Saturday, February 7, 2015

Published 10:30 AM by with 0 comment

I Can't Hear You

Dating and communication, I can't hear you | Yes, We Rise

The trouble with dating is communication

Dating is very difficult for me. I often find myself friending good men because I don’t want to take the risk of loving. There, I said it. I have a collection of male friends who are marriage ready and will make great husbands, but I allowed them to be exclusive friends. We laugh, love and some have lived with me – all in friendship. No judgment. No lies. No secrets. Forget your girlfriends, my guys will outdo them in a heartbeat. Some will shop. Some will travel. All will aid in relationship mentoring and monitoring. AND they are men, so they know men.  When I reconnected with an acquaintance, he made it known he was interested. Our journey began . . . until he told me I was a horrible communicator.


I pride myself on being able to communicate. I am a life coach. I am a mother. I am a teacher. I am a friend. Heck, I am a woman. All women do is talk, right?


I am a woman with male friends. I am a woman who was groomed by my father. All of them have told me that I am ideal because I don’t talk too much. Their problem – women talk . . . all the time. I have prided myself on being timely in conversations – I don’t have to dominate. I don’t have to be the center of attention, but I have often felt with women, I don’t offer enough. Often, I sit in awe of how much women talk – about nothing. I never have anything to contribute. Few want to discuss Bunche’s theory on Black leadership. Even fewer want to discuss the feud between Booker T and WEB. It is rare that I can have a real conversation with women about football or basketball . . . outside of attending the Super Bowl or All-Star Weekend.
Recently, I reconnected with a male friend. We are silly together. He appears to like me. Our conversations are cool, easy; free. 

Or so I thought.

He told me a few days ago after talking to me for several weeks, he does not know anything about me. I was taken aback. I was shocked. The series, Sex and the City has an episode where Carrie meets Jack Berger and on their almost first date, she tells too much – reveals too much of her emotional baggage and he literally runs away from her. She, for the rest of the episode, obsesses over how she gave too much up front.

I am that person. I do not give too much up front. I have nothing to hide, but it is never a good practice to tell everything. Right?  In the course of this conversation, he was adamant. He said, “If you want this, you will change your practice. It won’t have to be a long thought process. It will be tonight.”   Was that an ultimatum? I was shocked and hurt.

Over several hours, I reflected. He was right. I don’t share. I rarely tell people about me. When I worked in corporate setting, my supervisor told me she only knew 1) I was an only child, 2) my favorite color 3) and my birthday – only because she hired me.  I thought about that. Since he and I had been talking, I offered only that I have a child, I am divorced, and my location – but not even my specific location. Deeper, I told him my birth day, not the year. While he and I discuss several aspects of relationships – what I want – but not anything about me. He knew nothing of what makes me tick, happy, or my quirks. This bothered me. I reached out to other men I dated. They said they got to know me only because they spent time with me. They learned of me because of proximity . . . not conversation.

The difference with this is . . . we are at a distance. Communication is very important. Very. Dating long distance has its own set of issues and nuances – communication has to be clear, precise . . . it is a must. But as I thought about it, this is new. This is something that I am discovering. While I do not know the fate of us, I do know that he brought a very profound truth. A truth that could have compromised my past relationships, but no one was person or friend enough to tell me. While I thought I was open and honest, I was still holding back – I wasn’t telling them about me, how to love me and what I needed. I thought they would know because they would just know.  Crazy right?
As I thought about me, I wondered how many of my single friends are struggling with the same thing. Are we too guarded; too protective of ourselves that we are not allowing the man to get to know us? If we are, and if we find someone to point that out, will he wait for us to correct the behavior? As women, we always say the man isn’t ready for us – could it possibly be that we aren’t ready for him? Have we been too conditioned to hide or not be upfront with them?

Why are we hiding?

I understand the hurt, the past pain, and the losers. But I also understand that perhaps the right man may be missed as a result of our behavior. As a result of hearing him, I have decided to be open. While it was not immediate, I made great effort to let him in. I thought about it, reviewed it in my head – and decided to share. IT wasn’t much, but let’s hope it is a step in the right direction.Usually, I do not acquiese. I usually go about my way and think 'he isnt that into me', but this time that is not it. He asked, I failed to answer. That is not right. Is it? 

. . . As Free As I Wanna Be . . .

Still Goal D Locs


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