When a man is engaged in conversation, he assumes there is a problem to be solved. His listening involves a purpose – finding a solution.

Bridge on Belle Isle

For a woman, having the conversation may be enough to solve the problem, if one needed to be solved. No further action may need to be taken.

Bridge the Gap

Men and women listen with different purposes in mind. This, of course, means that they go about listening in different ways.

The Man

When a man is listening, he is actively listening for a particular problem that needs to be solved. His assumption is that you are seeking advice or help with something and his main goal is to find out what, so he cak take care of it. Every word you say is running through a “man filter” that weeds out everything but “what can we do about this?”

He lacks patience to hear all of the junk you add to the story (see How Men Listen). He’s looking for the parts that pertain to his role. Once he has that figured out, he is lilely to jump in with a solution.

The Woman

Women, on the other hand, don’t necessarily talk to have a problem solved. The conversation alone can be all that is necessary in any given situation. The fact that a man is listening may be enough for her – and she has no need of an active solution to any problem. She needs to feel heard, which, in turn, makes her feel loved. Unfortunately, men don’t often get this.

The Bridge

If you want someone to listen to you go on and on about something, one of your women friends is going to be your best bet, but if you have a problem that needs to be solved, your man is all ears. He lives for that type of engagement with you. He shows you he loves you by helping you solve your problems. This is actually a biggie for men.

It might help, from time to time to spoon feed him a problem to solve. Give him a chance to show you he loves you. He won’t say it with words, but he will definitely say it with actions.