“Be who you are and be that well." - St. Francis De Sale
When I was younger, I had a timeshare with friends at the beach for nine years. Our weekends were filled with long, lazy days on the beach where stress was as foreign as pasta fagioli. The late afternoons were spent on the deck with frozen drinks that sometimes went on late in to the evenings before we would even think of going out for the night. On one particular night, my friends and I were having an especially good time; seeking fun elsewhere didn't even seem necessary. We kept with our routine though and headed for the bar. There were hundreds of people gathered there, but I was enjoying my friends so much I didn't really venture out of the corner we had claimed. Eventually I met a man, "Joe", but was really more interested in continuing the time with my friends. I bounced back and forth between my friends and "Joe" for a little while, with the lesser time and attention being spent on him. When I returned to him the last time, he was quiet, but what he said endeared him to me instantly!
He told me the time I had arrived. The time! He knew the actual moment I had walked into the restaurant! I asked my friends what time we had arrived, and he was right! I remember still being lost in his last comment when he continued that he had been waiting all night long to talk to me. I was the only person in the place he wanted to talk to and now that I was finally standing there before him, he did not know how to talk to me. I did not walk away so quickly after that and when I did, I made sure "Joe" was with me the whole night.
In marital sessions, one of the things clients hear me say repeatedly is, “Talk outside of your head.”
The whole world makes sense inside our heads, but we tend to only give people part of the picture, assuming the rest is known or understood. This tendency is often amplified greatly in dating. We can over examine our thoughts, get in our own way and divulge even less of what we're really thinking and trying to say. The scenario above could have turned out very differently. Truth be told, I had little, if any, interest in "Joe" even though every other woman in the place seemed to. He stood 6'5” with brown wavy hair and had the profile of Christopher Reeves. Because of his striking good looks, I mistakenly assumed he would be arrogant and shallow. Nothing could have been further from the truth. He tried in no way to impress me, which would have been a definite turn off. On the contrary, when he showed his vulnerability, I saw him in a completely new light.
The irony is this: So often we exasperate ourselves trying to find just the right thing to say, whereas if we only would say what we are truly thinking, we would be received much better.