He's Never Going To Read Your Mind And You Should Stop Wanting Him To
Over a year ago, I created a survey on my old dating blog asking readers to share the number one issue in their relationship. Just a week ago, I received a new response. This reader ticked off the following two concerns:
- I'm not so skilled at speaking up for what I want and need. I wish he would just get me without me having to explain anything.
- He's great--truly a good guy--but my relationship is not fulfilling.
It's not a coincidence IN THE LEAST that these two answers were from the same person.
You don't speak up for what you want, you're not going to get what you want. And then, by definition, you're not going to be fulfilled.
But if he could read your mind, it wouldn't work out in your favor.
If he could read your mind, it would take personal power away from you. As it stands now, you are THE ONLY person responsible for your happiness and fulfillment. You. That gorgeous babe staring back at you in the mirror.
If he could read your mind, it would be cheating. You're asking to take the easy way out.
And nobody grows into the person they want to be by taking the easy way out.
Because telling people what you need is sometimes TERRIFYING.
I get it, I haaaaate having to put myself out there and actually state what I need. It's a part of revealing who I truly am, and what I truly want. Which requires being vulnerable. Which sucks.
Because if you're vulnerable, if you truly bare your soul -- even the tiniest bit -- then you face potentially being rejected FOR BEING YOU.
Think about it: If you're not you (if you're putting on some act, hiding a part of you, playing into what you think he wants) and he rejects you, it hurts like .05% less. Still hurts like a muthaf*cka, but it hurts a bit less.
Somewhere in your consciousness, you know you weren't really being yourself, and so you can justify and brush off the rejection as not a rejection of YOU but a rejection of a CHARACTER you played. That creates some distance, that means you don't have to internalize the pain of being cast aside.
But if you take a risk, and speak up and put yourself out there and tell the truth AND HE STILL walks away.... Well, that's personal.
Or so it would seem.
Obviously, the helpful response here is for me to tell you that if he rejects you for being you, if he rejects you for being honest, then it's the best thing IN THE WORLD for you because:
1) He wasn't the right guy and THAT'S OKAY, on to the next;
2) APPLAUSE for stretching yourself and staring fear and rejection in the face all "BYE FELICIA" style and going after what you want anyway;
Or I can go this route and give you more of the easy way out:
3) He's an asshole for not seeing how amazing you are. Screw him! (see? I can be that friend);
4) The truth is he's not really an asshole for rejecting you, he's just being true to himself and his needs as well. Can't fault him for that, for doing exactly what you're attempting, can you? (Your pragmatic, give-it-to-you-with-the-realness friend is back from her vacay. Sorry.)
It's an exercise in going after what you want in life. And it's something you will ALWAYS have to practice -- asking for what you want. In your relationship, in your career, in your friendships.
The more you practice, the better you get. And sure enough, one day you'll ask the right guy and LO AND BEHOLD, he'll immediately say yes to who you are and what you need.
So, how do you ask for what you want when you'd rather DIE?
Figure out what exactly you need (in 3 words or less), plan it out in your head, speak it out loud to yourself in the mirror, down a bottle of wine, approach him over dinner, internally freak out as every line you memorized promptly abandons you, ignore your rapidly pounding heart, rip the bandaid off and blurt it out. Finish with more wine. Cross you frickin' fingers that he responds positively, or at the very least, compassionately even if he can't give you what you need. Make graceful exit if not.
Find more wine.