Monday, October 6, 2014

Heart and Seek

I used to think "my type" of woman wears her heart on her sleeve. In part because I am not aggressive and it seemed like a good yin/yang kinda thing. I confess I was once not very expressive and so a woman with her heart on her sleeve made it easier on me. Having relationships with only heart-on-their-sleeves women has allowed me to be lazy and kept me from learning much needed relationship skills.
Being in a relationship with a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve is no walk in the park. You learn to read emotional queues that lead up to emotional outbursts, both good and bad. Body language, facial expressions, tone of voice. You more easily recognize subtle emotional signs, because quite frankly you've become conditioned, like Pavlov’s dog! This is a valuable skill when you find yourself in a relationship with a more reserved woman. Her emotional expressions will be more subtle, and you will be able to read them.
If like me you tend towards women who wear their hearts on their sleeves, then you may at first find yourself befuddled by a woman who does not. This is where the lazy part comes in. Expressive women do most of the relationship work for you. From the get-go they share, share, share. You know what they are thinking and what they are feeling. You know what they like and don't like. This might put you on the defensive, to slow things down. You take that same approach with a less expressive woman and you will become two ends that never meet.
If you are unable to adapt, if you find yourself courting a less expressive woman and you cannot overcome your relationship laziness, then you are handicapped and limited. Depriving yourself of being more well-rounded and complete. Depriving yourself of becoming a fully actualized emotional being, able to be the yin and/or the yang, as needed.
When you are with a woman who wears her heart on her sleeve then you push back in order to find some common ground in the middle. When you are with a less expressive woman then you pull in order to bring her into the middle common ground. Just don't pull too hard, and you know, be patient.
Here is my thinking on courting a less expressive woman.
  • Patience: things move more slowly. Wait.
  • Prompting: you are going to have start conversations. You will have to lead at times.
  • Sharing as a prompt: do not always just ask questions, this becomes an interrogation. Share and express yourself, and give her the opportunity to reciprocate.
  • Know what you want: you cannot be fickle and inconsistent.
  • Determination: prompting and sharing may not result in good communication. Stick with it.
  • Acceptance: you are operating from your expectations, but the end result will be different.
  • Be vulnerable: the risk is worth it. Put yourself out there.
  • Give her some space: show interest without being demanding.
No agenda. No timeline.

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