Let's talk about communication in the early stages of dating.
Usually we don't feel like we can sit down and talk about an issue we’re having one or two weeks into dating someone.
So what do we do when something doesn't feel right?
There are many different situations that can come up, and what I want to tell you is I don't believe that communication is something that you save for later.
You can actually communicate the way that you want to communicate from the very first date.
In fact, communicating when something isn’t working for you is a really great opportunity to see how somebody reacts.
If they have a really negative reaction, get defensive, or shut you down, that's a clear sign to not date that person anymore.
One of my clients went on three or four dates with somebody and things were going really well.
On one of those dates, they increased their physical and emotional intimacy, and it was feeling great.
But then the next day the person she was dating was really busy. He didn't text her to check in, and he was pretty much unavailable all day.
After that progression of the connection, my client was feeling really anxious. She didn’t like that their texting hadn't really increased over the period of time that they had been dating, especially as their emotional connection was increasing.
She felt like it was too early to ask for that, but at the same time she felt anxious and uncomfortable in the connection.
When this happens, we are often trying to work things out in our head instead of working things out with the other person.
I suggested that she just let him know what their communication felt like to her.
It can be as simple as saying, “Hey, on our last date we had such a great time. I felt like we got a lot closer and I really enjoyed that closeness. And then the next day, it felt kind of distant. There wasn't really a check-in and that just didn't feel great to me.”
If you’re thinking of communicating something like that to another person, imagine yourself receiving that communication.
If somebody said those words to you, would you tell them to just get over it?
You wouldn't react that way.
It seems so reasonable. It's a bit vulnerable. It shoes some good communication skills, which are very impressive. It also shows some courage for them to even share that with you.
My client did end up communicating how she felt to him, and he reacted really well.
He clarified why he wasn't as available that day and he said that he meant to ask her what her expectations were around communication and texting in general. They worked it out and things felt a lot better.
Long story short, now they're exclusive and exploring their connection further.
This is just one of the millions of examples of dating turbulence that is always going to be a part of your journey with every person that you date.
There will always be dating turbulence in the beginning. It comes up when there are different expectations for how to behave or how to meet the needs of the other person.
Communication is what we use to bridge that gap.
If you're reading this and you're thinking, “I could literally never do that,” you're definitely not alone in that experience.
It's a skill to know what to say and to build the confidence to be able to say it.
That's where support and coaching can be really helpful.
One thing that gets in the way of us communicating things is feeling like we are super demanding, and in at least 90% of cases, it's just not true.
The things that people are asking for are usually things that are essential for creating a loving relationship.
A lot of people think about what their relationship needs to keep going rather than what it needs to thrive.
For our relationships to thrive, we have different standards for how we communicate, how we treat each other, how we show up, how much we invest, and how much time we spend together.
We want there to be an excess of love, affection, and care in the connection.
The way we do that is by being that partner, and by filtering out partners who are easily overwhelmed by the idea of doing that.
There are people out there who can easily do those things without a lot of effort, and who really enjoy doing the things that help the relationship thrive.
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This content was originally published on the Women's Dating and Confidence Podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.