You know that situation where you’re sitting at home on the couch with your cutie watching re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy, and you’re like, “So, we’re kinda like MerDer, you know? Like, I like youuu, but I think you like meeee….”
[blank stare/dumb look from Cutie]
["begging the question" smile from you]
[reluctant and confused smile from Cutie]
[a "you know what I'm talkin' about" nod from you but Cutie still doesn't know what the heck you are talking about]
I’d call this the beginning of the negotiation phase of dating, where casual daters put the possibility of going further (or ending it) on the table. One party might have certain “conditions” — ”We can be exclusive but… I get to raid your fridge anytime I want.” Or you know, marriage if you’re one of “those.” Yikes!
I think in the “negotiation” phases of relationships, whether you’ve just started dating, dated for a while, or taken a break and are re-negotiating, there has to be transactions of feelings and thoughts i.e. communication. What I mean by that is… one person can’t be sending all the “I love you, I miss you” emails or texts, or even nude cellphone pics. And that’s a warning sign — if they’re not sending you nudies back, then your relationship is already on unstable ground.
At some point the person not reciprocating these thoughts, feelings, sentiments has to step up and say, “Look, I don’t feel the same way” or “Maybe I feel the same way, but right now I’m confused and need some time to sort out how I feel.” For goodness sakes! Do not leave it up to assumptions.
To that end, the person sticking their necks and hearts (and dignity) out there can either keep on sending mushy e-love letters, or what I recommend, leave that person alone to figure themselves out. But you have to communicate what you’re doing. I’ve had many situations where I say I need time to think and that person disappears without any acknowledgement.
Communication is key. I’ve had many girl friends say “he doesn’t do this or that” about their boyfriends. Well, did you tell him you wanted him to do that? If it’s debatable whether psychics can read minds or not, then it’s safe to say your boyfriend can’t read your mind.
Talk about it! But don’t talk about it too much. Say it once, say it clear. If you find yourself saying it too much, then you’re either super high maintenance and demanding too much or he’s not the right guy.
Note: The same could be said for the reverse situation. Ladies can be just as confusing as guys. Some guys are super ready for the next phase. Hasty, I tell you.