Dating and "The Silent Treatment": How Do You Deal?

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The dreaded silent treatment.

Is there anything worse or more uncomfortable than the morning after an amazing date? Your phone hasn't rung or buzzed once with a cute message or a quick "good morning". It just sits on your nightstand mocking you.  You check it like grandma used to check her kettle on the stove. And we all know what they say about a watched kettle...UGGGH!

Silence, it turns out, is just a powerful as the written word. Does the term “deafening silence” ring a bell? Silence can hurt more than words in some cases. Why? Well, mostly because it forces you to draw on a place you don’t like. It is a state of being in which most women would rather have a bad hair day than experience: speculation. One moment you are this amazingly confident and sexy woman having the time of your life with this great guy and  the next you find yourself thrust into a world of doubt, unanswered questions, and a perpetual feeling of uneasiness.

How could such an emotion be so powerful? What happened to you while you slept? How could that confident woman turn on herself overnight? The simple answer is silence.

 

quiet things
Image: Derrick Tyson via Flickr

We all need to be reassured that it's ok to put ourselves out there emotionally. We got super dressed up, had waxes in places we don't really WANT to wax, shopped for that sexy new outfit he couldn't stop staring at, and we definitely thought about inviting him in. Men don't understand that a good date doesn't end on the doorstep. We would talk and kiss you all night if we could. We never run out of things to say and ways to express ourselves. Well, now that I write this, I can see why some men may get exhausted by us!

So back to the silence that is killing your morning groove. What are you supposed to do? That kettle ain't boiling on it's own! Could you actually pick up the phone and ask the reason for his silence? That’s risky. Think about that choice carefully. (I hope you all can appreciate my sarcasm when you read it). What could it hurt? Rejection? Possibly, but with all this speculation running amuck, you’ve already decided on the outcome. So I say just go for it. Like mom always used to say, "Use your words".

I say this because yesterday I reached out and used my words. I told someone I missed him. Well it was a text, if I'm being honest, but I reached out. Brownie points for the effort? I did break the deafening silence and the speculation (if it was mutual), and got a conversation going. Does it really matter how it happened?

Well, yes, it sort of does. I am an adult and should be acting like one. If I didn’t have a cell phone, internet, or email how would I have handled it? In 7th grade, I would have written a note, folded it like a heart, handed it to my best friend who handed it to her boyfriend who handed it to his best friend who had to spend at least 10 minutes trying to unfold it without it ripping. When he finally did get it open, he would be confronted with a bunch of checkmarks. I gave the poor guy homework. Great job 7th grade me- way to hook him in! I should have just walked up to him and asked him if he wanted to get a pizza instead of spending hours with my own speculation.

Silence, like words, has an impact on people, from the givers of the silent treatment to those on the receiving end. What I learned today is that it’s ok to break the silence if speculation is winning the day. Taking a chance and using your words can make all the difference on both “ends of the line”.

Annmarie

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