In the midst of breaking up with you, have you ever heard a guy say, “I don’t know what I want”? On the other hand, have you ever been the one delivering that statement to the guy with whom you were breaking up? If the truth were to really be told, you actually did know what you wanted and that’s to not be in that particular relationship. For one reason or another, you were just afraid to say so. My question would be why did you get involved in the relationship in the first place?
Over breakfast not too long ago, I was sitting with a girlfriend who was dating a guy she really liked.
“Do you want to get married some day?” I asked.
“I don’t know,” she said.
Okay. What would it be like if someone asked The President, “What are your goals while you’re in office?” and he responded, “I don’t know.” Huh? At that point, the purpose and drive of his cabinet would vaporize. Confusion would ensue. Believe it or not, this is what many singles do in relationship.
Having an intention is important. People respond to purpose. This principle applies in the realm of dating and relationship too. Intention requires for you to be clear about what you want. When you know what you want, you can say “Yes!” to the things that fit and “No” to what doesn’t. It means that you’re clear with the person you’re dating. If you’re like me, being with someone who doesn’t know what he wants is royally annoying because the indecision shows up as him being wishy-washy — in a sense, weak. We owe it to the men we date to be clear about what we want. That leaves them the opportunity to proceed saying, “Yeah! That’s what I want too!” or, “No. That’s not what I’m looking for. I need to move on.” Well, okay! At least we know.
Without intention, a relationship goes nowhere. You can only go nowhere for so long. At some point, someone asks the uncomfortable question, “Where are we going with this?” Until then there’s no way of knowing why you’re spending time with the guy you date other than you just want the company. What then happens over time is you become attached to him and he says, “Well, I don’t want to be in a relationship. You know I’m not the relationship type.” Ummm, no. I didn’t know that because you never told me. Had I known that, I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my time.
This has happened to so many people I know, both men and women, even me. Now that I look back I can take responsibility for the situation and honestly say that I was not clear with my intentions with my “boyfriend” and barely expressed them to him, if at all. I wanted a relationship. To him, we were just hanging out.
Why did I do this?
- Like most people, I thought I could avoid disappointment. Without any intention, I set no expectation on the relationship. That’s what we’re encouraged to do, right? What a farce! What I was really doing was prolonging the disappointment. When you want nothing you expect nothing and you get nothing. Getting nothing out of a relationship is disappointing.
- I didn’t want to hear the word, “No.” Whenever I heard that word, it meant “rejection” to me. Just like so many others, I would rather have been in a wishy-washy, lukewarm relationship than be rejected.
- I didn’t think enough of myself to actually say what I wanted in relationship.
- I didn’t think enough of my boyfriend to believe that he wanted to provide for me what I wanted in relationship.
Now, I have but one intention for dating: to determine who my husband will be. With my intention set, here’s what it does for me in relationship:
- I respect the man I’m dating with honesty. He deserves to know me. He also deserves the opportunity to respond to what I want with a choice to either say, “yes” or “no.”
- I can look for qualities in the man that are aligned with my intention. If he doesn’t have qualities that would make a good husband for me, I can quickly make my exit. If he does, I can invest more time with him.
- I avoid being discouraged. Listen, quantity does not equal quality when it comes to dating. What I mean by that is going out on a lot of dates could actually work against you if you’re looking for a lasting relationship. The more frequently these dates don’t work out, the more likely you are to become jaded thinking, “There are no good men out there” (my readers know how much I detest that completely false statement). I’m selective. I seldom date, but when I do I date guys I really like.
- It saves me time. I don’t want to be in another long-term relationship that goes nowhere. When I’m in a relationship with a man it’s because we’ve talked about what we want, we are in agreement and we’re interested in pursuing it together.
- I hear “No” and I say, “Next!” The word “no” simply expresses a difference in preference. It has nothing to do with me. In fact, there is infinitely more comfort in the word “no” than the word, “maybe.” I can act on “no.” “Maybe” leaves me in limbo.
Be honest with yourself. Know what you want. What is your intention for dating? While my intention is ultimately marriage, yours could be different. You might just want someone to take you out every now and then; you may want a companion; you may be seeking someone with similar business interests. Whatever it is, it’s up to you to be straight about it. If you don’t know, don’t date. It ends up being a complete waste of your and his time. When you do know what you want, say it clearly so that your date can respond with either a “yes” or a “no.”