Being single is tough; dating is much tougher. You always seem to find yourself in this constant limbo of unknown emotions, unsaid words, and utter confusion as to where you are or if this is person is worth your time at all. It’s part of the game, but is it worth the feeling of uncertainty that will always hold you back from furthering your feelings for that significant other?
In this game called dating, one person will always appear more invested – the one who shows or says how he/she feels, the one who does not mind initiating the first message to a conversation, the one who makes the plans and the one who seems to put in more effort. This person is the one who reaches to the other and gives the attention required for a budding relationship to start rolling.
At a certain point, however, the one who appears to reach out all the time will get tired, especially if the level of reciprocation is not as apparent to him/her. There are some people who are not the type to show or speak of their affection. It does not mean that this partner does not care or is apathetic; it just means that this individual has a different way of expressing himself or herself that does not translate well with his/her partner — and this is completely acceptable.
What is not acceptable is that the person who does not show his/her affection becomes complacent with the other’s attention, especially late into the dating period. Both parties need the attention, and somewhere down the road, affirmation – either through words or action – needs to be felt by both. A relationship is a two-way street, and if the other person does not receive any evidence that speaks to him/her about how his/her partner truly feels, doubt begins to settle.
If you are the one who is affectionate, you begin to wonder if the person even really likes you or if it’s just a casual thing. Then it moves into doubting whether or not your time is worth it – maybe you’re spending too much time, money, or resources on the person for a relationship that might not turn into a relationship. It’s a slippery slope from that point, and if you’re not one to talk about what’s going through your head with your partner, you really will fall off the cliff of dating and into the lonely valley of singlehood again.
Now, if you are the one who is less affectionate, you might think everything is okay as it is; however, in reality, it could all be crumbling behind the façade of affection. The other person will slowly drift, and by the time you realize it, it could be too late for you to take what is left and move forward with your partner.
But maybe that just means you and your partner aren’t meant for each other? Bullsh**. There is no such thing as a perfect relationship and if you’re going to let go of a perfectly good relationship only because you aren’t the type to speak of your feelings towards the other person and let the other person drift, you will always find yourself in similar situations constantly. If you’re serious about being in a serious relationship, then it’s time to bend a little to meet someone halfway, and make sure he/she is able to connect to you in order to further strengthen that relationship.
How? It depends. Everyone has a different way expressing and understanding affection; some like to simply spend quality time with his/her partner, while others love grand gestures or need words of affirmation and hear it straight from the horse’s mouth. It does not have to be a straightforward “I like you,” but maybe nuzzling under your guy’s neck while you’re walking together, bringing him his favorite snack before leaving for a business trip, or hugging her just a little bit tighter or kissing her forehead when you’re with her will send the signal: Yes, I’m into you.
There is nothing wrong being the person who does not show as much affection; you just need to make sure that when your partner asks, show or tell him/her that what you are feeling is true. It requires both players of the game to cooperate, meet halfway, and work hand-in-hand so that they can last well into the fourth quarter and into double overtime and beyond. After all, isn’t that what relationships really need to last a lifetime?