Dating the strong, silent type.

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He doesn't tell me how he feels. About me.

He tells me how he feels about a lot of things - the entertainment industry, acting, television shows, movies, L.A. drivers... Not so much with the me. And the feelings. And the verbal communication of such.

When we started dating, he was clear. Clear about wanting to date just me, clear about boyfriend/girlfriend. Now, he's grown silent.

Yes, Yes. You can tell he's just not into me. We're looking at a class A, no doubt, sound the alarm, red flag here. It's all just that simple.

Humor me. Let's pretend that's not what it is.

Monday night I slept over his place, and I actually got "actions speak louder than words." As in, you're here, so clearly I want you here. Which is not nothing, but here's the thing (I thought about later): Actions speak in the now and in the now only. Actions don't speak to the future. And they're open to misinterpretation. Actions aren't necessarily clear and indisputable.

"Actions speak louder than words" reminds me of that old adage, "Well, I married you, didn't I?" And NEVER were lamer words spoken than those.

Which brings me to something I spoke to a friend about recently. Single in your 30s, I'm betting you've got dates 1, 2, and 3 down. First Date Pro. Next few dates, no problem. Even a couple months. Falls apart, drink some red wine, Next!

How the hell one moves into a relationship and grows from there - months 5, 6, 7, 8... Not A Clue.

Oh, and then there's your friends who started dating after you AND ARE NOW ENGAGED. (I love you, J, I'm just making a point.) Or, started dating, immediately "knew it was right," moved across the country, MARRIED. (Love you, A, just making a point.) Or, Mr. Acquaintance A Year Ago, "Oh, I told her I loved her in the first month, we say it all the time." (I got nothin' for him.)

How can one help but feel like maybe it's *supposed* to be that easy? I think of my boyfriend and I, and I think, what's wrong with us??? Crap, is it supposed to be like that?

Not that I'm, personally, remotely like that.

I've realized that at 36, I have mastered the art of not letting words slip out of my mouth. I am master of that dysfunctional domain, if none other. And my Fortress of Heart Protection can only allow me to go so far. I mean, I've mentioned his complete lack of verbal expression of romantic feelings, right? Who wants to be out on that limb by themselves?

Still, I tried expressing myself in my own wacky way. Here's a tip: If you're thinking of doing something iffy-funny-romantic, asking a male friend how it will go over may be wise, but asking your male friend of 20+ years who has the exact same sense of humor and romance as you might not be quite as useful. Oh, I laughed at my funny/romantic all day... until it didn't seem to go over the way I'd hoped. Erg.

Sorry to be so obtuse. Maybe more specifics another time.

Anyway, maybe it didn't go over the way I'd hoped because the response I wanted wasn't there to be had. One hopes there's a Yet to be had in that sentence.

Or maybe the feelings are there, but remain unspoken for mysterious reasons known only to that finely frustrating cabal known as The Strong and The Silent. < Bashes. Head. Against. Wall. >

Not sure if I can deal with that.  Worried about it.

But. There Is Something Else. Irony?

Something that made me sit straight up in bed when it hit me.

There is a song I was going to sing at my wedding, years ago. And of all the various reasons I called my wedding off, one could pick this one as the tipping point as much as any other: I realized that this song that spoke so strongly to me wasn't about my ex-fiancé. That to sing it to him would be a lie.

It was "When You Say Nothing At All" by Alison Krauss.

Maybe there's hope yet.

~

Related Reading:

Chemistry, communication, and football (From happy to he couldn't possibly be thinking about buying a ring.)

The Romantic Hero Doesn't Talk About Money (Oh, there's a blog post I'm not ready to write.)

Family: The Importance of Regular Communication and How to Achieve It (Excellent point about the dinner table.)

3 ways your blog can get you a hot date (Don't get too excited, one of them's "monitize your blog so you can actually afford to buy someone dinner.")

Communication is so much more then the finger tips and a piece of plastic (Relationship death by MSN Instant Messenger. Ouch.)

Contributing editor Liz Rizzo also blogs at Everyday Goddess.

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