I have been married to my husband for 4 months now and we have never had sex.
Hmmmm. I have a huge phobia for sex. I have always maintained a no-one rule in my previous relationships because I knew it wasn’t right, and I couldn’t handle any of the consequences of STDs and pregnancy.
I got married as a virgin and now to have sex is an issue. My husband has been supportive and we talk a lot but I don’t want to push my luck.
What do I do?
I Am Angry at myself. Once he tries to penetrate, I groan and tell him to get off. It frustrates him but he tries to be patient with me. Please, what do I do? I know I am depriving him of his right and God isn’t HAPPY with me.
Looking into a mirror on the wall and practicing that killer charming smile, I straightened the strains on my shirt. I had decided to look decent enough to cause quite the distraction at the party, I was to attend later on. Speaking of the party in which I had no idea who was hosting or where it was, or come to think of it any tangible detail about, but it was a Friday evening and after the long stressful week I've had, God forbid I had no plans of grinding somewhere, anywhere!
" Zikora! ,I hope say you don ready, I need to be early I'm really in no mood for Uche's drama, if I'm late to the party.
I gave my long time friend a sympathetic smile "ah Tokunbo calm down jor,you too fear this your babe, please which one is the man in the relationship, remind me o jare" I said, giving out a mocking laugh, he just sneered at me and replied,
"Eh keep laughing you hear, you this player, but abeg Eh ,do you mind switching places" he gave me a wink and we both laughed for a while at that.
Half an hour later ,feeling the beat of music, Tokunbo and I were both at the scene, in a place that seemed to be a really big club but with more lights and not as much people or maybe we were just earlier. A lady wearing a bright pink gown and with quite the heavily made-up face approached us with a rush and in Tokunbo's path, it wasn't until she was near I realised it was Uche and might I add, looking pissed. Uche eyed me and placed her attention on Tokunbo."
You're late Toks,She said. Looking at me with little interest she murmured "Zikora what's up?" I murmured something not so nice too. We really did dislike each other.
....."I'm sorry babe, the traffic was unbelievable" Tokunbo put an arm around her cajoling her and Uche not believing a word rolling her perfectly made up eyes. At this moment I had to agree, Toks had a pretty fine thing for a babe. I turned to Ella, Uche's roommate and tried to start a conversation.
"So Uche, this party you invited us to, what's it about? Toks asked. She faced me squarely explaining "well it's a fundraiser for a society project,if you look around you'll find the high and mighty, not just anyone is here and I invited you two because I'm one of the organisers." I made a fake wow face, I didn't ask the question, Toks did. I wasn't interested either, I just came to have fun.
"Um I'll be stealing Tokunbo for a moment, I would love to introduce him to some dignitaries, In the mean time try and have a good time" she said dragging Toks behind her. Tokunbo smiling deviously at me said "Guy, go and do what your best at" motioning to the group of ladies who just walked in. Grining at each other we exchanged a knowing look before he was completely dragged off by Uche.
"Damn, the sea is full tonight",I thought to myself as I looked around ,satisfyingly taking notice of gorgeous women prancing up and down in little amount of clothes just how I like it,right before I went for the kill. My stomach organs reminded me that I hadn't eaten since lunch and i had to refuel, and I sincerely hoped that this Uche and her so called Organiser friends had at least put made provisons of food a priority! It wasn't long before I found a whole isle for treats and that made me breathe a sigh of relief, it was more than just treats there was so much to eat and damn the DRINKS it almost made me forget about the ladies at the event, almost! I went up to a woman whom I assumed was one of the servers, who had her back turned to me and spoke up "excuse me" she instantly turned ready to listen, probably a cause of habit from the nature of her job . I listened to her as she informed me on the variety of dishes to choose from, which were all mouth watering I had to say, but for a moment I stopped comprehending she was saying and just stared at her luscious lips and the way words came out from them,I'd never been so interested in the chioce of food in a menu before as she called them out to me, and the way her body language spoke, she was a natural. I dont know why I didn't notice the minute i walked up to her, but this young woman was gorgeous. It made me wonder why she was stuck here serving food and not an invitee at this event and being adored by men out there . I would've stood there for a day appreciating the beauty across the table,but a certain grunt coming from an impatient man behind made me realise that I was actually holding up the line and with regret left where I stood to a seat to eat my meal. All the while not taking my eye off that yummy food caterer ,It was a long night and it wasn't difficult ignoring the countless women who flaunted themselves to get my attention ,my brain only registered one face ,and there she was working her nicely shaped ass off. She was just so enjoyable to look at and the way she interacted with people, with so much ease.
A hand suddenly grabbed my shoulder, I looked up and found Toks looking down at me, "this one you're just sitting here, I hope you've been getting the most out of this awesome party?Before I could reply and make known my new found interest ,he cut me off "so we go talk later na, I'll be heading off with Uche, I'm going over to her place, I'm sure you can get home safe" he said waving goodbye. I was okay with that, seeing that i wouldn't leave here till I got that caterers number in my contact and her in my life. Just kidding. Maybe not. Returning my attention back to my previous fixation, I noticed she was no longer at the spot she was all evening or even around that spot. After a quick search i realised the caterer wasn't anywhere in the room, that didn't stop me. I searched the bathroom hall, at the back of the building, I looked everywhere like I was searching for an escaped convict. With the heaviest heart I reluctantly gave up and retreated to where I parked my car as I headed back to my apartment. Jolting I nearly got knocked off my feet with joy caused by the sight before me. At this moment if I had the power, angels would sing 'alleluia' that second. There she was illuminated by the light from a street lamp post she was under, She looked like something out of a romance movie . I figured she was waiting for someone or a cab, I prayed it was the latter. Immediately I got in my car and drove to the place where she waited and suddenly the cassanova in me sprung to life,I wound down the window and acted cool hoping to impress her, I said "Hey Beautiful......." she looked the least bit impressed, probably because of my shallow pickup line. I continued however "can I have the honor of assisting you dear? maybe dropping you off at you home" I said trying not to come off as a ritualist or a kidnapper and frighten her away. I looked at her as she thought over it and I couldn't be happier when she nodded in agreement and told me where she lived and asked if I was would be going that way. I told her to get in the car, frankly I would drop her even if it meant at the end of the world, I was that smitten.
As we rode in the car, I constantly stole glances her way. Well she pretended not to have noticed. We had gone quite the distance when she gasped, I turned towards her.
What's wrong dear? I asked slightly worried. Rummaging through her hand bag she looked up at me with a cute yet worried face,she said "I think I forgot my phone " she kept on looking in the bags she held "I'm so sorry to be a bother, but please can we drive back to the event center? That phone is too Important to me" , There was no way in hell I could have said no to that face and before she asked again,she had me turning the car around. When we got back to the place it was looking deserted because it was already late. She pleaded that I go in with her to keep her safe. This I agreed to without hesitation, I wanted to be the perfect gentleman. Going in she left to a distance where I couldn't see her anymore and before I could call out her name to make sure she was alright, I heard the sound of a car roaring to life which was strange because I didn't see any car when we came back there, on a second note the start up noise the engine of the car made,sounded familiar, sounded like my CAR! At this moment it dawned on me that I had left my car unlocked with the keys inside. I rushed out, seeing my car zoom off made me feel like an award winning idiot. It didn't take me long to realise who had robbed me of my property, the pretty caterer who was also a mysterious one at that. Cause for the first time with the lil time I had spent with her that night, it never occurred to me to ask her for her name.
It was obviously a long terrible night since all the cash I had in me plus my phone was in the car. I thus had to walk a dreadfully long way till i got to security check point and explained my ordeal. The security guards in duty promised something would be done immediately but not after I had been laughed silly at how I was robbed and more of, who robbed me. I didn't blame them, the shitty situation I got my self in was a very laughable one. The next day I went to the catering service ordered by the event the day before and enquired about the mysterious caterer and not a soul knew who I was talking about, In order to satisfy my doubts all the members of the operation were checked for facial recognition and none of them was her.
A week had passed and trust my country's detective methods, the search for my car had ceased till whatever the future had to unfold, I had finally concluded that I was jazzed and I didn't know what was worse, the fact that I hated that lady for ever existing or that I couldn't get her out of my heart because the stupid organ probably thought she was the one, of course my unhelpful friend Tokunbo kept on saying teasingly at every chance he got" na woman do you this thing o zikora"
It is good to build better relationships with the people you love and those who matter to you. However, humans are social beings. It’s a no-brainer that no man really is an island. Every day, we find ourselves interacting with people, not just on social media, but also in person, whether we are meeting them for the first time or not.
So, to make this easier for you, here are some practical tips to help you to build and establish trust in your relationships with others using conversations, even those you’re only just getting to know.
To learn about people’s priorities, goals and objectives, ask them questions. Remember that it’s not always about you. What do they want to talk about? Seek their thoughts and opinions and probe their thinking with when, what, and how questions.
Suspend your own need to talk and try not to interrupt them during a conversation. If possible, pause for five seconds after they’re done talking before you speak. This may seem like an awkwardly long time, but it will help you collect your thoughts together and give them space should they want to say something else.
It is one thing to allow someone to talk. It’s an entirely different thing to actually listen to them and genuinely try to understand things from their point of view. A popular quote says, “To talk is to repeat what you already know & what you probably might have said a thousand times but to listen is to hear & understand what you may not know.”
Try asking questions like, “How did that make you feel?” and “Why did that happen?” Doing this will encourage the other person to talk and also increase your understanding of their thoughts and opinions, and eventually them.
If you have the habit of pulling the conversation back to what you want to talk about, regardless of what the person you’re talking with wants, then you should stop it. This not only disrupts the tempo of the conversation but also makes it difficult for you to develop a good relationship with them. Place their needs ahead of yours and allow the conversation flow or let them dictate where it heads.
This is the most difficult of them all. The most important goal in every conversation is to leave the other person feeling better for having spoken to you and also extract knowledge from them. Normally, two people engaging in a conversation will patiently wait for the other person to be done with the story they are telling before saying theirs on a related topic, often in an attempt to have a better and more interesting story. Suspending your ego is putting other individuals’ wants, needs, and perceptions of reality ahead of your own half the time too, validating them unconditionally and non-judgmentally. This will continue to encourage the other individual to talk about his or her story, neglecting your own need to share what they think is a great story. [guardian]
A study in Psychology of Music found that women are more likely to give their digits to a man toting a guitar case over a man lugging around a gym bag. The researchers took a good-looking man and watched as he approached 300 different women, all of whom were complete strangers. He did this in three different ways: once with nothing in hand, once carrying a gym bag and once holding a guitar case.
After introducing himself and hitting on them, he asked each woman for her number. While 14 percent of women complied when he was empty-handed, a measly nine percent gave their number to him when he was carrying a gym bag. When he brought a guitar case along, on the other hand (pun intended), over 30 percent of the women were willing to share their digits with him.
Why did the women prefer the guitar player over the gym goer? It could be because women relate musical prowess with good genes and intelligence, but it also could just be because musicians are traditionally the cool guys.
According to Nicolas Guéguen, author of the study and researcher at the University of South Brittany in France, “music induces a positive effect, and this positive effect primes receptivity to a courtship request.” In other words, people like music and music makes people happy, so they’re more likely to give in to romantic advances.
Further research published in Letter on Evolutionary Behavioral Science confirms these findings. In this study, researchers sent Facebook friend requests out to 100 women, all of whom were single, along with the message, “Hey, what’s up? I like your photo.” In only some cases, the profile picture of the sender had a guitar. When he wasn’t holding a guitar, only 10 percent of women replied to him, but when he was shown with a guitar, 28 percent of women got back to him.
There’s no denying it: Guys who string the chords have an easier time pulling heartstrings, too. If you have the extra cash and some spare time, might we suggest taking some lessons?
After swiping right on each other, you enjoy a few texts back and forth and agree to meet at your favourite local restaurant—only to find out that she barely speaks in real life. While you carry on the conversation about your family, where you live and what you do, she utters no more than a few words the entire evening.
But before you decide to never call her again, consider the fact that she might just be an introvert. While you work things out verbally, she’s very much in her own head and perhaps not as communicative as you. That said, introverts and extroverts can mix (opposites attract); each just takes a different approach to life, and so you need to approach a new relationship differently.
Here are a few words of wisdom to deal with a potentially introverted chick.
1. Put your energy into listening:
As an extrovert, you speak in order to think, you feel the need to be heard, and you love interrupting. Instead, take the time to think about questions you’d like to ask her so she feels comfortable opening up, and then actually stop talking yourself and listen.
2. Chill out:
You constantly want to try new things and take it all in. You move quickly and love basking in the spotlight. Introverts are attracted to your sense of adventure, but you need to take the time to slow down, too. A recent study reveals that socializing is actually exhausting for extroverts, so while you may feel happy in the moment, you feel fatigued a few hours later. Understand that introverts need time to recharge just as much as you do.
3. Suggest low-key places for dates:
When you’re first getting to know an introvert, the last place you want to take her is a busy bar or a super crowded restaurant. Sometimes a change of pace is nice for you, too, and you want her focusing on you, not the chaos that’s going on around you.
So the next time you’re scrolling through social media, remember that there’s no reason to discount someone just because she initially seems shy. Give her a chance and maybe she’ll get more comfortable around you.[Zergest]Read More
Friend zones are not really a bad thing as most men would think. Not every relationship starts off with the usual toasting - that’s almost a boring cliché. And not all friend zones translates to a terrible rejection. There are parts of being friend-zoned that does rock.
1. Being in the friend zone improves your confidence and comfort level with women. This is particularly true if you don’t have much experience with the opposite sex. This can make future dates less awkward and more successful.
2. You’ve got more opportunities to meet new women. You can grow your pool of dating prospects by meeting more women through your lady friend. Whether it’s her friends or friends’ friends, the friend zone is an untapped resource of new women just waiting to be discovered.
3. She could be your partner in crime. When you’re seeking mischief and need a partner, a friend zone buddy can be the Bonnie to your Clyde.
4. Welcome to free dating and relationship advice. Having a female friend allows you to get an exclusive glimpse into the feminine mind, as well as how they view dating and relationships. She can provide unsolicited relationship advice and this can be less embarrassing and more effective than asking your bro squat for help.
5. You can work on your emotions. Painful pasts or skeletons buried deep within your closet may make it difficult for you to open up. A female friend can provide a safe harbor for these emotions and enables you to practice de-stressing.
6. There’s no waiting game. Waiting for that text, call or Facebook message can be excruciating. But being friend-zoned alleviates the pressure of if or when they’ll respond to you reaching out. Sure, it’s annoying when a buddy doesn’t reply to you right away, but the anticipation of waiting on a crush is much more ulcer-inducing.
7. You’ll learn what qualities you want in a partner. Spending an insane amount of time with a girl who isn’t shy to show all of herself because your relationship is platonic is a smart way to see the characteristics of a woman that you are, and aren’t, attracted to.
8. Honesty is the best policy. Because her goal isn’t to entice you in order to date you, a female sidekick will lay out the truth for you in ways that you may not be familiar with.
9. There’s always the possibility of more. There’s never a guarantee that the relationship will stay within the platonic borders. The idea that it can grow into something more exciting can be super enticing.[Stephanie]Read More
It's almost an ironic pattern that women complain about men who are deceitful but that's the ones they go after a lot. If you are among the good ones, who are always over-looked for the ones who are always in forever search of everything & nothing, here are some things to do that might get her to notice you.
1. Look the part:
It’s true that when you’re feeling’ yourself, women will take notice. A good outfit goes a long way both because you’ll look fine AF and because you’ll exude more confidence. Even if you’re nervous about what to talk to her about, you can rest assured that your clothes gave off a damn good first impression.
2. Be decisive:
OK, for this one you do have to say a few words. But it’s equally important. If you feel inclined to approach a woman and ask her out, do it. It’s important to remember that, if you get rejected, it’s not the end of the world. Don’t start questioning why you even asked her out in the first place; instead, brush yourself off and try again with someone new. Women love when a man takes initiative, just be sure to have an actual date in mind; don’t be the guy to ask her what she feels like doing when you’re the one who asked her out.
3. Fake it till you make it:
You don’t have to be the best-looking guy in the room so long as you’re confident rocking what you’ve got. Sure, some other dude might have bigger biceps than you, but that’s not everything. Stand up straight, smile, look her in the eye and be flirtatious. Wooing women is very much about body language, so fake confidence until you’ve got confidence.
4. Respect yourself:
Being self assured means that you’re secure in your opinions and beliefs. This kind of guy doesn’t care what other people think about him and is often hard to manipulate. When it comes to women, he doesn’t waste time trying to figure out why a girl hasn’t texted him back. Instead, he knows that it didn’t work out for a reason, and he’s ready for the woman who’s right for him. Women love a man with this trait because, when you respect yourself, you respect others.
5. Work on yourself:
Maybe you blame your appearance, slow metabolism or overall shitty game on failed pick-ups, but that’s not how attraction works. Success with women has little to do with extraneous circumstances. There is someone out there for you; she just might not have been at last weekend’s party. Work on your self-care rituals, personal growth and goals outside of relationships and your confidence will grow. Be passionate about what you love and it’s only a matter of time that the right woman will come crawling to you.
And remember: Women can be just as insecure and self-conscious, so loosen up and just go for it. After all, what have you got to lose?
Cc: MeghanRead More
There’s a common assumption that men are harder to lock down than women; that women are inevitably looking for something serious even if they deny looking for something serious. But contrary to popular belief, a lot of single women are indeed just looking to hook up. For women focused on friends, careers, fitness or something else, securing a friends-with-benefits situation is a sweet deal. Here are some easy clues she'll drop to hint that she's the one not looking for anything more.
She says she’s not looking for anything serious:
This isn’t always so obvious. Sometimes she’s lying because she thinks you’re not looking for any commitment, and she doesn’t want to come on too strong. But often she legitimately means it. If she says it without you initiating any talk of your commitment-phobia, it’s less likely she’s just trying to convince you it’s all good—and more likely she’s just looking for casual, convenient sex... or that she just likes hanging out with you.
She doesn’t initiate the commitment talk:
In the same vein, if she really wants to be with you, it’ll keep her up at night wondering if she’s the only one you’re seeing. Eventually, she’ll ask you about it. If months go by and she doesn’t, it’s because she doesn’t care whether you’re dating or sleeping with other people, because she is, too.
She says she’s "finding" herself:
Women hate hearing this from men. They prefer you find yourself, they find themselves and you two grow together. So If she says any version of this statement (like she’s working on herself), it means she’s into you but she’s got other priorities. Even though she’s trying to get to the gym more often and focus on work, she still has a few spare hours throughout the week to hook up. But not enough time or desire to extend that to a relationship.
She tells you about other men:
Unless she’s clearly trying to make you jealous, she wouldn’t be telling you about her rendezvous with other dudes. If she does, it’s probably because you’ve been friend-zoned—even if you're sleeping together.
She avoids your pursuits—but not all the time:
If you find that you’re the one always initiating plans, or that she’s flaking on your plans, it’s probably because you’re a second, third or fourth option—which is why she’ll sometimes kick it with you. It’s a harsh reality, yes, but if she really wanted to be with you, she’d want to hang out with you, and she’d probably ditch her other plans to do so. Of course things do come up, but if canceling becomes a regular occurrence, make no mistake: She’s not looking to seriously date.
She's flaky about planning:
Likewise, if she gives you a vague response as to when you can rain check, it's probably because she doesn't want to make the commitment to hanging out with you because she's unsure as to whether she'll still feel like it when the time comes around. If she wanted to be serious, she'd be thinking in advance.
She won’t introduce you to her friends or family:
If it’s been a while and you’ve yet to meet the people closest to her, it’s not because she’s nervous, which she might tell you; it’s because she doesn’t care enough that she needs affirmation from them. If you were a serious prospect, she’d want their opinions as soon as it wasn’t creepy to invite you to meet them.
She has girls nights all the time.
Girls’ nights are a thing that continues even through marriage. And often it really is just the girls. But other times, it really is just the girls until one or more of the girls brings a man into the mix—a boyfriend, husband, third wheel, whomever. So if she insists that it’s a girls’ night, it’s likely that she could tell you to come hang later on, but she's just not up for that kind of commitment.Read More
People lie for a lot of reasons, but it’s usually to keep someone off their back about something or cover up an act. When it comes to dating, we're all guilty of a little bit of lie—or at least omitting the truth—sometimes to reel people in or push them away. Here are some of the most common white lies women tell, what they really mean, and how you can handle it.
I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ROMANCE
What we really mean: We’re not stage-five clingers, but we’re human, so yeah, romance might happen.
What to do about it: If she says this to you, it doesn’t mean she’s going to have you in a headlock asking you to propose in a month, but it does mean she’s cautious of the common dude’s biggest concern: the clinger. Be prepared that any woman you get involved with might develop feelings. It’s only natural. If you can’t handle the possibility, be very direct and create boundaries.
I DON’T WASTE TIME IN GETTING READY FOR EVENTS
What we really mean: It might be five minutes; it might be 45 minutes. Don’t worry about it.
What to do about it: You need to make a drink, pull out your phone and be prepared to pass the time with patience. We may actually shoot for five minutes, but we can’t account for obstacles like our planned outfit not fitting right, or our hair not cooperating.
I CAN GO WITH THE FLOW
What we really mean: We are pretty easygoing, as long as things go the way we want.
What to do about it: For the guy’s girl who will literally do whatever you want, good looks. But the majority of women like to have a little control, and often have their own interests outside of yours, so you should probably get to know us a little better. That way, your suggestions are in alignment with what we like. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice what you like or want to do, but it shouldn’t be something you know we’ll hate.
I DON’T PUT A LOT OF TIME INTO MY LOOKS
What we really mean: We don’t want you to think we’re fake, but yes, we keep up with our appearances.
What to do about it: If by not putting a lot of time into our looks means not dying our roots every two weeks, wearing fake eyelashes on the reg or getting Botox, fine. But many of us we do pluck, wax and shave. We do like to smell good, and we do like to wear clothes that make us feel good. You may not know it, but sometimes our tans are paid for and our glowing skin that’s makeup-free is the result of a damn good facials. Just embrace it.
I DON’T GET MAD EASILY
What we really mean: We won’t get mad, as long as it doesn’t piss us off.
What to do about it: We don’t want to be mad at you, but if you’re keeping something from us because you think we might get mad, we’ll probably get mad. We also won’t let it go until you tell us what’s up, so there’s really no easy way out here. Just be honest and deal with the consequences.Read More
Relationship runs deeper waters beyond sex and money. It takes a whole lot of work; discipline, commitment and trust. It goes above the manuals, your previous knowledge, and understanding and learning a new person, in every new relationship you go into.
Below, find seven strategies for strengthening your relationship, none of which take more than 10 minutes.
Try 'mindful conversation':
Here's how it works (one of you can be "A" and the other can be "B"):
1. A talks and B listens for a set time period (say, three minutes)
2. B responds with, "What I heard you say is …"
3. A gives feedback and B responds until A is satisfied.
4. A and B switch roles.
It might be awkward at first, but it gets easier over time.
It's a habit most couples could stand to adopt. According to IKEA's "" report, while most people surveyed say it's important to , far fewer people report showing this kind of physical affection before heading out the door.
She writes that thanking her husband for something as small as fixing a leaky faucet ended up improving her overall marriage.
As Business Insider's , psychologists have known for a while that couples who express gratitude toward each other are more likely to stay together. In fact, thanking your partner even once can bring you two closer months later.
That's possibly because a single act of gratitude of gratitude and generosity: You thank your partner, so your partner feels appreciated and invests more in the relationship, which in turn makes you feel more grateful to them.
There are two steps:
1. Each person writes down all the family responsibilities they're currently taking care of.
2. Each person shares which of those responsibilities they enjoy, and which they don't.
The point is to figure out how much of the burden you're really shouldering, and to figure out if you can "swap" some chores so everyone's doing the things they enjoy.
"I visualize the other person in the next room. I remind myself that this person is just like me, wants to be free from suffering just like me, wants to be happy just like me, and so on. And then I wish that person wellness, happiness, freedom from suffering, and so on.
"After just a few minutes of doing this, I feel much better about myself, about the other person, and about the whole situation. A large part of my anger dissipates immediately."
As Orbuch describes it in her book "," the rule is a "daily briefing in which you and your spouse make time to talk about anything under the sun — except kids, works, and household tasks or responsibilities."
For example, you might want to ask:
• Do you think you are/were closer to your mom or dad? Why?
• What age do you feel like inside? Why?
• What do you think are the top-three worst songs of all time?
• What is the one thing you want to be remembered for?
According to Orbuch, learning new information about your partner makes things feel fresh and new again, and "mimics the emotional and physical state you were in during the first few years of your marriage."
In his 2014 book, "," psychologist Nicholas Epley cites research suggesting that . (Epley had a personal experience in which his wife bought him his least favorite ice cream flavor, thinking he'd love it.)
So Nicholas puts forth a simple solution: Don't assume
you know everything about your partner. Ask questions and listen to the