Asking for What You Want in a Relationship

Asking for What You Want in a Relationship

Asking for What You Want FINAL

If You’re Too Afraid to Ask for What You Want… how will you ever get it?

Have you ever opened your heart to someone who HURT or DISAPPOINTED you but were too afraid to say something? Did you worry you might seem NEEDY or ANGRY and push the other person away? I get it. It gets easier and easier to say nothing and hope the other person senses something is WRONG and brings it up so you don’t have to.

My client, Melanie, found herself in a situation like this. She’d finally gotten the GUTS to end a 5-year relationship where she’d been JERKED AROUND by a man who was INCAPABLE of committing.

She was visiting family in New York and decided to give Bumble a whirl. Before she knew it, she’d booked TWO DATES for the same day!

Dude #1 was so hot she didn’t think there was any way Dude #2 could compare. Boy was she WRONG! As Jack strode across the restaurant in his faded jeans, cowboy boots, and beat-up leather jacket, Melanie COULDN’T BELIEVE her eyes.

She and Jack had the kind of magical, instantaneous connection everyone DREAMS OF. It wasn’t long before he was holding her hand, staring into her eyes and they felt like they were the only TWO PEOPLE in the room. Their second date was even more magical.

Mel flew home, expecting things to fizzle… but they DIDN’T. Jack texted her every day throughout the day. He told her he had spoken about her to several of his friends. They planned a 4-day ISLAND GETAWAY while she was home in January after the holidays. Really. Things could not be going better…

Or could they? Some friends remarked they thought it odd that Jack texts but NEVER CALLS. It doesn’t bother Mel, but still she ‘hinted’ a couple of times that she would love to hear his voice. He hasn’t called, and she’s TICKED OFF because she feels he isn’t listening to her. She said it doesn’t matter, but it MATTERED enough that she brought it up in our session!

This is where her resentment towards Jack began.

The next disappointment wasn’t long after. He forgot her birthday. All day long they texted back and forth, but he NEVER MENTIONED it once. When she posted something about it on Instagram, he texted her immediately. She was hurt. Badly. He had to have known. After all, they’d joked about what a coincidence it was that his mother’s birthday was the day after hers. Mel thanked him for the BIRTHDAY WISHES via text, but said she was exhausted and would reach out the next day. She knew he’d notice that her behavior was uncharacteristic.

Mel never told Jack she felt hurt because he’d forgotten her birthday, and her RESENTMENT DEEPENED.

Then, came the THIRD BLOW, the one that landed her in my office. Mel went on Bumble and saw that Jack was still active on the site. To say that she was devastated is an understatement. But, because they’d never talked about BEING EXCLUSIVE, she didn’t feel she had a right to say something.

I suggested she tell Jack she was on the site and, when she saw that he was ACTIVE, she realized that she felt uncomfortable knowing he was still seeing other people. After all, they were growing closer and she was feeling INCREASINGLY VULNERABLE.

Mel agreed that she needed to say something, but she WASN’T READY to talk about it. She said she preferred to say something when she went home in January, but that wasn’t for another month. I urged her to discuss it now before ANY DAMAGE was done, but she hemmed and hawed at my suggestion.

“Mel, here’s what’s going to happen if you don’t talk about it,” I said. “If you don’t FEEL SAFE, you’ll start to SHUT DOWN and emotionally distance yourself. He won’t know why, but he’ll sense that SOMETHING’S WRONG. Maybe he’ll bring it up, maybe he won’t. But, if you start to get passive-aggressive, you could wind up pushing him away. I’ve seen this happen too many times.”

“You’re right,” she said. “That’s already happening. Intellectually I understand that he’s done NOTHING WRONG, but I still feel hurt and angry and I’m PULLING AWAY.”

When Mel left, she said that she would book an appointment for the following week so I could help her write a text to Jack. I haven’t heard from her since, so I don’t know what happened. I hope she says something to him. At some point, if she is going to have the kind of OPEN, HONEST, loving relationship she’s looking for, she is going to have to learn how to ask for what SHE WANTS.

She just has to learn how to ask in the RIGHT WAY. She can’t LASH OUT in anger or blame. She needs to speak from love and with the intention of bringing them CLOSER TOGETHER, and she needs to make it a request, not an ultimatum. Instead of saying, “You need to STOP SEEING other women.” She needs to say, “Would you be OPEN TO not seeing other women?” It needs to open up a dialogue, instead of being a monologue.

Melanie is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and MY GUESS is that Jack will agree to her request. But if he doesn’t, he’s probably not the RIGHT GUY. And you know what? She already invested 5 YEARS in the last one. So, it would be better to find that out sooner THAN LATER.
XO,
LISA

P.S. For more dating insights, check out my Free Online Workshop!

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