The only way for you to get your needs met by the other person is to talk to them about what you need.
Neither sex is a mind reader after all, so if you aren’t talking, chances are your needs aren’t being met.
But there is one more crucial part about communicating in a relationship – making sure that what you are saying is actually understood by the other person.
We all interpret things and hear things differently. Don’t believe me?
Read about my experience with a girl named Megan that I briefly dated.
The Importance of Communication
Taking Things Slow
I began dating Megan in late Fall of 2010.
She lived in the city and since I didn’t we usually saw each other on the weekends.
During our first date, we were eating dinner and the topic of “taking things slow” came up. She really didn’t go into detail about why and since it was our first date, I didn’t feel comfortable enough to dig deeper. I figured when the time is right, I’ll get the entire story.
Fast forward a month later and I am a single man.
What went wrong?
Well, I took things slow.
Too slow in fact.
It turns out that “take things slow” to her meant sleep with her on the second date. To me, “take things slow” meant wait a few dates after the third date to make the move.
This is what I meant when I said we all hear and interpret things differently.
“Taking things slow” meant completely different things to each of us.
If you are a fan of The Bachelor, you saw the importance of communication play out on recent episode.
One of the bachelorettes, Andi, was upset with The Bachelor, Juan Pablo and she ended things with him. He continued to tell her “It’s OK” as she was explaining to him that she was going home and wanted nothing to do with him.
Juan Pablo saying “It’s OK” simply meant that it was OK that she felt the way she did and she shouldn’t feel bad for hurting him.
All she heard was “It’s OK” as in, I don’t care that you are leaving.
She heard this phrase and took him as being cavalier, when he really wasn’t trying to be that way at all.
Make Sure You Are Understood
While I still maintain that digging into the topic of “taking things slow” was not ideal during the first date, it shows how two people can conclude two very different things from a simple statement.
For example, we recently needed an electrical outlet changed at the house and I told my wife that I could do it.
She said surprisingly, “You can do that?”.
By saying this, she was simply impressed that I knew how to replace an outlet. She thought an electrician needed to be called.
But what I heard was that I was not capable of completing the job.
Unlike with Megan, we actually talked about this with each other.
I told her how I heard her statement and she explained her point of view. After talking, I understood she meant no harm from it and she understood how I interpreted what was said.
We’ve both moved on and it has actually become a joke now.
Had we not discussed it, it might have led to a fight at some point.
No matter how small it seems, it’s important that you talk and communicate in your relationship.
But even more important is that you both are on the same page, understanding what the other person meant by what they said. You never know when something small will grow into something larger.
When in doubt, talk about it and ask more questions. Ask the other person to explain what they meant by the phrase they used and explain to them how you interpreted it.
No harm will come from this, just a better understanding and a deeper, more connected relationship.
For those of you curious about what exactly Megan meant by “taking things slow”, I found out during the breakup.
When the relationship was ending and we were talking more about her idea of “taking things slow” (the reason why she was ending the relationship was because I didn't sleep with her yet) she told me how she needs sex at least five times a day and how she has a set list of guy “friends” that she rotates through like clockwork.
She needed to take it slow to figure out how to fit me into the rotation and to slowly weed the other guys out of rotation.
It’s been three years and thinking about that still blows my mind.
What’s Your Opinion?
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