It's counterintuitive but TRUE.
You know the whole "actions speak louder than words" story you’ve heard from love coaches and advice articles? This isn’t one of those articles.
I want to walk you through a few scenarios with the men of my past so that you can get a better understanding of what to listen for when you get into new relationships.
Scenario #1: He sat in my bed and told me he was scared of falling in love. He dives in fast and runs away just as quickly, but this time he thought it would be different, because he was actually comfortable enough telling me this.
We did dive in. He also ran just as fast. He did exactly what he said he would do.
We went on and off like this for over a year. And I should have listened….
Scenario #2: At the start of our second date, he turned to me and said, "You scare me. You’re probably everything I’ve ever dreamed of, but I’m not sure if I’m ready for you."
He pursued me anyway. We fell in love. We planned for marriage and kids. His actions were that of a man who was ready, he loved me and wanted to be with me and do whatever it took to make that work. He showed his love everyday.
I should have listened….
Scenario #3: "So you want the relationship, marriage and kids now?" he asked. "Yes!" I replied emphatically. "I don’t," he answered quickly.
That was during our first date.
Five minutes later, he went on to talk about the legacy he wanted to leave behind and how important family was to him. I asked if it meant leaving that legacy to his kids? He said, "Yes, I guess so."
Oh, he must be confused, I thought to myself. Those answers were pretty contradictory. I filed that off as a mental note and was open to seeing what happened next.
The actions he took in his pursuit of me were pretty much as perfect as it gets.
He planned dates, introduced me to his friends, and told his mother about me. He bought flowers, wrote me love letters and kissed me like he loved me. We planned a romantic vacation together, inspired one another and had the ability to be both silly and serious with each other.
So what happened? This time I listened…
As amazing as our relationship was, and anytime we’d talk about the future, his words contradicted his actions.
"I’m open to marriage, but I don’t believe in the constitution of marriage."
"I’m open to having kids, but I don’t think I ever really need a family."
In each of these scenarios, it was just as important to listen to their words, as it was to look at their action. Their actions showed their feelings, but the words revealed their beliefs.
It’s my belief that words hold weight. It’s the ability to set an intention in language and follow through in our actions that really separates the men from the boys.
Let’s be honest, that ability is what sets every person who is successful at something apart from those who are not.
Actions and words are equally important when building a healthy relationship. While his actions can tell you a lot for the words that are unspoken, it’s time to pay close attention to the words that are spoken.
Are you taking the time to really listen?
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This article was originally published at LoveLifeTBD.com. Reprinted with permission from the author.