What we have here is a failure to communicate.
January 23, 2009 8:48 AM Subscribe
I find myself longing to be blunt about how I'm feeling and what I want in relationships, but I worry that I'll shoot myself in the foot if I don't play the dating game. Should I stop trafficking in ambiguity and try some plain dealing for a change?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I am an honest, straight-forward person who believes that life is a whole lot easier if you just say what you want/think and hope that the people you're talking to will respond in kind. I've managed to stay pretty close to this ideal in my friendships - however, when it comes to relationships, sometimes I worry that my style of communicating comes off as too pushy, clingy, unromantic, etc. I guess I've kind of internalized the negative stereotype of the nagging girlfriend who wants to talk about the relationship all the time. But does that stereotype exist for a reason?
To be clear: I realize that for a long-term relationship to be healthy, people's communication styles have to be compatible. But I'm wondering what the norm is. I don't want to weird anybody out! I'm particularly interested in that early, ambiguous time at the beginning of relationships.
A few months ago, a friend of mine who I'd had a crush on for a while dumped his long term girlfriend. Said friend and I went on a couple of ambiguous outings before I finally decided to just tell him I liked him. He said he wasn't ready to date again, but we did enjoy a month long period of flirting and sexual tension. When he decided to get back with the ex, he stopped messaging me, texting me, and inviting me places. This was for the best, as I needed a little while to get over him, but now I want to be friends with him again, and he's still keeping his distance. My impulse is to just ask, "Is there something up? Because I get the feeling you're uncomfortable about something and I want to let you know that I'm totally fine with being just friends with you." Is that out of line?
There is a new guy I like and who seems to like me. We went out on a date (or rather, we had dinner - who knows if it was a date) last week and I thought it went well, but my guy is the socially awkward type who I don't think would ever make the first move. Is saying "I like you. Do you like me?" unromantic? Pushy?
I feel like I frequently keep myself quiet about how I feel and what I want to say/do/know, and I wonder if that's actually for my own good. Maybe my straight-forwardness is an attractive quality to most people? (I know I love a guy who will just tell me straight-up what he's thinking.)
Or is the fact that this is even an issue a sign that I'm chasing after the wrong guys - that if we really clicked, chemistry and instinctive body language would do all the talking for us?
What do you think, HiveMind?