Episode 6: “Does He Want to Date You or Marry You?” with Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong

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Alissa Kriteman interviews Alison Armstrong, CEO and Co-Founder of PAX Inc., a company passionate about altering society’s culture by transforming the way women relate to men. This is Part Two of a two-part series with Alison, a proven expert in the field of man/woman relationship dynamics. In this interview, Alison delves into the world of dating to help us recognize the distinctions between men who want a girlfriend and those who are ready for marriage. Did you even know men act and speak differently according to what they are ready for? This is important information for those in committed relationships and those still seeking that special man. We also cover Relationship Models ~ Alison offers her unique perspective on the four kinds of relationships we can have and their underlying values. Uncovering the values we and our mate deem most important in a relationship can give us access to new sources of power in understanding how to meet each others needs. These models apply whether you are married or single and offer great insight either way! We finish with common mistakes women make with men, namely how to be more effective in communicating (listening and speaking with them) that can produce results like you have always dreamed about. This is Part 2 in a two-part series.

Transcript

"Does He Want to Date You or Marry You?" with Relationship Expert Alison Armstrong

This program is brought to you by personallifemedia.com

This is part 2 of a 2 part podcast.  If you’d like part 1, you’ll find it at personallifemedia.com

Alissa: Welcome to Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex.  I’m your host, Alissa Kriteman.  My show is dedicated to connecting you with today’s leading experts, who will offer fresh insight and useful tools to expand your choices for creating a life you love.  Today I’m very happy to have back on the show Alison Armstrong, whose life focus is understanding the dynamics between men and women. 

Alison:  Research has show lately that women’s voices are processed in the part of men’s brains that processes music. 

Alissa: Huh.

Alison: Yeah. So, your tone of voice has an incredible impact on men, and complaining sounds like the worst possible kind of music.  Not even music, and all you want to do is turn it off, or get away. 

Alison: Yeah, our complaining has a tremendous impact on men.  They actually feel like…the way one man put it was “it feels like you took a giant needle and inserted it in my spine and they’re sucking all of the life out of me….(laughing) oh my god”. 

Alissa: This is part 2 of a 2 part with Alison, who’s giving us powerful insight as to how we can be empowered in our lives, as well as much more effective with  men.  Alison Armstrong is CEO and co-founder of  Facts Programs Incorporated, dedicated to altering society’s culture by transforming the way women relate to men.  She is the designer of the widely acclaimed “Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women” workshop, which I’m doing next month, actually, I can’t wait for that.  And, she’s also the author of a novel called Keys To The Kingdom, and is about to release her latest book, “The Belated Education of Adam and Eve”, which is scheduled to be released this year.  Welcome Alison!

Alison: Thank you, it’s great to be back. 

Alissa: Yes, thank you.  When is that book actually going to be available?

Alison: It’s a little bit up in the air, Alissa.  It depends upon the way we publish.  I…I usually self publish, because I am so impatient to get information out there, but this book has a…has a different nature, and it may require something else, so we’re talking to some of the bigger publishing houses, and we’ll have to decide and see what happens.

Alissa:  OK, great.  Well, we’re very much looking forward to it.  I am. I know I started reading Keys to the Kingdom and  It’s such an easy read and brilliant way for us as women to understand how men really are, how they interact with women, what is effective with them, and so, ladies, check out that book, “Keys To The Kingdom”.  In part one of our interview series with Alison, she shared a lot of great information with us.  Some of the things we covered in that last interview were: the top three attributes that men find most attractive in women, what we do that brings out the worst in men, in essence how we actually become frog farmers, which is a term used to describe women who turn men from princes into frogs, frightening but true, and then what we can do to bring out the best in men.  Namely give them quality information and be authentic with them.  So, listeners, please check out that episode, it is chock full of great information.  On this interview I would like to cover dating.  I’d love to get Alison’s insight into what we need to know to have more fun on dates, make them more exciting.  We’re going to get her ideas on relationship models, and how they can play an important role in creating successful partnerships for us, and then we’re going to talk about some common mistakes women make when communicating with men.  So, Alison, let’s get started with dating.  You’ve said that men date and women go from relationship to relationship.  What is going on here?

Alison:  Well, most…most women would hear that and go yeah, I go from relationship to relationship, and that’s not what I mean.  I mean that’s all we do.  We are the Velcro of the universe.  We pull up at a stop sign with another person and we start a relationship. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  We immediately connect.  It’s how we think, how our brains work, how we’re designed emotionally, we connect with people, and this actually prevents women from dating. 

Alissa: Mmmm. 

Alison:  This is a really typical scenario, ‘kay? A woman goes on a first date and the man doesn’t call her again.  And she’s upset.  She’s upset that he didn’t call her to tell her that he wasn’t going to call her. 

Alissa:  (laughs)

Alison:  Cause from our point of view, we started a relationship and he at least owes us the courtesy of breaking up with us. 

Alissa:  Uh-huh.

Alison:  Can you see that? 

Alissa:  Yes, very much so.

Alison:  And it’s very different than the way that men operate.  Men are single  focus, so there’s a time for everything.  And when they do what they’re doing when they’re doing it, that’s when they’re paying attention to it and they don’t connect them together.  So a man can spend three hours or four hours on a date with a woman, or a couple hours at dinner on a date with a woman have it be an isolated incident.  It’s distinct, it’s on its own and it doesn’t mean anything about the future, it doesn’t connect with other things.  He could even have a date with her once a week for a month, and it would never occur to him that they’re in a relationship.  It would just occur to him that wow, yeah, I have seen you almost every Saturday for the last six months. 

Alissa:  Really.  Is that…I mean, guys aren’t over there wondering where it’s going and kind of calculating the timeframe like we are?

Alison:  (laughing) Well, I’m laughing because the where it’s going thing happens a couple different ways in women.  One is we’re willing to do getting to know you for three months. 

Alissa: Right.

Alison:  And then at the three month mark, we wanna know, where is this going.

Alissa: Sure.

Alison:  And we think that because we have that timeline that they have that timeline.  So how we try to find out where it’s going is we’ll bring up hmmm, we’ve been seeing each other for three months thinking he’ll go oh yeah, we should talk about the future.  And instead he’ll go oh yeah, it was…it was in the beginning of November we started dating.  Yeah, cool, what are you going to order for dinner? 

Alissa: (laughs)

Alison:  And then she thinks he avoided the issue, not knowing that he doesn’t have that three month benchmark and that’s when you have to talk about the future.  Now, this doesn’t mean that men aren’t thinking about is there a future here, or what is the possibilities of this woman, they do do that, but they don’t have a timeline to it and it all depends upon their dating purpose, which is something that both women and men need to be clear about and articulate I think, because men assume that a woman’s purpose…men mostly assume that all women want to be married. 

Alissa: Right.

Alison:  And women assume that men don’t want to be married. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  And if you bring up that you want to be married, that’ll scare ‘em off!  And, you know, my feeling about that is: scare ‘em off!  You know, if you really want to be married, and they can be scared off, better to scare ‘em off earlier. 

Alissa: Do men lie?
Alison:  And then later on when you’re in love and attached and he’s like no, I’m not ready for marriage.  Because a man dates completely differently when he’s decided that he wants a partner and that he’s ready to get married.  He has a totally different approach to it. 

Alissa: How so?

Alison:  Well, first of all there’s different qualities that  man looks for in a woman that he’s going to date or have as a girlfriend than he looks for in a woman he’s going to be a partner for life.  So, in someone to date or the girlfriend, what…what’s primary is you know, is she fun, am I attracted to her, is she fun to be with, is she interesting, you know, do we seem to give each other, do we give each other what we’re looking for, do I get what I need, for, you know,  too much trouble, and I don’t mean they’re not willing to put in any trouble, but relative to what they need.  So there’s an especially strong element of fun.  In dating and relationships they want someone who’s fun.  When, in a girlfriend relationship, when they’re thinking about getting married, they are now looking for a whole different set of criteria.  They’re looking for is this someone I can make happy.  Is this someone who, as a provider, I will be successful?  She’s satisfied with what I can provide. 

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  And trust, trust is a huge…probably the first one, do I trust her?  Can I trust her? The way that men describe it is they say I’m lookin’ for someone who has my back. 

Alissa:  Yeah.

Alison:  And another word they use all the time is partner.  I’m looking for a partner, I want a partner, I decided I could do life on my own but I don’t want to.  I want to do life with someone and I’m looking for a partner.  They’re looking for someone that by virtue of being partnered with her, they have access to a life that they want, that they don’t have access to without her. 

Alissa:  Hmm.

Alison:  That’s the I can’t live without her.  Yes, I’ll survive without her but the life I want to live I can’t live without her. 

Alissa:  Interesting.  That’s intense, this is…don’t they like…I mean…I guess when you’re at that place to be married as  a woman it’s not intense, and it doesn’t occur as a big deal. 

Alison:  Well, and the reason,  you’re absolutely right, and the reason for that is that we’re compelled by instinct to be married.  The cave woman within tells us we have to marry to survive and we should find the biggest, strongest, handsomest man with the most resources that we can.  So whatever we determine our assets are, we want to trade them.  We want to make a good deal and we want to trade them.  It’s very cold, it’s very primitive. 

Alissa:  Mmhmm.

Alison:  And what we look for, what has us be interested in marrying a man unfortunately is totally different than what has us be happily married to a man.  And that’s the biggest difference between men and women, men actually have a more mature, intelligent, rational longer view of selecting a mate than women do. 

Alissa:  Ok.

Alison:  They have better criteria frankly.  I’ve learned a lot from them. 

Alissa:  Say that again, I kind of missed that.  You said it’s different for a woman who’s looking for this long term commitment men actually have more, are more grounded so what is it for women? 

Alison:  Well, for women, instinct tells us he should be taller than I am, he should be stronger than I am, so we look for strength in a lot of different ways.  We look for strength in ambition, we look for strength in integrity, we look for strength in the forcefulness of a person’s opinion, all these things we measure as strength in an unconscious way. 

Alissa:  Yeah. 

Alison:  And our instincts tell us to only marry a person who is bigger than us and stronger than us, otherwise there’s no advantage, we won’t survive any better, so this is why women have an aversion to…they won’t even give a man a chance who’s not taller than she is.

Alissa:  Mmmhmm.

Alison:  And that’s instinct that tells you to do that.  This man could have made her really happy, but cave woman within is telling her he’s not bigger than me, what would be the point of marrying him? 

Alissa:  Oh, yeah, you’re saying a lot of that is unconscious. 

Alison:  Totally!

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  Although it show up in our conversations all the time, it’s just what’s behind it is not really examined, like, you know, a friend might say I have this great man for you to meet, and the first question: what does he do for a living?
Alissa:  Mmhmm.

Alison:  That question is: how many resources does he have access to?  Cause instinct tells us that we should only marry a man who has more money than we do, or access to more money than we do, cause otherwise what would be the point, we won’t be better off. 

Alissa:  Well we all heard it’s just as easy to marry a rich man as it is a poor man, so…

Alison:  (laughs)

Alissa:  Aha!

Alison:  Well there are certain things that go with rich men that women don’t check into the reality of.  Most rich men work very hard and very long hours and they don’t spend all their money. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  Most women want to marry a rich man in order to spend all his money.  Well, that’s not how he got rich! 

Alissa:  (laughs)

Alison:  You can’t get rich by spending it!  So there’s a rude awakening. 

Alissa:  Hence the

Alison:  And, the point here Alissa is that we…the criteria by which instinct has us choose a husband is totally different than what has a woman be happily married.  If you ask women about being happily married, you know, what do they think has their marriage work they don’t say my husband’s bigger than me and stronger than me and makes more money.  They say my husband’s honest, has a great sense of humor, very good integrity, very dependable, I can count on him, he really likes me the way that I am,  he loves my body, we have a lot of fun together, he gets my sense of humor.

Alissa:  Got it.

Alison:  Those are all the things that she’ll say has the marriage be great.  But that isn’t…

Alissa:  You’re saying…

Alison:  Isn’t what we set out looking for. 

Alissa: Sorry.  Got ya.  So you’re saying as we’re dating we need to wake up a little bit more as to what it actually takes to be happily married and look for that in these men versus this unconscious instinctual behavior that has us staying the girlfriend maybe?

Alison:  Well, assuming that a woman wants to be married, which, I’m all for women choosing that, who are compelled to be married, but I don’t think it’s right for everybody, then assuming that she does want to be married, it’s important that she figures out a couple things.  One is when, because when is way more important to women than it is to men, and that’s a way that we’ll get out of sync.  We’ll get really out of sync because of our ovaries…because of our ovaries we have a …we have a different relationship to time than men do, and so we have an urgency about when to get married that men don’t have like that and for a man, he’ll have things that he thinks he has to accomplish, and it’s even stronger than think.  There are things that he must accomplish before he gets married because…because again getting married is the hugest obligation a man can take on from his point of view. 

Alissa:  Hm.

Alison:  And…and so there are certain things he has to have handled about his own life before he can do what they call load the marriage program. 

Alissa:  (laughs)

Alison:  There are certain things handled.  You know, he has…if his business or his work is taking a bunch of attention, it’s like a computer that all the RAM is being used up by…by that, and he can’t load the marriage program cause, if you play computer games, it’s like a HALO program, it’s a huge program, it takes up a lot of disk space. 

Alissa:  Mmhmm.

Alison:  And the same thing’ll happen if there’s a health issue like if his… if his parents are ill, you try to get him to talk about marriage, he can’t think about marriage, he’s got to take care of his parents, you know, or if there’s something happening with his children.  So there’s things that have a man not even be able to think about marriage, which is distinct from being ready to be married.  Being ready to be married is something a man knows he is or he isn’t, and if a woman, she’s like yeah I want to be married in three to five years.  Cool.  That’s good, you can hang out with men who are not ready to be married.

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  If you want to get married in the next year, you only should go out with men who are looking for wives, who are I’m ready to be married, I’m looking for my wife. 

Alissa:  And you know, a lot of people will say you don’t want to scare him off, but you’re saying no, be absolutely authentic while you’re dating as to exactly what it is that you want. 

Alison:  Yes.  If he can be scared off, scare him off, scare him off early.  Look I, if it’s true for you, look I really…I’m ready to start a family, I want to…I want to be having children within two or three years, I’d like to be married for a couple years before I start having children, so, you know, really what I’m looking for is to get married in the next year.  And if he’s like uh…uh…well, I’m open to marriage, then he’s not a candidate and he’ll select himself out.  He’ll know he’s not right for you and he’ll go away.  And that’s good.

Alissa: Right

Alison:  It’s good when they know they’re not right for you and they go away.  It’s not about catching them, you know, which is a total scarcity point of view.

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  The issue really is…dating, it’s an issue of sorting.  We have three hundred fifty million people in the US alone, you gotta sort fast. 

Alissa:  Yes, sort and let go.  I can just see, you know, women who are in relationships and the men are kind of fumbling around with the commitment and women just having to get a hold of themselves and say you know what, this man isn’t giving me the answer that I want and having self confidence in the abundance that yeah, there’s another guy out there who’s going to be on the same schedule and timeframe and to have the confidence, you know, it’s really about having the confidence to make those bold moves when what the man is saying isn’t matching up. 

Alison:  That’s true and I’ll say something else that may sound contradictory. 

Alissa:  Mmhmm.

Alison:  When we are with a man and it works, we do give each other what we need.  We love each other, we take care of each other, this is the person I’d like to spend the rest of my life with, I would tell you the exact opposite.  Then if you really want to marry him, wait as long as it takes. 

Alissa:  Hm.

Alison:  Because when we break up with men when everything else works but they won’t marry us right now, they know we didn’t really want to marry them, we just want to be married. 

Alissa:  Ahhh.

Alison:  And that’s another mistake that women make.  They don’t realize that if you’re going to marry a man you’re going to marry a full human being with a spirit and a soul and dreams and goals and generosities and vulnerabilities and this is going to be the most important person in your life.  And honestly, when a man has picked the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with, he starts spending the rest of his life with her right now. 

Alissa:  Mmmm.

Alison:  He doesn’t start spending the rest of his life with her after the wedding day. 

Alissa: (laughs)

Alison:  Because…and this is a big difference between men and women.  Women…and for good reason but women tend to pay more attention to form.  Does he call me his girlfriend?  Are we girlfriend and boyfriend?  Are we engaged?  Like we pay attention to ceremony and form and official statements. 

Alissa: Right.

Alison:  And men pay attention to substance.  They pay attention to what is daily life like together? 

Alissa:  Mmm.
Alison:  And honestly when a man asks a woman to marry her, he is married.  She says yes, at that moment he’s married. 

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  It doesn’t matter how long before the wedding, he is married.  And many men are actually married long before they ask her, because they may feel they don’t have a right to ask her yet.  You know, I know a man right now who doesn’t want to ask her until he has a ring in his hand. 

Alissa:  Aww.

Alison:  And the ring’s being custom made, and he’s not going to ask until he has it in his hand but he bought her a new car two months ago. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  So he’s been being married to her for a long time.  So it’s when you’re going to sort them out, like oh, you don’t want to be married, ok, let’s not fall in love, you want to do that really in the beginning. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  Ok, it’s not when you’re a year into it, and you’re stomping your foot, and everything is great except he won’t marry you.   That I would make argument. 

Alissa:  Gotcha. 

Alison:  Can you see the tease there?

Alissa;  It’s all working, and wait as long as it takes.  If he’s not..if it’s not working, well, it’s really getting out before you even…

Alison:  If you want to check your expectations, you want to check your desires at the very beginning.  And women will ask you, so when do you bring it up that you’re looking to get married soon, do you bring it up on the third date, the fourth date?  And my answer is on the telephone before you ever meet him and start getting a crush on how cute he is.

Alissa:  (laughing) I love it.  This is such a mind blow, I have to stop you, we have to take a short break, I always get so enthralled with what you’re saying I forget our breaks, so..

Alison: (laughs)

Alissa:  So let’s do a short break, and we will come right back, I’m Alissa Kriteman with Alison Armstrong, we’ll be right back. 

Alissa:  We’re back, I’m your host Alissa Kriteman and we’re talking with Alison Armstrong about dating.  Now we’re going to talk about relationship models and how they can play an important role in creating successful partnerships.  Alison, you have very interesting information on this topic, can you tell us a little about your relationship models and how they affect our relating? 

Alison:  Sure.  Relationship models are…it’s a way of talking about what is the most  important thing for you in a long term relationship in terms of its purpose.  So when we don’t talk about our relationship models or understand what they are, they cause problems after we get into a long term relationship that we didn’t anticipate when we end up having conflicting models.  So, just to let people know what the four main models are that I’ve identified, the first is what we call the legacy model.  So this is when the priority of a marriage is its children, and this the model that we’ve inherited, it’s been around for a really really really long time, where the purpose of the marriage was the children, and the children would build an even better life than the parents were able to create.  The second model is..is more recent, and it’s the companion model.  It doesn’t have the thousands of years behind it.  It’s a more recent model where you marry the person that you get along really well with and that you want to spend all your time with, you want to send a lot of time with.  So, someone who has the companionship model, to them when you’re making choices in life, if there’s a conflict what will always trump is the choice to be together. 

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  As opposed to the legacy model what will always trump is the choice of what’s going to be best for the children. 

Alissa: Wow.

Alison:  Can you see the difference?

Alissa:  Yeah. 

Alison:  Yeah.  So, how you can tell what your model is when there’s a push comes down to shove, and you can’t have everything, what do you always choose, and companionship models, they always choose  being together, that’s the most important thing for them.  And what’s interesting is whatever your model is, it seems like the right way to do marriage so it’s hard to understand why someone else has a different model, has a different way of doing the relationship and making the choices they make, for example, the next model is the support model, and in the support model the purpose of a marriage and how you choose your partner is that you’re going to individually be able to fulfill your dreams by being with that person and that person supports your fulfilling your dreams.  You may have dreams together but there’s usually a very strong either ambition or mission of at least one of the people and they expect to be supported in fulfilling that mission.  So, for example, in my marriage, my marriage is a support model and my husband and I like each other very much and enjoy spending time with each other and it’s kind of hard for other people to understand how would two people…why would two people who like each other so much make choices that have them not be together?

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  And that’s because the support model trumps.  If we’re going to choose between being together or fulfilling my mission in life, he’ll say honey go do it, and he’ll miss me, but it’s already clear to us both that we’re going to do what I need to do to fulfill my mission in life. 

Alissa:  Well, I can see where this would just really help people clarify what is going on, miscommunication, all the upsets, this is brilliant. 

Alison:  Well thank you.  And the way that it can really help is by when you understand what your values are, you get to stop taking it personal.

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  Like Greg’s and my relationship works in part because we both have a support model, and we both want to support the other and we’re clear that…he’s known from the moment he met me that what I was up to in life he wanted to get behind and so he doesn’t have a problem with that it keeps trumping and…but if he had a companion model and I had a support model and I kept choosing to do the things to fulfill my mission in life, he could have his feelings hurt, like why do you keep…you love your job more than me, why do you keep choosing to travel for that instead of being home with me?  He could take it personally.

Alissa:  (laughing) I can just hear women breathing a sigh of relief and understanding now that’s why he’s doing what he’s doing, and to actually start a dialogue to help bridge these confusing moments by knowing what your values are. 

Alison:  Exactly.

Alissa:  To help support the other

Alison:  You totally got it.  And that all the values are valid.  The legacy, you know, value, about the children, the children are the future, that’s valid.  The companion model, and the desire to be together, with your best friend all the time, that’s valid.  The support model, that there are dreams to be fulfilled and we get behind each other, that’s valid.  And the fourth model, which is called the karma model, which is one of the more rarer, but the people who have this,  they have it just as strong as all the others and that’s that the purpose of being together is to cause each other to grow.  And so we pick partners, we literally pick partners that push our buttons. 

Alissa:  (laughing) I think that’s me!

Alison: You think that’s you?  And someone who does it, I mean to a karma model person, someone they get along easily with is boing!  It’s like what’s the point of being with you?  This is easy!  I’m not growing at all!  Whereas to a companion model person, that’s who you pick are the people you get along easily and that you love being with.  So, you can imagine, you can get a companion model and a karma model together, one of them’s going we have an issue here and we need to talk about it and we need to work on it and they love it, they’re so excited they found an issue, and the other person’s like can’t we just have fun?  Can’t we just hang out?  Why do we always gotta be working on something? 

Alissa:  Oh wow, this is brilliant, and I really like what you said about all values are valid. 

Alison:  They are, they really are, and if you start with that that’s the key, Alissa, to working it out.

Alissa:  Mmhmm. 

Alison:  if you’re like I’m right and you’re wrong, which is the default attitude women have, and men too, everybody has that about their values, they think their values are right, but if you hold that they’re both valid, then you can start working on the critical thing to work it out, if it can be worked out.  Cause it’s not necessarily we have different models so we can’t be together. 

Alissa: Right.

Alison:  It can be worked out, you want to know the secret? You want to know the secret to working it out?

Alissa:  Absolutely, that’s very important.

Alison:  Ok, the secret to working it out is a word that we don’t engage in enough, because we are always interacting with out ideals, so we always, you know, an ideal marriage would be where we have the same model, and we live happily every after, and if we do not have the same model we should not be together. 

Alissa:  Right.

Alison:  The word is actually enough.  We have to pay attention to enough.  Instead of ideal, what would be enough?  So, for a companion model, ideal would be we live together, we work together, we go everywhere together, you know, or whatever their version of an ideal is.  But if there was someone who doesn’t have that value, they gotta think about ok, so what is enough time with my partner?  It’s not the ideal, but what is enough so that I’m not upset all the time and wondering why the heck am I married? 

Alissa:  Gotcha.

Alison:  And the same thing for the support person, what is enough support, what is enough…support people will talk about freedom, they’ll use freedom words, the freedom to pursue their dreams, the freedom to do what they need to do, so what is enough freedom? Now for the karma model person, what is enough challenge?  What is enough stimulation, what is enough engagement, what is enough growth for you?

Alissa:  Wow.  You know what I really love about this is that you can apply this while you’re dating, you can apply this while you’re in relationships, especially with this enough, like what do I need to do to make my marriage work if we have different relationship models, what is enough, what does he need, what does she need? Brilliant.

Alison:  Yeah, and then you start making deals to..to start giving each other enough of what the other person needs.  And if you can’t come up with enough, you know, if the other person, if what they need to be enough never going to be able to provide, that’s where you look at not being together. 

Alissa:  Right.  But my goodness, if you can know in the upfront, before you get into a serious committed relationship and talk about these things, you can really see can I give you enough, do we have the same value and vision for what we want for a relationship.  Really brilliant, brilliant stuff.  We’re going to take another short break to support our sponsors.  This is Alissa Kriteman and I’m with Alison Armstrong, expert in understanding men, we’ll be right back.

Alissa:  Welcome back, I’m your host Alissa Kritemen and we are talking with Alison Armstrong about the relationship models that she has devised that are really truly brilliant ways to understand what your values are before you’re in a relationship and while you’re in a relationship and how you can have the most fantastic, incredible partnership ever.  Listeners, please feel free to write in any questions you may have about today’s topic or other topics you’d like me to cover on the show and you can do that by sending an email to [email protected] and to find out more about Alison Armstrong please visit understandmen.com.  And now Alison, I’d like to talk to you about the mistakes we’re making in our communications with men. What can you tell us that will help us be more effective?

Alison: (laughing) You want the three minute version, the three hour version, the three day version?

Alissa:  I’m clear, I could talk to you for twenty five thousand hours and we still wouldn’t have enough, so maybe the three-minute version. 

Alison:  The three-minute version, OK. So, there are mistakes that we make in speaking to men, and there are mistakes that we make in listening to men. 

Alissa:  Perfect.

Alison:  Which do you want first? 

Alissa:  How about listening, because before we speak we listen, so let’s do listening first. 

Alison:  Ok.  Actually, we don’t always listen before we speak, so right there that statement would be good advice for some people.  Um, ok, the biggest mistake we make in listening to men is assuming that they are a woman, and…which often happens with women, we talked about this before that a woman looks at a man and sees a hairy woman.  And so we listen to men the way we listen to women, and that’s the biggest mistake because how women and women talk to each other, we call it a conversation, we call it participation, we call it engaging, interacting so I say something to you and you go oh yeah, uh-huh, yeah, that happened to me too, oh and then there’s this other thing, what about that? And there’s this, there’s this give and take and going back and forth and, and mixing it up and we, you know, and sidebars and moving on to another topic and coming back around and there’s a flow to it, right?  Whenever you have women you have flows. 

Alissa:  yes.

Alison:  And, and we think that’s fun, we think that’s great.  Doesn’t work when talking to most men because they’re single focus and if you…if you ask them a question they take your question very seriously and then they commit to the answer to the question which usually takes a pause and we’ll re-word the question which is an interruption, which will make them stop.  Or, they’ll say something, and then we’ll say well what about…and then they stop.  Or…we just do all these things that interrupt them.  That’s the biggest thing that women do when we’re listening to men is we interrupt them and then they stop talking and then we accuse them of being shallow. 

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  So what I recommend for women if you want men to open up,  if you want them to really express themselves if you want them to get more emotional levels, if you want something deeper to happen in communication then you have to keep your imaginary duct tape around.  If you ask them a question, put the imaginary duct tape over your mouth and listen, and keep listening and be interested, and learn something from everything that he’s saying cause men are always revealing themselves.  And, listen and listen and listen, and then when he pauses, don’t jump in.  When he pauses just keep looking at him and keep smiling and wait and he’ll notice that you’re still listening and he’ll look and see if he has anything else to say.  And that goes at an even deeper level.  And so we recommend that if you have to, you know, count to twenty or even thirty to yourself while you’re waiting to see if he has anything more to say.  If you do that, men around you, everywhere around you will become more expressive, more open, more interesting, more engaging, everything women want from men you can get just by that with him. 

Alissa:  Mmm, I love that, I love how you said men are always revealing themselves.

Alison:  They are.

Alissa:  And maybe it’s just that we haven’t been quiet and calm enough to just let them express. 

Alison:  It’s true, and we don’t…because we’re so feelings based, which makes sense cause our feelings are smack in the middle of our chests, and our feelings are really our connection to the eternal, because we’re so feelings based, we perk up when somebody says I feel, right?  Anything that follows I feel, to us, is inherently important. 

Alissa:  Yes.

Alsion:  Men rarely use the word feel because that’s not how they’re put together.  And so when a man is telling you what he thinks, we’re not that interested because it’s just what he thinks, you know, it’s not what he feels.  But that’s a mistake that we make because men value their thinking, they act on their thinking, which is really important by the way.  You ask a man how he feels about you, which is what women do, we ask a man how do you feel about me thinking it’s going to tell us what he’s going to do, it doesn’t.  Cause he doesn’t act on his feelings.  He acts on what he thinks. 

Alissa:  Wow.

Alison:  You ask a man what do you think about us or what do you think about me or what do you think are our prospects for our future instead of how do you feel about me, you’ll learn a whole lot more. 

Alissa:  That’s brilliant, that alone is the golden nugget. 

Alison: (laughing)
Alissa: (laughing) Ok, don’t interrupt them
Alison: Yup.
Alissa: Don’t assume they’re women, listen to them

Alison:  And don’t ask feeling questions, ask thinking questions. 

Alissa:  Exactly.  Ok.

Alison: That’d be the listening part.  The speaking part, oh my gosh.  Think about what you really want them to know, what details matter for them to know it, cut out about eighty percent of those details and then tell them.  Women have a capacity for details and an obsession…this is one of the things we teach men and women about,  women have an obsession with the time and place that anything important happened, and will tell everything about the time and place and what we were wearing with this thing happening, and the men are wondering what’s the point?

Alissa:  (laughs)  I have to laugh, this too funny.

Alison:  Yeah, men are all…when women are talking, actually when anyone’s talking, men are wondering what’s the point.  Unless the person’s upset, then they’re trying to figure out what’s the problem.  And that’s why they ask those interrogative questions to try and find out what’s the problem so that they can solve it.  So, for women to be effective in speaking to men, it’s gotta do one of two things, you either have to get to the point, or you have to say honey, I just have a whole lot of things I need to say, and there’s no point to them, but you would help me so much if you just held the bucket, while I poured this all out.  If you just held onto that trashcan for me and I unloaded all of this, I could be at peace and happy again.  And there’s no point to it and you don’t have to remember any of it. 

Alissa:  Mmm.

Alison:  It’d be great, he’d go ok, I’ve got the bucket for all the stuff you need to say!

Alissa:  Yeah.

Alison:  And he’s have a job, he’d be providing something and all he’d be looking for at the end you say wow, that was great, you did it, I am free again! He’d be like whoa, that was cool how that works. 

Alissa:  Isn’t that great, and that you totally win, you get to dump everything that you want to say, that you feel like oh, he doesn’t want to hear this, but if you ask him, and invite him to hold the bucket, and you can just dump it, he has a job and then you can return to happiness.  That…that is a brilliant way to have both people win. 

Alison:  Yeah, you  just have to remember if you don’t give him something else to do, he will automatically…if you’re fine he’ll listen what is the point, and if you’re upset he’ll listen what is the problem and try to solve it.  So if you want an alternative to those two, you have to ask!  And you have to have there be a benefit in it for him.  He gets to win by providing that.  Men are amazing amazing providers and they want to know what we want them to provide. 

Alissa:  You know what I love about this information, you’re really empowering women to be masters in their relating, you know, especially with men.  You know, studying your work and incorporating it into our lives, I just see women be master navigators, you know, like at the helm of the relationship steering it toward all the things that they want, the beautiful…the beautiful calm ocean if I can an analogy. 

Alison:  Yeah, I appreiate that, and I think it’s well said.  And, when women…when women are happy, men are happy.  When men are happy, they feel powerful.  When they feel powerful, they do amazing things. 

Alissa:  Mmmm.

Alison:  So, this is the upward spiral.  You know, there’s a way for us to be a partnership with each other where we both get what we need, where we’re both more expressed, more whole, more able, more powerful, more ourselves. 

Alissa:  Mmmhmm.  Mmhmm.  Wow, any last things about speaking besides getting straight to the point and understanding that how he listens is if you’re fine what’s the point and if you’re upset what’s the problem.

Alison:  well, one thing I would add is that research has shown lately that women’s voices are processed in the part of men’s brains that processes music. 

Alissa:  Huh.

Alison:  So, your tone of voice has an incredible impact on men, and complaining sounds like the worst possible kind of music, not even music.

Alissa:  Hmm.

Alison:  And all you want to do is turn it off, or get away.

Alissa:  That I didn’t know, that I didn’t know.

Alison: Yeah, our complaining has a tremendous impact on men.  They actually feel like…the way one man put it was “it feels like you took a giant needle and inserted it in my spine and they’re sucking all of the life out of me….(laughing)

Alissa:  (laughing) oh my god!  Thank you for doing that research, you know thank you for being someone who talks to men in very candid ways and then gives this information back to us.  Who knew that the tone of our voice is where, you know, is the same receptor where they process music?  That makes total sense.  We wonder what that glazed look is that comes over their face when we’re in that little complaining mode .

Alison:  Yup, that’s what it is, they get the glazed look when we drown then in details.  The other way to use this information is for women to remember the power of their voice.

Alissa:  Yeah.

Alison:  So, use a voice mail instead of email when you have anything you want to have happen. 

Alissa:  Wow.

Alison:  Email is…the tone is assumed by the other person, so if he’s afraid you’re mad at him, he’s going to read it like you’re mad at him, and it doesn’t have any of the soothing and rolling, happy inviting, feminine, warm, loving all those other qualities that can show up in our voice. 

Alissa:  That is brilliant.  You’ve given us so many golden nuggets here.  I hate to let you go, but we have to end.  Ladies, check out the transcripts of this show, that is going to be available for you so you can print this out and keep it in your purse or put it in your ear, you know?  Alison, thank you so much for being with us.  Again, you can find more about Alison Armstrong at understandmen.com. She’s got amazing workshops, one coming up in February that I’m going to be at, celebrating men satisfying women, I just can’t get enough of this information, really brilliant.  Thank you so much for being with us.

Alison:  Thanks for having me.  Good luck with the show.

Alissa:  Thank you!  And hopefully we’ll have you back again soon.  Thank you Alison, this is Alissa Kriteman, join us next week on Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex, when we will talk with Alexis Shepherd and Shana Weinstein, professional coaches, creators and leaders of the workshop The Authentic Woman Experience.  Again, for text and transcripts of this show, and other shows from Personal Life Media, please visit our website personallifemedia.com.  That brings us to the end of the show, thank you so much for listening, I’m your host Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your choices.