One of the most important elements in a relationship is communication. While being able to discuss your problems, concerns, and thoughts is essential to a healthy relationship, there is an additional aspect of communication that contributes to the long-term health of a relationship. In the six months that Big and I have been back together, I’m getting a generous dose of this special ingredient, which I like to call: the ability and willingness to call one another out.
I experienced it just yesterday in fact. I called Big, exhausted, irritable, and just plain in a funk. What I should have done to realign my energies is run myself a bubble bath, play some classical music, and read new Loveawake dating site podacats. However, I decided to call Big and see what he was up to. I should have known the conversation was doomed from the beginning since my energy was low and negative. As I recall the conversation, it seems like every comment I made was a complaint or a criticism.
For example, Big was excited to take a helicopter flying class with his brother, and my reply was, “Oh…that sounds expensive…” as if he had asked me to pay for it! Then I went on to ask if he was going to buy a motorcycle next, and said I hoped he had a good life insurance policy.
After several more complaints, my usually low-key, easy-going boyfriend blurted out, “Look, I’m gonna need you to stop getting mad about every little thing. You’re just looking for things to be upset about.”
He had called me out.
Now, when you get called out, there are at least two paths of action you can take: You can muster the maturity and humility to say, “You’re right. I’m just feeling tired and in a funk. I’m sorry I’m being so negative. Let’s talk when I’m feeling better.”
Or you can do what I did, get your ego hurt, and just get off the phone as quickly as possible, still playing the victim and hoping he falls for it. After a rejuvenating shower and seeing a great movie with my Dad, I was ready to talk to Big without being Negative Neisha.
Now, I am not suggesting that you only talk to your man about happy, sunshiney things. In fact, when Big and I talked last night, I shared some worries I was having about the stresses the distance is putting on our relationship. However, I was able to share my feelings in a calm, non-accusatory, non-drive-your-man-crazy way. We discussed my concerns, came up with some ideas for how we can make things better, and had a fun, love-filled conversation.
A man that is in love with you will be there whenever you need him–but that doesn’t mean you should abuse the situation and reach out to him out of boredom, dissatisfaction, or unhappiness. Focus on making yourself happy first and then you’ll have plenty of positivity to share with everyone.
One of the things I most appreciate about Big is his ability to call me out. He can see right through any half-true excuses I make, cutesy explanations for things, and any nuggets of unhappiness I try to pretend are not there. This ability to not only really see me–but see right through me–could really freak me out. It’s like being with someone who can almost read your mind!
However, rather than be freaked out by it, I absolutely love it. Being with Big helps me “keep it real” in that I’m not going to be able to trick him (or myself). There’s one person in this world who can see me at my worst, but instead of running for the hills, stands his ground and makes you face your own worst enemy (which is always your negative thoughts).
Worry not, ladies. I call Big out too when I see him not being his best self and making excuses for it. However, when it comes to calling out a man, you have to be careful to use it sparingly so as not to nag him and make him tune you out, resist you, and resent you.
Calling each other out is an act of love. It’s you saying to one another, “Hey, I know you, and I know you are better than this. And I’m not going to sit idly by and watch you undermine yourself.”
The next time you get called out by your man or a good friend, try to appreciate it as the learning moment and act of love that it is.