Dating Could Be the Easiest Thing in the World with Communication

Posted on Friday, November 1st, 2013 at 1:42 PM

By Ayanam Udoma

Many people will tell you that the key to a strong and healthy relationship is effective communication. I believe that strong and clear communication is crucial from the very first date.

There’s actually surprisingly little real communication on a first date. When I say communication, I don’t mean revealing your entire life history or rambling on and on about how you hit the gym everyday whilst also finding time to raise your one-legged, blue-eyed nephew that you’re teaching English to because his single-mother died after a freak slam-dunking accident. No no, I believe communication, at this point, should be very frank and matter-of-fact. It should require you to be true to yourself and your date and it starts from the moment you ask them out.

Depending on how self-assured you are, asking someone you genuinely like out can be quite the nerve-wrecking experience. However, in this situation, the more you ramble on and on and beat around the bush, the worse it will be. I speak from experience.

I’ve recently started using a different approach though. Nowadays I just tell a girl I want to date her. Simple as that. I don’t do too much explaining or talk about how I’d understand if she said no, I just make it clear that I’d like to ask her out on a date due to the fact that I find her attractive. Now she can either approve or reject my request. If she approves, well then that’s fantastic but if she opts to reject my advances, clear communication (on her part this time) can also make this whole experience a whole lot less traumatic.

Legend tells of a place many men know well. It is feared by many and haunted by the tears of lost souls who are like brothers to scores of women. It is a sad place indeed. It is called…the friend zone!

However, I don’t believe that the friend zone is a place where one is sent, but rather it’s a place where one is left. I don’t think most girls truly intend to make a man they’ve just rejected their friend, I think they just find it easier than outright saying “no, I don’t personally find you attractive”. I mean, let’s face it, no great friendship started out with a guy getting rejected. However, ladies, this is not a solution to your problem.

I know why you leave him in the “friend zone”. It makes you come off as less of a bitch and it helps you avoid any awkward confrontations. However, all you’re doing is prolonging the inevitable. He will attempt to go out with you again…and again…and again. Yes, you’ve left him in the friend zone but you’ve also left him with a glimmer of hope and a glimmer of hope can be stretched surprisingly far. Hope is a flexible commodity. If allowed to fester in one’s mind, it could have him visualising the moment when you finally realise that every other guy is a complete tool and he is the “good guy” you’ve been looking for your whole life. If you were direct with him and communicated your lack of attraction towards him from the get go, it might bruise his ego in the short-term but, in the long run, it’ll be better for both parties. If need be, explain to him that the fact that you don’t find him attractive is merely subjective because everyone can’t be attracted to everyone otherwise the whole world would constantly be engaged in a mass orgy. If he’s not overly self-obsessed, hopefully he will see that but if he is far too self-obsessed to follow that logic well then, he’s a lost soul regardless.

Now guys, assuming that you’ve passed this barrier with flying colours and have managed to secure a date with the girl of your dreams, strong but effective communication is still needed. I’ve often had this fantasy of giving a soliloquy halfway through a first date but rather than it just being me talking, it’d be my date as well. Okay, maybe a soliloquy isn’t the right expression to use, it’d be more like an out-of-body experience. My date and I would step out of the scene and explain our actual feelings on how we thought the date was going to each other and perhaps even laugh at the sheer amount of times we’d repeated the same anecdotes in the space of an hour. Alas, this is merely a fantasy though. It often seems like life can never be that simple.

A first date is a high pressure situation and it is human nature to ramble on and on when one starts panicking over how to make themselves seem as interesting and as viable a procreational partner as possible. My best dates have either involved some sort of competitive activity or something completely random like chilling in the furniture section of a department store. My logic has always been that if first dates tend to feel constructed or contrived, you have to try and have them in an unpredictable environment: an environment in which it is virtually impossible to plan out every detail. You want a scenario where you and your date are forced to be reactive rather than rehearsed, so that whatever you say or do that day isn’t refined. In many ways this is easier said than done but I think that these sorts of activities will make for better dates than say the generic dinner and a movie.

At the end of the day, everyone has their own style; but I feel that one of the main problems with the male/female dynamic when it comes to dating is that often messages are lost in translation or are made more complicated than they have to be. Dating could be one of the simplest things in the world if only we’d learn how to communicate properly.

Photo Credit: regalrealness.com

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Ayanam Udoma is a poet and blogger who moved to England at 16. He returned to Nigeria after his degree in marketing to participate in the NYSC program. He is now trying to adjust back into the “Naija” lifestyle. He blogs at A-Zone Poetry.

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  • 33 Comments on “Dating Could Be the Easiest Thing in the World with Communication”

    Comments
    • I Rock November 1, 2013 at 2:05 PM

      It’s best for you to be who you really are right from the first date. Always start off the way you mean to go on. Love is important but communication is also one of the most important thing in any relationship because you can only show love through communication, be it through verbal or non-verbal communication.

    • Eny November 1, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Hhmmm. I totally agree and i’m usually myself from the very first date however, i’ve realized that telling a guy outright you have no attraction to him whatsoever/he’s not ur type may bruise his ego for as long as a day but doesn’t stop him from trying again the very next day. I would say its the guys that put themselves in the friend zone hoping that one day after consistently being there as the shoulder to cry on, we (ladies) may see the light.

    • *Real* Nice Anon November 1, 2013 at 2:34 PM

      It should be easy as you say but is it? No, not by a mile. Everyone plays games these days and it’s just tiring.

      • Dora the explorer November 1, 2013 at 4:42 PM

        everyone plays games these dayssssss! omdzzz!! that is the
        statement of the day! it’s totally exhausting!!!

    • Serendipity November 1, 2013 at 2:57 PM

      I was excitedly expecting this tO address communication in
      relationships, but alas!

      • Joan85 November 1, 2013 at 4:27 PM

        Me and you both lol

      • Dora the explorer November 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        LOL expectation being cut of like a branch!!

    • Bide November 1, 2013 at 3:11 PM

      Where are BN Commentators now??….

      • Dora the explorer November 1, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        LOL expectation being cut of like a branch!!
        we are here!!

    • That African Chic November 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM

      Just a lil something for the guys ‘when you give a girl a
      compliment and she replied by ‘awwww thank you’ she is politely
      telling you to go back to the friend zone you just tried to
      escape’

      • Grace E November 1, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        LMAAAOOOOO…what is she supposed to say?”awee love u”???even if I liked a guy or my boyfriend, fiancé, husband or whoever it is at all that gives me a compliment, I’d say “awe thank u”!!

        • CarliforniaBawlar November 2, 2013 at 4:35 AM

          Ahn ahn….see you oh!! hehehehe…Don’t gawk yourself o!
          If man wey you like compliments you….bat your eye lashes, throw a
          compliment back and touch him….Iyalaya green light!!! ;-) ;-)

      • Akua November 1, 2013 at 4:01 PM

        Hahaaaha! Not always though

      • Lisa Spencer November 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM

        Thank you CaliforniaBawler.

    • Gorgeous November 1, 2013 at 3:59 PM

      Yea only if the two are good communicators. And that is a very hard skill to find. Funny opposites attract. The irrational and the rational. Na wah! Good communication is very hard to find. Bad communicators make simple things unbelievably hard, and are mostly selfish with tunnel vision.

    • @ajiriavae November 1, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      I agree with most of what you say. However, there is something to be said for the dinner and movie date. If you don’t know someone very well, in my experience, it is best to do a movie first, that way, if you find that you are not really feeling the person, you can focus on the movie and find a reason to cancel dinner.

      • Purpleicious Babe November 4, 2013 at 12:11 AM

        lool o….

      • I formerly known as Miss Anonymous November 4, 2013 at 12:16 PM

        I don’t agree with the movie idea as a first date, cos both of you sit beside each other for two hours and can’t really talk except for “have some more pop corn” or “are you ok”. After the movie, you talk about some scenes for a bit then each person goes their way. On the other hand if you go out for a drink or for a bite or something first, you get to loosen up and get to talk and usually by the end of that date you already know if you want to see him/her again.

    • Bella November 1, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Interesting read. I enjoyed it. I must say though that I do not agree with this statement’… I mean, let’s face it, no great friendship started out with a guy getting rejected. However, ladies, this is not a solution to your problem.’
      One of my closest male friends is a guy who was scoping me out at church for months, then finally asked me out. The feelings weren’t mutual, but we have remained close friends for more than 5 years now. I even traveled to the States to attend his wedding last year.

    • bNigerian November 1, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      I like this write-up. I’ve been in a situation where there
      was no attraction to the gentleman from Day 1 and I found a subtle
      way to say it. Brother didn’t get the message. I became blunt and
      said it in plain (but respectful) terms that I really wasn’t
      attracted to him and I didn’t think it’ll grow. He didn’t buy it.
      In hindsight, I think he was bidding time and pulling the “moves”
      on me till I eventually fell for him but sadly (or happily?) his
      plan(s) didn’t work. Sometimes, it takes severing all forms of
      communication with someone (girl or boy) for them to get the
      message otherwise, you’ll keep going around in circles. The other
      party could argue that if you truly don’t find them attractive or
      desirable then why do you keep talking /hanging out with them? All
      that said, clear communication trumps sending out subtle messages
      and clues. Things have to be spelt out to people sometimes
      otherwise, they will keep trying and frustrating you in the
      process.

    • Iyke November 1, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Communication no doubt is very important,however, note that
      no amount of admiration, affection, or conversation will ever be
      enough to satisfy a person whose internal compass does not point to
      joy. My only SUGGESTION: Stay aware, listen carefully, have an open
      mind and yell for help if you need it.

    • Aibee November 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      Now this would explain why this dude has been toasting me
      for over 2 years now. I friend-zoned him, expecting him to take the
      hint. Alas! Dude is deaf to hints. Nest time he tells me how the
      sun rises and sets on my “gorgeous” face (his words, not mine), I
      shall just tell him “Dude, I don’t find you attractive”. That
      should do the trick.

    • sandra November 1, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      hmm communication in relationships are so hard these days oooo… its the reverse for me, am trying not to put one of my guy friends(known the big head for 3 yrs) in the friend zone.. i rillllllllyyyy like him.. the problem is that he gives me mixed signals so i dont know if he likes me like as friend or he wants something serious with me. sometimes i wish is had the courage to ask him if he has some sort of romantic feeling towards me. smh i cant seem to take him off my mind arghhhh lol

      • Purpleicious Babe November 4, 2013 at 12:17 AM

        ah so u cant ask him what he is up to? 3 years is no joke… ask him whats up nah… plus you two are friends. Anyway, you can wish all day sha, 3 years is a long time for a dude not to ask out a babe he is into except for exception reasons in which can be many..

    • MAMA MIA!!! November 1, 2013 at 5:14 PM

      To be ”Friend zoned” is a choice. Most Men actually feel a woman’s NO is a loud YES in her head. I really get irritated when a man says ”why all the forming?” when I was actually trying to be straight with them. To save my self from all explanations and what not, I have now resulted to playing along. If I say No twice and you feel you can somehow transform my decision, then, so, be it. I’m so game! Also, I think it’s kind of an Ego thing or should I say a movie thing? You find stories of boy meeting a girl though friend zoned, He later finds his way to her heart which in reality actually happens. Who watches friend zone on Mtv? Most people love a Kanye and Kim or a Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony tale where being Friends and knowing her eventually wins her over. Me sha, I try not to friend zone people I like, So, If you are my friend and a guy I probably will never date you. But you know what they say, “Never say Never”!lol

    • culturebedamned November 1, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      I must be one of the very few girls who don’t put toasters in the friend zone. I tell toasters I’m not attracted to straightaway and I’m afraid this has earned me being called mean and a bitch by both toasters and female friends. Like the writer said, I don’t believe in prolonging the inevitable. My friends are always like “ahn ahn he can still be your friend now even if you don’t want to date him. Use him to while away time, or use him as phone gisting partner when you are bored” But in my experience and most girls will agree, that 99% of the time guys would always try to escape the friend zone and if a girl is not careful, they would say she was leading them on. In fact some guys don’t too mind the friend zone because it gives them some false kind of hope like the writer said .

    • hello November 3, 2013 at 10:14 PM

      as a teenager toasters called me a tease as i would always keep them (toasters) in the friendzone. then it was cause i really liked them as friends so i still wanted them as friends. now that im older. im not interested in any friendzone rubbish. i have a few male friends (who werent friendzoned) then the toasters…. the toasters are begging be my friend. please why are men like this. cant they take a hint. u see a guy toasting a girl for 4 years straight. u no get future ambition. i feel they feel they can bully u into liking them if they can be friends with u. and that thing na lie.

    • boss lady November 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      nawao
      is the topic :communication in relationship”
      abi how to know u ve been friendzoned??? *eyez rolling*

      • Purpleicious Babe November 4, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        It should be titled both… lol.

    • larz November 4, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      There is this guy that likes me and apparently has for almost 10 yrs. He moved to London about 2 yrs ago and has been on my case. In those 10 years, I don’t think he has managed to understand me or where I am coming from or better still where I am going to. I don’t know that about him either.
      He has asked his sister, big cousin, brother in law and his wife etc. to ask my sister to beg me to give him a chance; I call that bullying. We have been out a few times and he just keeps mute and stare at me/ hero worship me the whole time. Everyone is vouching for him as a good/ nice person but we can’t seem to communicate. So I recently told him that I will consider a relationship if he can learn to be my friend. My sister recently backed off after I told her I am likely to cheat on him and mess him up if I was to “try him” since I don’t connect with him.

    • odeh hannah November 5, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      i believe that on a 1st date communication and connection is necessary…..

    • Inspirational Quotes 123 November 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM

      I’m quite sensitive to women. I saw how my sister got
      treated by boyfriends. I read this thing that said when you are in
      a relationship with a woman, imagine how you would feel if you were
      her father. That’s been my approach, for the most part.