I haven't had a boyfriend since I was 16 and I'm 22 now. I'm dating this new guy for less than a month now, and though we both seem to want to make it work, I feel we have pretty different communication styles. We've also been through quite a lot during the past few weeks which we may need help getting over. I'm incredibly bad at dating, inexperienced in romantic relationships and honestly want this to work. What do I do?
posted by rhythm_queen to Human Relations (58 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I really like him! From the little I know him, he's sweet, he's incredibly smart, he's patient, he's hard-working and dedicated, fun-loving and adventurous just like me. He also puts in lots of time and effort to try to see me more, whether it be for a quick coffee or a beer or anything...He texts me all the time and we're in constant communication. I really like that, as I value communication over most things in a relationship.
However, we're both the same age and probably both immature with relationships. We've been on around 4-5 dates, and had some issues:
I've been overly emotional every time we've hung out, either weeping about his being distant or getting angry at something that I've assumed he's doing or not doing. It's my bad - I'm emotional and intense in general, and even 1 beer really exacerbates that. I have basically decided to quit drinking in general for a while and especially on our dates. The dates are otherwise super fun, we can talk for hours and I love getting to know him more and more.
We hung out recently and had a misunderstanding based on something relatively trivial, basically that I had to leave a lot earlier than I thought. I know he'd planned a really nice evening together, with dinner and all kinds of other fun things. It was sweet, but I live pretty far from him and had other commitments...I guess I estimated the time wrong. I told him I could stay longer, that I could make it work, but he kept saying "No, it's fine, you obviously need to be home for something, so it's fine." I apologized and asked him if he was OK with it, and he seemed incredibly defensive stating that he's 'fine' dozens of times.
Then he opened up. He said he can't handle how emotional I am (with the crying, the angry for no apparent reason, etc) and that we're both young professionals, we should have fun and have no drama, just enjoy each other's company. He'd said this before, I'll admit but I did get emotional again during the third date and though we did have a lot of fun (and he asked me to come over the very next day)I did not do very good 'self checking' when it comes to my emotions.
I conceded with everything he said. It's true that I overanalyzed everything he did and probably pre-judged him...just like guys often do to me. I said I was sorry, and he insisted he was fine. We talked/argued like this (no yelling of course, just talking) for almost 3 hours which we could've used making out. It was...depressing.
I didn't realize how depressing it was for him, though, until I left him and got onto the bus home. He basically texted me saying I wished I'd said 'fuck it' to my other commitments, saw that he really wanted me there. Well, why didn't he articulate that to me instead of saying that I'm fine 100s of times? O_O if he'd actually said that, I'd have been turned on and probably done it.
Kindness gets you way farther than defensive baiting, right?
Anyway, he was angry and I tried to pacify him and we have set up two more dates. I think we like each other a lot and I really appreciate his getting over my emotional outbursts. I want to make it up to him.
I feel like we need time apart to do that, though, if only not texting for a few days or something... I mean we just talked on the phone and he was cold, distant and made meanspirited jokes the whole time. And when I tried to call him out on it, asking how he's feeling, he insists he's over it and that I'm the one overanalyzing.
I don't understand what to do. I want to help make this work because he's a sweetheart, we're compatible (it rarely happens that I feel connected and attracted to someone AND that they can handle my energy and intensity)...We just have really different communication styles and are probably immature in relationships. What can I do to help him get over it, to let the relationship thrive rather than rot too quickly?
Our next two dates are alcohol-free and he keeps saying he really likes me and wants to see me again. There's no sex involved yet fwiw, and I appreciate him for taking his time with me even with the kissing. I can tell he doesn't want to screw this up either, he wants to give it a chance, but he doesn't maybe communicate his emotions very well and expects me to be a mind-reader, maybe.
It sucks that we're having this much trouble in the first few weeks of us dating. But I've certainly learned a lot about myself during this process...hope we can make it work 'cause I know it'd be great. How can I help him open up and tell me how he's feeling rather than bottling it in? How do I stop overanalyzing and start having more fun? What can I do to curb my emotions?
Overall, what are your thoughts on this? Thanks so much.