I mean gosh, I’m sure you haven’t noticed, it’s not like I tell everyone on the internet all of the things.
I worry sometimes though that I do it in relationships and that it might be a bit much. It’s hard though isn’t it? There are so many conflicting messages. On the one hand we are told that the secret to any happy marriage is communication, communication, communication and on the other hand we are meant either to be cool, aloof ice queens, with men falling at our feet because we are so mysterious, or we are supposed to keep any sign of emotion under wraps unless it scare men off into metaphorical caves.
So contradictory is the advice in fact that I tend to just think ‘sod it, I’m going to tell him everything and then if he wants to run away he can do it now before I get too attached.’ It could almost be seen as a test; my new counsellor did say this week that she thought I was self-sabotaging. That’s probably for another post though.
So what happens is that I get full of all of these thoughts and anxieties and they all spin around together for a while. Sometimes I just tell myself to man up and keep them inside, sometimes I write them all down and then delete them, and other times I end up sending a long email or text that begins ‘So, I just wanted to tell you how I feel about…’. Then I send it and all the original fretting gets replaced with a new type.
It’s good to keep things fresh.
I have a few questions then:
- Do you do this or is it just me?
- Why do we do it?
- Is it OK?
I don’t know the answer to the first question obviously, and number three I’m not confident about, so I’m going to move on to point two. For me, apart from the potential self-sabotaging element, I think the reasons are three fold. Partly I think it’s as a result of a kind of insecurity, mixed with working at home and having too much time to think about things, that makes me basically quite selfish. ‘Look at me and all of my incredibly important feelings! Please tell me you like me!’*
Then there is that slightly-desperate-princess-waiting-to-be-rescued part of me; I want a relationship to be this intense, all consuming thing where I think of nothing else and where the other person knows and understands me in a magical way that no one ever has before.
This of course is ridiculous. (New counsellor also says that I am a woman of extremes and should perhaps consider striving for some sort of middle ground).
It also comes from a fear of not communicating enough.
I read a lot, (and watch a lot of TV**) and so much of what I read (and watch) is about a sadness that stems from misunderstanding and miscommunication; a resentment that goes unspoken and festers, an opportunity to share something that is missed and never comes around again. It makes me so sad to think of all of these relationships that break down perhaps just because of a few words that were never said out loud.
I’ve been reading two books this week in fact – Us by David Nicholls and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – and both are about this very thing. Both are about relationships that started out as all relationships do, full of promise and excitement and love, and then drift apart because of words unspoken.
I never again want to be in a relationship where distance grows because things go unsaid, so I say all of the things, just in case.
Do you think it’s possible to over-communicate? Are there some things you should just keep to yourself or is it always good to share?
*This isn’t limited to relationships obviously, it basically applies to everything I do.
**But this doesn’t sound as clever.