Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Do Actions Really Speak Louder Than Words?

So, I have this male friend who always seems to find himself in precarious situations with women. He's always telling me that it isn't his fault that they catch feelings, because he tells them in the beginning he isn't looking for a relationship. My argument to him is always, "but you're actions don't say that" Well, last night I was on the phone with a friend and I finally see where he's coming from. I still kinda think it's bullshit, but I understand a little better.
  My homegirl has been seeing this guy for around six months and things have been steady enough. It's to the point where he has a key to her place, she has a key to his. He drives her car, she drives his, and they spend at least 5 nights per week together. Sounds like a relationship, right? (I don't know about you, but I'm not giving a key to my condo to some random ass dude) However, I talked to her the night before last and she was telling me how he kept saying he didn't want to "label" what they were doing. Now ladies, we all know what that means. The long and short of it is, he doesn't want to label it, so that way he can still date other women. Then, if you try to question him about it, he can hit you with the "but you and I aren't in a relationship."  I've never seen this work out any other way. Accuse me of painting with a broad brush, but you're going to have to give me an example to the contrary.  Anyway, she found out last night that he's been seeing this other chick and she's devastated. I sat on the phone and listened to her cry for quite a while. I don't mind doing that because lord knows there are friends of mine who have been an ear for me. I couldn't help but think back to our previous conversation, and that's where my homeboy's feelings made sense to me. She kept saying he didn't offer any explanation and she just KNOWS they're more than friends because of all the stuff I mentioned above. I mean, we're all passed the point where we have to say "will you go with me?" But, a conversation about where you stand still needs to be had. Even though you begin dating and things progress to the point where you're exchanging keys and etc., you still have to establish some boundaries. They'd clearly had this conversation before and she clearly didn't take him at his word. 
On the other hand, I tend to believe actions speak louder than words and I think that's why she's so hurt. As far as she's concerned, they were in a relationship. They were doing relationship type things, so it's a little disingenuous for him to now act as if he doesn't owe her any explanation. Prior to last night, I wouldn't have been trying to hear what him or my homeboy were saying, but it makes sense to me now. I'm trying to look at this objectively, which is hard because she's my friend, but I have to acknowledge that he has a point. So I guess in the end, we have to start listening to what people tell us, even if their actions scream something different.  I know that doesn't make sense, but that's where we are right now.


  1. Both are wrong.

    He's wrong for playing in the lack of clarity and she's wrong for not establishing the ground rules. Trust me, I've been there MANY times. Women sometimes want us to say - hey, I see you are MORE caught up than you should be if we're doing x and y, but that's not really how it works and then there are those ladies who don't tell their girls that they actually have been lying to themselves too because they thought if they actually said - hey, I got boundaries that they'd lose that man. They just never wanted to hear that he was dating, even if they knew the possibility existed.

    Again, doesn't excuse the guy for his part, but I've seen ALL of those things happen to me and I know that I'm an over communicator when it comes to these things. I will go overboard to say - uh, you know I'm just hitting this and enjoying our fun time, right? So, just know that yes - guys do have a point on this.

  2. Most guys are not "over-communicators" about this. Let's just be serious here. Most aren't going to say "you know I'm just hitting this right" because it will mess up all the perks that they're getting. That's why it's easier to just "not label" it. Men and women who go that route want the waters to be muddy. It's the only way they get to have their cake and eat it too. I don't think she was lying to herself. I think she just got caught up in an assumption. You assume when you're spending damn near every night with someone that they don't really have time to be seriously dating some other chick. I think she got a reality check, but she'll know to do better next time.

  3. I have been in this situation before. In my experience, men always tell you exactly what they want in the beginning of the dating relationship. Unless they later say otherwise, none of their actions can (now) convince me that they have changed their mind.

    This guy simply gets comfortable having his cake and eating it too. I think it's the compination of words and actions that help determine what a guy wants...and this guy clearly wanted the best of both worlds - a "girlfriend experience" but with the freedom of dating around.