I apologize for yet another thread on relationships. I feel the forum has been full of them lately. Nonetheless, I couldn't find anywhere this topic had been addressed previously.
What expectations, if any, should be formed when in the process of building a relationship? I'm talking basics here- expectations about dates and talking times (be it through texting, phone calls, or carrier pigeons).
I'm seeing this girl now; been seeing her for the past month/month and a half. She was telling me today that we shouldn't have any expectations about dates or talk times or anything. We should be in "casual mode"- and not be offended if one of us just breaks everything off suddenly. On the other hand, I believe that by now it's fair and safe to assume (and expect) that we'll continue seeing each other until we decide to make the relationship exclusive (or not, if that's the route we decide is best). Of course, we can technically still see other people because the relationship isn't exclusive yet. But after a month and a half of consistent, exclusive dates I've become pretty invested into her, and her me, and I'm, at least, not interested in seeing anyone else. Are my expectations of consistent dates and discussions reasonable?
I suppose what I'm looking for here is perspective. Am I off kilter, or is she? And are our two views of relationship building reconcilable or is this doomed to fail?
Thanks for the help, guys. It is much appreciated.
But what explanation is useful? Usually, the dumpee has either been a jerk and knows it, or the explanation is some version of "It's not you, it's me" or "I'm just not that into you." I find that, yes, some line like these is part of the politeness I first mentioned, but I don't find such lines helpful. (And Brett implicitly agrees with me in his piece on dumping)
Objective - Can be verified by the senses of sight, hearing, etc. Subjective - dealing with the internal emotions. I guess I should have said "expectations of objective events."
She's doing you a favor, because usually her objective acts would reasonably lead to an assumption of subjective realities. If she's called you every night for the last 6 weeks, it would usually be reasonable to conclude she's really into you. She knows this. Instead, she doesn't want you to get the wrong impression, so she's explaining her actions, at least partially.
Also, it would be reasonable to conclude she will call the next night. But, apparently she doesn't work this way. Again, maybe she doesn't want to feel obliged to call. Maybe she wants to be able to make other plans with no heads-up to you (an issue for me when I was dating my husband).
It reminds me of a story I heard from 2 of my college friends. They knew each other in grade school, then one moved away during high school. The one who moved away would call every evening, but not at a precise time. The family receiving the call would wait, and at some point near 7pm conclude the caller was skipping that night, and begin the Rosary. And, of course, always, the caller would call in the middle of the Rosary.
Grown-ups should make a rule: If I haven't called by 6:45, I won't call (or I won't call until 8pm).
Are you asking her for permission to ask her out more or are you just asking her out more? Two entirely different things. Also, instead of asking out for more dates, ask her to join you. Just time together at this point is more important than "dates". A date can be very formal, it can be stressful even at this point, there are more expectations. Where just hanging out breeds the familiarity you are looking for now.
I'm just asking her out more:
"Hey did you want to go out tonight and get some dinner?"
"Want to come over for a few hours?"
"We both have tests tomorrow. Can we study together?"
Stuff like that.
As for the basics, It's totally dependent on the individuals. Lots of 20-something women talk to their mothers several times a day. I go weeks without direct contact with my mother.
My secretary gets a call from her boyfriend once every hour (yes, annoying to me, her co-worker). The rest of us probably communicate with our significant others a couple times a day. ("Day's going fine; don't think I'll have to work late" and "Leaving the office now; I'll be home in an hour.") Of course, these are people we live with, so we're spending a few hours with them each day apart from electronic communications.
When I didn't live with a significant other, I dated exclusively, even was engaged, and would still only communicate a couple of times a day with the person during the work week. Then there's people I was barely even dating, let alone exclusively, that I'd talk to for hours on the phone several times a week.
Lots of 20-something women talk to their mothers several times a day.
Why is that? I'm personally not that close to my mother, and I'd say the same about most guys I meet. I'm not distant from my mother but I couldn't even imagine speaking to her every single day. Quite frankly, it's a turnoff for me when I see girls my age constantly in contact with their mothers. Where's the privacy? And for that matter, where's the autonomy as well?
Again, just depends on the personalities involved. I'm anxious about the phone in general, whether it's my mother or my husband. Just don't like the thing.
But different people have different tolerances and needs for vocal human interaction. I think the same people that gab to their mothers gab to their girlfriends. Or the mothers need to gab. It comes up in professional communications, too. Some people will pick up the phone; others send an email.
The thing that's confusing me here is her (obviously). She's giving me mixed signals. For the majority of the time we've been seeing each other we've been talking significantly, sharing intimate moments, and generally just acting how two people act who are building a long term relationship. We had even talked about the future- I'm going abroad for 9 months next year, so we discussed what that means for us as a couple. Talking about the future never seemed to be a problem until now. I honestly think she's building walls so she doesn't get burned when I leave next fall, but she'll never admit that.
Update (this didn't take long):
It pretty much ended today. She didn't think that we could work through this, so she said it might be best if we "stayed friends." I rather not be in the friendzone, so I think it's done. Oh well.
Sorry to hear that. It relationship investment aside, it always hurts to be told its not working.
Chin up, take time to recover, power on.