Listen to a lot of mainstream or new age relationship advice, and they will tell you that the secret to a healthy relationship is to communicate.
And truth be told, they’re right.
Some level of “game playing” may have a role early on in a romantic dalliance — you don’t want to come on too strong after all — but once you’ve been with someone for years, withholding affection or distancing yourself from your woman will have diminishing returns over time. The moment she “wakes up” to the dysfunction in the relationship, she will stop chasing, and things will end soon thereafter.
So communication about needs and desires becomes essential if you want to move the relationship into its next phase.And yet, we know intuitively there are problems with the communication narrative… many relationships where the couple “talks about their feelings” lose all desire, and the girl leaves anyway.
What’s the catch?
Well, as always there is a context and nuance to these things.
Sharing your needs is good, so long as you’re not being needy about it. You are offering the person the opportunity to make you happy — if they choose not to take your advice, that’s fine, but the relationship obviously won’t be very good. They are not responsible for their happiness, and yet if they want you, they need to take it seriously.
But that’s big picture stuff. What’s tactically bad about most “communication” advice — stuff that particularly seems to arise in polyamorous circles — is the tendency to OVER communicate.
Why is this such a big problem, and what does it look like?
Put quite simply, it’s talking and sharing too much.
This can take the form of sharing excessive amounts of information, as well as simply reiterating the information you want to share excessively.
You should of course understand why this isn’t good intuitively… but just to spell it out for you… When you share too much, you bog the other person down in your emotions.
You are not really communicating so much as dumping emotions on someone. And by sharing so much, you end up actually communicating less effectively, as the other person may have a harder time focusing on a key point… and will eventually be so drained they just want to get away from you.
Moreover, all of this subcommunicates ANXIETY.
Which is why it’s more common with women than men, as they externalize their anxiety more — whereas men become avoidant, and shut down.
So the point is, say what you feel — but work on being clear and concise, make an effort not to repeat yourself, and know when to stop.
It can be tempting to go on and on when you feel strongly about something… but don’t. Less truly is more.
Anyway, you get the picture. Want to make sure I take some my own advice and stop here.
If you want help breaking this pattern… and many others holding you back you may not even be aware of…
Apply here: www.patstedman.com/application