Jamie Shupak is the Emmy-nominated traffic reporter for NY1, the Big Apple cable network that’s the end-all and be-all on all things Gotham for New Yorkers. She’s also a beautiful, single woman navigating New York’s treacherous (and hilarious!) dating scene. In her weekly column she shares her war stories and offers her advice and admonitions.
Poor guy—he and I had very different ways of communicating. He liked to share right away; I did not. He liked to get all mushy-gushy; I did not.
It can be frustrating, time-consuming, and even detrimental to a relationship when two people communicate in such different ways. While I try to be more sensitive to a guy wanting to share his feelings, I know he also will try to be a little more light-hearted with me. But you shouldn’t be someone you’re not; you shouldn’t hide your feelings, either.
There’s physical chemistry, there’s intellectual chemistry, and then there’s communication chemistry. You can be doing everything right between the sheets and waxing poetic about every conceivable subject, but two people still need to master the basics. If you can’t talk about your day with your woman, or know when she’s not vibing with you, then you’re toast.
So how do you do it? How do you manifest harmonious communication chemistry? How much of your own style should you sacrifice or change in order to get on her wavelength?
A very smart girlfriend of mine once told me that you could fall in love with a guy who writes good emails. This goes back to the whole “the way to a woman’s heart is through her mind” thing. Her theory is one I can easily second; who doesn’t love a witty, well-thought-out message from someone they’re dating?
Having good email chemistry is important: it keeps you in contact when you can’t be together, helps develop a strong foundation as you start divulging stories, and it’s an easy way to let the other person know you’re thinking about them.
But make sure you know your audience. I can get down with a long, funny anecdotal email—I once went back and forth sending virtual novels with a guy I dated for months, and it was fun because I was just as excited to write as I was to receive. They were in parts funny, others rather personal, but no matter the topic, always a proverbial glue that held us together.
Not every woman is like me, though. Some aren’t writers. Some just don’t have the time. So feel her out. Maybe she just likes shorter, burst emails. Perhaps she’s more of a texting girl. And maybe she’s not into e-communication at all but would prefer to—gasp—talk on the phone.
If you want the woman, you’ll communicate in the way she feels most comfortable. So meet her on her platform, whatever that may be. Win her over on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr or Instagram. I know guys who have literally attracted girls’ attention and gotten dates by “liking” lots of their posts.
When it comes to in-person communication, there's something to be said for meeting in the middle. Take this one guy I dated who was a pretty big talker. He liked to ask questions and talk about his feelings, which is great, except sometimes it takes me a little longer to warm up to that kind of conversation. I’m more into the show than the tell. A lot of times I find some of that talk to be lip service. Being verbose doesn’t mean you’re communicating or sharing things that are important. Sometimes you’re exhaling a lot of hot air.
As this talker guy and I hung out and got to know each other, he got better at shutting up once in a while, at holding back, and I got better at telling him what I was thinking. It took time, but here’s the key: if you foster a comfortable environment where she can speak freely, without judgment, there is a respectful middle ground to be reached.
When the time is right, don’t be afraid to communicate about communicating. Don’t bombard your woman with, “Why don’t you respond to my emails faster,” or, “Why do you always need me to call you to tell you something”—no, don’t do that.
Take her temperature. Follow her lead. She will show you the so-called promised land if you give her the chance to do so. Like that guy who learned about the benefits of shutting up sometimes, that kind of barrier breaking—understanding your woman’s comfort zones—is crucial to taking your relationship to the next level.
Listen when the girl signals that she likes communication a certain way. When I responded to the guy who texted me about going out on a limb that he should be careful out there, he didn’t take my cue.
And perhaps he shouldn’t have; maybe he just wasn’t the right guy for me, nor me for him.
But he laughed off my warning and we fast became those people from the now famous Verizon Wireless commercials.
“Can you hear me now?” He walks another five steps. “Can you hear me now?”
The metaphorical phone call broke up, and so did we.
Next Week: Jamie gets you ready for Thanksgiving: Pumpkin pies and little white lies