Dating Investigator

Dear Mr. Gatson,

I’m not sure if this is the right email to send this to. Feel free to correct me if not. Below is my entry/ question to your blog.

I’ve gone out on a few dates this year and each time I’ve noticed a few small things. For example, one gentleman I noticed when I ask him questions he’s a bit vague with his answers. I called him out on it and he said “I don’t come out and say a lot in the beginning.” I replied “I’m not asking you anything too personal just some things to assist me in getting to know you better” He acted like I was attempting to access VIP passes into his traumatic childhood (not sure if his childhood was traumatic, just saying).

There was another instance where I noticed a guy’s phone in big bold print read “19 new messages”. To me, that says you have too much going. Although I do not know what the messages said or any other information regarding them, but he’s also inconsistent with follow-ups such as texts and returning calls. I do not jump at every opportunity to “call them out” I mostly keep my “findings” to myself. I acknowledge the fact that I think a lot and it causes me to sometimes over think things. I also, give up on people too quick. I just refuse to be that girl that overlooks something and swear I did not see it coming. I can’t deal with the foolishness and games. What is this all about? Am I looking too much into this or are these nuggets of information good to keep in the back of my mind? Should I consider all these red flags? Help a sistah out. 🙂

Dear Ms. Dating Investigator,

Dating allows you the opportunity to get to know someone better instead of jumping into a relationship. It is an investment that you are making if you plan on having a long term relationship. When you take time to be respectful and trusting someone while dating is when things evolve into a natural relationship of getting to know the person. You do not need to be aggressive with dating; it should be an enjoyable experience. Initially when you start dating someone it is the time to get to know someone before getting into a relationship.

Getting to know the person and who they really are is very valuable. When getting to know someone it is important to listen with empathy, confide your needs in a caring and positive manner. Personally I am very private about my personal and intimate details. Some things I am not willing to discuss with people I am meeting for the first time. A few examples of things that I am not willing to share when I first meet someone: details about my personal life, sexual questions, family, and my finances. Yes, to know someone well requires communication, and consistency.

This week I was giving a friend some advice on how guys like to have a conversation with a woman and being treated as well. It is important to be congruent in conversing with a minimum of hidden messages. You have to think about others feelings and rights before you speak. Yes, you want to be assertive, and honest with him. But you do not want to say or ask things that will hurt them. Your communication styles impact on how others interact with them. Identify which communication pattern below you are using when you are addressing him.

Now for Mr. 19 messages I would say maybe he has a lot of family and friends and a very demanding career that doesn’t allow him to respond to everyone, but you stated that he has a habit of not responding to text, and returning phone calls. Human nature, we do more non-verbal communications than verbal communications, so follow their actions. This is the most significant. Pay attention to their facial expressions, responses, and reactions to certain questions and situations. It is important to recognize patterns in ourselves and others and how they keep us disconnected.

A close friend of mine told me the other night that I needed to start detaching. Detaching requires that you get your ego disentangled from his emotions and especially from his actions and their results. It requires that you allow him to deal with the consequences of his behavior; you don’t save him from any of his pain. You will continue to care about him, but you don’t take care of him. You allow him to find his own way, just as you are working to find yours.

Learning to say and do nothing has been a learning experience for me. Stop managing and controlling him means not helping and not giving advice. It requires learning to say nothing and do nothing. It means stop watching. Pay less attention to your personal life. As long as you are focused on changing someone over whom you are powerless (and we are all powerless over changing anyone but ourselves). Nobody will ever change in the face of pressure. Courageously face your own problems and shortcomings.

Questions I would like for you to think about:

  • What can you anticipate if you become more appropriately assertive in your communication?
  • Are you ready to date?
  • Are you dating for a purpose?
  • If so what is the purpose?

Types of Communication

Assertive Behavior: Straight forward, honest and direct expression of needs, thoughts, and feelings.

Typical Result: Respect of self and other resulting in greater likeliness of message of being heard.

Aggressive Behavior: Expression of needs, thoughts, and feelings that are done in such a way as to control the exchange of information.

Typical Result: Lack of respect for the other party and less likely those expressions will be heard in a productive manner.

Non-Assertive Behavior: expression of needs, thoughts, or feelings in such a way that others take priority or no expression of needs, thoughts or emotions.

Typical Result: Your concerns are ignored if heard at all.

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