane instead of Russian methane (“Natural gas” is one of the great marketing cons of all time: it’s just methane, people, although “methane” sounds scary, and no one is scared of something “natural,” right? It’s communication and marketing almost all the way down…).
In the case of relationships, part of the modern emphasis on “communication” comes from changing expectations around what romantic relationships do and enact. Used to be, before the ’60s and ’70s, the relationship “job” was, for a man: go to work, come home, don’t be drunk all the time. For a woman: take care of children and house, don’t f**k other men. Pretty simple. Tell some 19th Century farmer that he needs to “communicate” better with his wife, and he’d stare at you like you’re insane, which in his frame of reference you are. His job is to make sure his family doesn’t starve to death. Today we’re trying to achieve “actualization” and such in relationships: much trickier, more “communication” required, and the goal is much less defined. “Don’t starve to death” or “put breakfast on the table in the morning and dinner on the table at night” are pretty binary outcomes: they happen or don’t. “Actualization?” Fuzzy, contingent, changes over time.
The purpose of most “communication” is about making the communicator look good: claim credit for good things, avoid blame for bad things, burnish the reputation, etc. This often makes sense socially but not in fields where getting the right answers matters: medicine, science, engineering, etc. Those fields have evolved methods of trying to get to the truth and not let communication fog take over, which is the genesis of practices like “five whys” root-cause analysis. Have you ever had a woman attempt to do five whys with you? Me neither. You can apply five whys to the paragraph above regarding Germany-Russia relations; Germany’s failure to prioritize energy independence has caused it to de-prioritize democratic legitimacy and freedom. Good work, Germany! Many people should do five whys before breakups, or after-breakup postmortems, but almost no one does those either. Women hate them, by the way. Don’t ask how I know.
Women say men are bad at communication because men don’t talk about their feelings. Women want to feel connected to their guy (know what he’s thinking) and they believe if he communicated more she would feel connected to him. In actuality, women only want this of high-status guys, and guys who communicate too much with a given woman often lower their status. Paradox! What women really want is for him, the high-status guy, to think/feel certain things, and reassure her that he’s thinking those things so that her anxiety is reduced. She wants certainty in an uncertain world, once she’s decided to go all-in for a man. If you’re not thinking those things she wants you to think, telling her what you’re really thinking/feeling is a loser’s bet.
“I want total communication and transparency” is the sort of thing women think they want, but don’t. Some communication is good and necessary, and women rely on men to add stability to the chaos of their mental lives. For men, a little bit of feelings talk with a woman goes a long way. Women disdain men doing emotional vomit on them. “Communication” in an existing, long-term relationship is one of these things where some is good, but “more” isn’t necessarily better, like with mdma, other drugs, lifting weights, etc.
Why is the “men bad at communicating” thing such a meme? Women complain that all the powerful positions in business are taken by men. Large businesses require excellent, direct, and sometimes unpleasant communication… Bezos has written at length about this. That communication needs frequent repetition to make sure important things are communicated effectively to all in the organization. Alignment is really hard. Do women believe the men running all the most important organizations in the world are bad at communication in that context? I have sometimes said things to women like, “I want you to do the dishes more” or “I want you to do this, not that.” Often they aren’t a huge fan of that direct, specific communication, particularly if there are metrics attached. Weird, huh? When I do that, I’m not generating the feelings she wants. When Bezos says, “This is how Amazon is going to be,” he’s not super interested in how people feel, exactly. He’s interested in making sure that everyone is doing what makes the most sense in a business context.
When the woman is “ambiguous” about the state of a relationship with a man, what’s often really happening is that she’s choosing between two men, often the classic “cad” alpha player guy and the “dad” loyal provider guy. Women also love ambiguity at the start of a seduction… almost all romance novels are about ambiguous seductions. If women liked guys who went up to them and said, “I like you, let’s commence a romantic relationship with each other,” guys would do that.
At the beginning of a seduction, the guy needs to be a better communicator and reader of people than the woman: game is about building these skills. Women are the choosers, men are the chosen. This is why I and many other players find the “make her chase” advice, given to newbies, so stupid and counterproductive: at the beginning of a seduction, she’s probably not going to chase, unless the guy is already very high value: attractive, socially known, famous (even local famous, like a frat star), and that’s not going to apply to the vast majority of guys. Women like to be chased (appropriately), to feel desired, etc. Game is teaching guys to be better communicators and to deliver value effectively. Guys are the consultants pitching the female clients.
You may notice that “men need to communicate more” or “communication is good” is in truth a lot more complex than a few words can convey, as with a lot of concepts. Most women who say “I wish my boyfriend would communicate more” don’t really know what they’re talking about. They’ve not thought about what that means in depth…like most people. There’s a balance between excess communication and none, and no guy hits that balance perfectly, but it’s worth being aware of it.
The complaint about “men not being good at communication” is really getting at something else: women want the terms of a relationship to move more towards their reality, and the talk about “communication” obfuscates the reality that we all don’t want the same things. Often, there is no real “compromise.” A man wants to f**k a busty legal teen, a woman wants a baby now, not three years from now… those are important differences and often there’s not a real “middle ground.” So the issue is often not really about what the women are saying it’s about. They’re debating the terms of dating, the contract of what men must offer in exchange for sex: which side holds more power is at tension. Maybe it will always be so.
Guys who learn to be players are often great communicators, from the female perspective, at the start of the seduction. These guys then “fail” at communication around the “defining the relationship” stage. I wonder why. In their phones, all attractive women have provider guys who’ll wife them up instantly, just like all guys (but not me) show their buddies nude photos of their girls… often, the shock of getting older hits when women realize their provider guy backup options have been taken by other women, and those guys have families, and the quality of guys chasing women in their 30s is lower than it was in their 20s. There is not a way to “communicate” one’s way out of that fact, or back to youth. There is only forward, and cope. Many people choose cope. Social media is heavily cope.