Early on in the dating process, we are so high on oxytocin that we just want to keep that good feeling going.  We want dating to be easy, fun and exciting. The last thing we want to do is rock the boat with uncomfortable talks.  

In general, people avoid uncomfortable talks, we do. We don’t speak up when we hear something in a conversation that is something we know we should speak up about we don’t want “hard feelings”, “negativity”.  We let it go. We avoid talks with our partners, kids, our boss, employees or co-workers, our family and even ourselves. We just avoid!

Combine our avoidance in everyday life with that of dating a new person and the stakes are high and our skills are already set to “avoid”.  It’s easy! We work off default. Let’s not rock the boat.

Until something happens. The boat is rocked!  Then we realize this person we are in a relationship with has a totally different view than ours. We are already emotionally attached and possibly physically and financially attached.  Now what? We are in a situation where we don’t know whether to stay or go. It’s a mess.

In our heads, we are wondering why this is happening, what could have gone wrong. Often, we feel blindsided.  It’s happening because no one wants to have the serious, uncomfortable talks.

This very avoidance of communication is why relationships often do not work.

Cheating is one of the topics no one wants to talk about, it’s one of the topics that often we don’t want to be honest about. We’d rather just assume.  We’d rather lie about it, brush it off, pretend it is totally a none issue. We assume the person has the same views as we do! After all, things are going so well.  

Then one day your partner or you do something that is upsetting to the other.  Arguments, breakups, hurt feelings turn a peaceful moment upside down.

It might be weeks, months or years later when you realize if you had only had this uncomfortable honest talk early on that this would have not happened.  You might have realized that you both were incompatible or needed to work out a solution that works for both of you. Hindsight is 20/20 right?

If we just learned skills that can help communicate our needs, desires, and dealbreakers we would feel more confident in our ability to avoid these issues from occurring. We would have stronger boundaries, more confidence in choosing a partner and feel better about our ability to have a healthy relationship.  Instead what we do is cluelessly make our way through dating and commitment and wait for the bomb to go off to deal with things. We just hope things work out.

Our dating lives would be more about being honest, authentic and choosing a compatible mate and less about pleasing someone to avoid rejection.  We’d simply just have the talks. As awkward and uncomfortable as they are, we’d do it anyway.

It’s easier to keep your wits about you and have the talks that are serious and possibly uncomfortable in the beginning before the entanglement than it is to have things blow up in your face because of lack of communication.  We do it backward.

It’s certainly not a garauntee that they will work out but you certainly have more skills and honesty in the relationship which builds a stronger foundation for working through things that come up.  As they are, you have cultivated an unstable relationship where avoidance is the status quo and you find yourself in a landmine.

It’s a choice!  You can choose to have the serious talks that might be uncomfortable and choose to have a more real experience in dating, instead of the fantasy.

Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash