Ahhh communication, it’s a wonderful thing, when it’s used and used properly for that matter. However when there is no direct communication, things can get rather tricky. When it comes to relationships and dating, communication is essential, but despite how necessary it is, you will find that this key element is often lacking.
I’ve had an interesting journey when it comes to communication, with my dating life in particular. For starters, I thrive on communication, I eat it up, its’ my forte! But the thing about communication is, it’s a two way thing, almost like a tennis match if you will. It’s not a one sided exchange, it takes two people to participate and when that occurs, it can be magnificent. However, when there’s only one person involved, it can become a train wreck.
In my past, dating was always a fun thing I enjoyed and looked forward to. However the one thing I dreaded was when the date that went well, left me feeling very little chemistry. Fun guy, but no mix. Of course it would follow with “Hey we should get together again!”, to which I would feel that uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach as I knew, this was not a match for me.
I hated delivering the dreaded news of “I’m not interested in you”, or “I don’t think this is going to work for me”. So instead of being true as to how I felt, I went on the second date. Now I love people and I love connecting with people, so it wasn’t like it was awful, however, it wasn’t clear communication on my part, to let the guy know that things would not be moving forward.
Over time, I’ve realized that not only is it not fair to the guy to not be direct in my communication, but it’s also not fair to me. By saying “yes” to that second date, I’m saying “No” to myself and my feelings. By loving myself, I am able to love others even more and with that, the “No’s” have to be apart of my vocabulary in dating.
You’d be surprised how much I thrive on direct communication as well. I’m not one for taking subtle hints, in fact most of the time, I’m oblivious to them. Time and time again, my friends and those close, have to clue me in by saying “Arica, hello, that guy is into you!” Whether I’m subconsciously ignoring it, or I’m just so engaged with the person that I’m not even thinking along those lines, whatever the case, I need direct communication.
Some of my best relationships, or dating escapades have been with men who have been clear and direct with me. One of the best, was with a guy who I met through a mutual friend, we went out on the basis of business, but little did we know, we were being set up. The flirtation that went on between us was very clear, mutually and we decided to see each other several times after that. His communication was very direct, as he openly shared with me his feelings and over time, we were in a relationship! One of my best relationships to this day!
While I’m encouraging Direct Communication, one safeguard I’d like to throw out there is this. Make sure that the connection is mutual. Pay attention to the signs. If the other party isn’t engaging with you, chances are they’re not interested and it’s a good time to move on. However, if there are mixed signals being thrown your way, Direct Communication is necessary. Assumption will get you no where.
I’ve been there, talking to a guy as a friend and in the midst of it, I found myself moving beyond friendship and into chemistry. What did I do? Rather then hoping that they knew what I was feeling, or expecting them to read my mind, I communicated directly what was going on. “Hey, I know we’ve been chatting for quite some time as friends. But if I’m being honest, I’m no longer just interested in you as a friend, but as something more.” Thankfully, he was feeling the same way and so we continued to be more direct with our feelings towards one another.
If rejection is a really hard one for you, as it is for most people, then take your time, however don’t place the burden of your own expectations on the other person. Once you feel safe enough to directly communicate with them, go for it, just don’t take forever. If they’re not interested, it’s not the end of the world, though it may feel that way in the moment. Move on and realize that you’ve grown stronger, by being true to yourself and courageous enough to share your vulnerability.
So if you’ve been wondering if Direct Communication is for you, let me solve your dilemma, it’s a prerequisite in any situation. Friendships, family and in Dating. Do yourself and the other person a favor…Be Direct!