“Why didn’t he call me back?”
This was the question that interrupted my chest and back workout last Friday. Jill had made her way from the office over to where my ace and I were completing back rows. Jill looked rather distraught as she halted my final set. No doubt things were not well in paradise. Since the new tilt cycling class was moved to its own quadrant of the complex, I hadn’t seen Jill since she asked for advice about getting Prince Charming into the shape. Due to her disappearance, I assumed that the counsel she received worked. Unfortunately, I assumed wrong.
As my ace took his turn, I attempted to help Jill with her current problem. In a nutshell, she stated that things were going well with her and Mr. Almost Perfect aka “Lucky”. Jill had coaxed him into taking the boxing class, which he ended up loving! The two lovebirds ended up having more time together when Lucky’s company opened a division in town. This led to the couple going out more frequently which Jill adored. The sex also became recurrent as Lucky was building his stamina. He was able to sweat out Jill’s hair during every session. Then, three weeks after the company move, Lucky stopped calling.
One day turned into a week. Then two. Jill reported that when she called, it would ring twice before going to voicemail. When I offered that Lucky may have been injured or had a family emergency, Jill stated that he was perfectly fine as she saw status updates on social media after he stopped calling (he later unfriended her). Jill stated that she went by his home and job and saw his car every time. She even divulged that when she saw him at Wal-Mart last week, he looked down, turned around, and walked out of the store! Lucky sat in his car and attempted to wait on her to come out. When Jill made a beeline in the direction of his car, he quickly backed out and drove away.
So I’m thinking to myself what in the world happened that my man Lucky would just up and not call Jill back? Was Jill truly all together mentally? Going by the home and job seemed kinda stalkerish in my book, but there had to be something else! So my immediate question to Jill (after I encouraged her to stop stalking folks) was . . .
“Has this been the first time a guy has left you without reason?”
Then I asked her some other important questions:
“Do you know Lucky’s middle name?”
“No. Why would I?”
“Do you know his favorite sports team?”
“Do you know if he wants to be in a long term relationship?”
“Well . . . . I would think so . . . . .”
“Hmmmmm. . . . .sounds like a communication issue Jill”
“Wah? But I, I mean we, talk all the time?! How do I have a problem with talking? Who wouldn’t want to be with me?”
I caught myself from saying the obvious and asked Jill to join me at the smoothie bar so that I could explain.
You Talk Too Much . . . . . Seriously . . . .
Jill crossed her arms as we sat at the table. I could tell she was perturbed by what I had just said (like some of you are now). Now before she turned all the way off, I explained that I wasn’t trying to tell her to shut up. However (and I’m talking to the ladies here), you need to take the time to listen to the person on the other end of the phone. A lot of times we are sooooooooo excited that the person we like actually liked us back! We began to have fantasies about weddings, taking vacations, yadda yadda yadda. So we do our best to speed along the process. That “speed dating” process involves disclosing as much information as possible in the shortest amount of time possible. (I mean we have to justify sleeping with someone after one week right?) As a single parent who works with individuals with disabilities, it’s wonderful to share thoughts and ideas with someone who is interested in more than just the new Superman Vs Batman movie. In that state of euphoria, it’s common to go on . . . . and on about your day, issues, and concerns. However, you have to exercise caution that you don’t get wrapped up just talking about you. I’ve been on both sides of the equation as I like to talk about my dreams and what I’m doing. Hell, I will go off topic (which I call commercial breaks) and steer back to the main idea! I’ve also encountered women who will jabber about themselves for an hour without taking a breath! Women like this normally chat about their lives and rarely (if ever) ask about the guy on the other end. Sharing thoughts should be a two way street. How would you feel if you were in a relationship that only benefited the other person?
In true fashion, Jill refuted that she was a speed dater. She couldn’t be. Lucky stayed with her for several months. “People who talk too much are normally kicked to the curb before the end of the first month”, she replied. I simply smiled and went on to my second point.
We Don’t Ask the Right Questions
Many times when we meet someone that twinkles our fancy, we tend to shy away from those questions that allow us to get to know the other person better. For example, what is the question that is always asked on the first date? If you answered “Why are you single?”, you would be correct! From that point on, it’s all about what the previous one didn’t do and what holes you are expected to fix. As you move on to the daily conversations, they are filled with common work stressors, issues with children, and plans for the weekend. While it’s good to chitchat about that, we don’t ever ask the important questions to discover the person sitting in front of us. Yes, they are pleasing visually but is this man/woman a good match for you? Do you know what life obstacles and beliefs have made them the person they are today? If I am having daily conversation with a woman, yes I’m going to ask about her day. But I also tend to ask the queen about her life before she met me. My normal ice breaker is simple: “Tell me something about yourself I don’t know”. This question not only disarms but gives way to some honest answers about someone’s life. If that person can never tell you anything about their childhood or attempts to stay away from that question, beware. . . . . . .
Jill sat in disbelief. Although she didn’t believe that she was a big talker, she did acknowledge that she never asked the right question. I mean she didn’t even know Mr. Almost Perfect’s middle name! How many of us are like Jill? How many of us have talked entirely too much or asked the wrong questions? Tell the truth, shame the devil . . . . . . .
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of The Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the Forthcoming Novel “Addicted to Chaos”. Like the Wednesday Gentleman page on Facebook or follow @misterdock on Instagram. Also follow the weekly podcast “The Dame Truth” that he co-host with Edythe Yolanda.