The bottom line is this: Once you communicate, he feels recognized for his effort, knows what you need and expect, and you are both agreeing to whatever resolution is reached together.
3. Finally, if your needs are not being met, it’s time to learn how to set boundaries. For many women, this is the most difficult part of self-care. One of my clients shared a story yesterday in which an online date ultimately became “bad” because when leaving the coffee shop, her date recognized his car had been towed. Instead of politely excusing herself from the impending car conflict (setting a boundary), she felt obligated to be part of his crisis management team. He called his mom (?!), wildly complained about the $200 fee he had to pay to get his car back, and whined for hours while they drove in her car searching for the car, an ATM machine etc…
Meanwhile, my client, who had only known this man for one hour (give or take a few exchanged emails and texts) prior to the car adventure, spent the entire time she was with him fantasizing about how she might exit the drama without “hurting his feelings.” The result was that not only did she see a part of him he most likely didn’t want to share on a first date, she became annoyed with herself for not speaking up. She felt bad she could not SET the boundary immediately.
Had she followed steps #1 and #2 above, it could have been simple from the get-go. (e.g., “Thank for a great time and buying me coffee. It’s such a drag your car was towed. I am going to get to the rest of my day now, and look forward to hearing how it turns out when we talk next.”) Instead, she wondered why he didn’t excuse her, politely releasing her into the streets of Los Angeles to return to the live she loves.
In short, she expected him to read her mind. It’ time to stop playing the blame game and understand that men are NOT, as dating expert, Alison Armstrong states, merely “hairy women.” They deserve to know what you want so that they have an opportunity to deliver. It’s that simple. Men can’t EVER read your mind.
Interested in learning more? Check out www.datingwithdignity.com!