A couple of days ago a friend told me that it was okay to express disagreement and your needs even in front of those who seem to be amazing and you are terrified of losing. Dah bitch! -you may be thinking-What a wonderful realisation! I know this seems obvious however how do you assert that without being labelled as paranoid or obsessive? How do you actually know you aren’t being any of those things?
Too good to be true
Plenty of us navigate the wonderful yet complicated world of online dating. You meet hundreds of guys daily and you don’t know anything about them. They can become your future husband, the best one night stand ever, the funny guy with the small penis, a rapist, the love of your life, another dick(head) in your list or the worst first date ever. And what’s the only way to know? Try.
I recently met a guy -and I think this may be the first blog I write about someone while I am still dating that someone, I hope-. He was too perfect to be true. Smart, caring, thoughtful, educated, cultured, sexy, attractive, mature, honest -perhaps too much?-. But I am an overthinker and I suffer from anxiety so I had to start looking for issues. Why is he giving me so many explanations about stuff? Why does he like me? Why is he busy every weekend-even if so am I-? Why is he so caring? Is this a strategy to get me in bed? Three weeks are gone and I am still wondering all these things.
After three amazing dates, I was still feeling insecure and a sense of distrust. I am usually quite a trusting person so I turned to my friends for help. “Girls, why don’t I trust this guy? I know he is great, like come on he can’t be making up all this! what is happening to me?” I got all sorts of opinions -mostly based on their own experiences and insecurities-. Those ranged from “oh he is definitely lying and married with kids” to “babe trust him, you are being paranoid” passing through “bitch, you are just like him, maybe you met your match”.
After a few days I realised none of this mattered. Their opinions didn’t matter, however my feelings and doubts did. Afterall it is me who is going to engage in a relationship with him. For once, I had decided to hold. I made a decision to stay and bare with the unpredictability and the pain and not “confess” my fears or doubts to him. I decided to hold because often I rush and run and I am quick at making assumptions and creating problems to push people away as a result of past toxic relationships. I want a resolution – quick!- wherever it may be, so I push men for it. I create all this distrust in my head so I have a reason to escape. So this time I didn’t escape or pushed him away, I held. I held the thoughts in my head -and in my friends WhatsApp’s and in my therapist’s book-. But I held.
After three weeks holding and trying to not express my so called “fears” or “issues from the past”, I decided I had had enough. Even if this guy was the best thing ever and speaking my truth would have ruined the relationship I had to. Because if he is going to be the one, he has to understand and hear my concerns. So, on a freezing Saturday morning I finally felt ready to face it. I expressed my doubts or concerns without blaming or fearing. I did so without guilt and without blame. Something had changed, I did not express it with the urge of confession neither with the fear of being dumped. I did it with the confidence that all I had was myself, he was a potential; a motherfuckingly great potential yet a potential. I did it because I realised that if I wanted the relationship to progress I had to honour the truth I was feeling.
I have been told for years that I need to hold back, that I can’t let “them” know what I am thinking or feeling, that I have to play games and not let the past affect me. I can confidently say that that’s all bullshit, absolute fucking bullshit. The past affects us all. It’s there and it will always be. however, we can use it to learn or we can let it bring us down. In this occasion, I used my past as a lesson. I held for 2 weeks. Then I made the decision of speaking my truth. I breath before sending the text and I phrased it with absolute delicacy to express what I was feeling without making any accusations or assumptions. And baby, it felt good.
Women are educated to hold, to wait, to not speak their truth for the fear of losing a potential husband or lover; or to come across as psycho or desperate. The reality is I am not buying into that. I have the right to express my concerns or my needs or dislikes in a relationship as soon as I fancy without being labelled as any of those things. All parties in a relationship have past baggage, insecurity, fears and concerns and not expressing them will only lead to failure.
In my opinion, a relationship has three foundations: love, respect and trust; with one objective: growth. And those three foundations cannot exist within the relationship unless they exist within yourself: self-love, self-respect and self-trust. Speaking your truth, setting boundaries and expressing your needs are the deepest roots of self-love, self-respect and self-trust.
So speak your truth, set your boundaries and express your needs. The right person will always welcome it, appreciate it and honour it.