Today’s blog is a guest post by Justin Campbell. Justin is a 40 year old single guy living and working in St. Louis. You can read more by him at his blog More Than Don’t Have Sex, where he writes about singleness, Jesus, the church, and how we can all be in it together.
Here are the words that no person wants to hear, “We need to talk.” Just typing it makes me cringe a little. This is because we know what is coming next and it’s not good. It means someone is about to have THE TALK. This could be called the “define the relationship talk” or what I call the “talk them into it talk”. It is always bad and never has to happen.
The truth is that if you have to have THE TALK you are probably screwed. When both people like each other there is a pretty natural flow. Now I don’t mean that you don’t talk about your relationship and what you are thinking. I’m talking about pretending you don’t know the truth and then trying to control it with a conversation.
This is different for men and women.
Let’s start with the ladies. Ladies can often feel the need for THE TALK a few months into the relationship or even after a few dates. Now if this is into the relationship this is probably the guys fault and we’ll get to that later. But ladies this is almost never a good idea. And I want to warn you, make sure you actually want to hear the answer before you ask for THE TALK.
If you are deep into a relationship (meaning months not a few dates) and the guy is not pursuing you or leading the relationship that’s bad news. It means one of two things. It may be that he is not that into you and is too passive, comfortable, or lazy to break up. It may also be that he has something going on inside of him that is keeping him from leading forward (this could be sin, woundeness, or just immaturity). I’ll admit I’ve been both those guys. No matter what it’s you can’t fix it.
You should indeed have a conversation here. But rather than create a dramatic moment that for sure will backfire, here’s a couple of ways you could approach it. You could just ask him calmly how he feels about the relationship, where he sees it going. You will know by his answer right? Then you can either give it a little more time or break it off.
Now, on the other hand if it is early on, after a few dates and you just aren’t sure (although honestly you probably know) then I think it’s ok to test it to get a better idea. Try making a plan further out in the future. What’s his reaction. Look, if a guy is into you, you’ll know 90% of the time. If you feel like he’s not it’s ok to bolt. If you really like him and he chases you down, then great. But if he doesn’t he was looking for a way out to begin with. Don’t lay your whole heart out there after a few dates. He hasn’t earned that. You are worth pursuing right?
And ladies. If there is someone you like who is not pursuing you, do not ask him out. Now I’m going to write a post soon on how you can help a guy you like ask you out. But even then you can only lead a horse to water. He has to want to go out with you.
Gentlemen we typically have the talk when we like someone but aren’t dating them. This is perhaps the most ridiculous idea ever. And yet I’ve done it. Many times actually. It hurts me more than you know to type that and I can tell you it does not work. It makes you desperate and unattractive.
Typically it happens like this. We have someone we’ve met (or even just seen around – heaven have mercy) and we aren’t dating them. We haven’t even really asked them out. Maybe we’ve been in a small group or we work with them or whatever. We’ve probably become “friends” with them (post coming soon). But we decide that now is the time to declare our intentions.
It seems almost noble and sort of “Christian” but I assure you it isn’t. All that is going to happen is you are going to put a huge amount of pressure on the situation. No matter what she says, it’s going to go bad. Look, here is how to find out if a girl likes you. Ask her out. If she says yes go on a short first date. If she says no then move on. Do not have THE TALK. For the love of all things, do not think that you are going to talk her into liking you.
Here’s what THE TALK really is. It is an attempt to avoid or change reality. You already know the answer.
So have you ever had THE TALK? Have you ever seen it actually work?