Back when I didn’t know any better I used to think that just because someone loved me and I loved them that they could read my mind. I figured that love would naturally gift them a supernatural ability for picking up nuances in my actions and minuscule hints I’d drop. If they knew, remembered, and/or understood without me having to ask, discuss, explain, and/or remind them then it was true love!
Back when I didn’t know any better you would have often heard me complain…
i shouldn’t have to tell you…
if you really loved me…
This way of thinking had me walking down a lonely path that I knew too well; that same old path my mother had traveled down while raising me. My mother always felt alone wishing that my father would read her mind.
My mother wanted my father to…
- remember without being reminded
- guess solutions without being asked questions
- communicate without being invited to discuss
When I watched my mother nag, whine, complain, and rant about my father’s lack of love for her because he never knew/remembered/understood how she felt or what she needed it seemed insane to me, but (and this a big but) when it was me doing the same thing in my relationships I didn’t know better. I had learned from my mother the problem so well that even though I knew the solution I only knew how to mimic her problematic behavior.
The Problem: expecting others to read our minds!
Why did I expect my partner(s) to read my mind and figure out what I wanted, needed, hoped for or expected?
It sounds just plain silly doesn’t it? Expecting someone to “get” what we have kicking around in our heads without giving them the tools to “know” vital things that would allow them to love us better.
How would it be possible for someone to know what we have in our minds? Better yet why would we expect them to do such an impossible thing on a consistent basis?
Because they love us? Because they value us? Because they are connected to us?
Yes! Yes! Yes!
If they really loved us…
If they really valued us…
If they really were connected to us…
Proof of love, validation and a solid connection don’t come from a person being able to always anticipate our needs.
Proof of love, validation and a solid connection come from our loved ones accepting our invitations to collaborate. When we ask for what we want, need or desire we are inviting our partners to collaborate with us. When we remind our partners about things we invite them to hold space for something that is of value to us. When we explain to our loved ones they can clearly see our point of view which allows them to make informed decisions about our needs, wants, and desires. When we discuss with our partners we open our own hearts and minds as well as theirs; discussing is the best collaboration of all.
But if I have to tell my partner then it just isn’t the same because if they loved me they’d know! It just doesn’t mean as much if I have to tell them.
I once really felt that way because I was looking for that validation and proof I just talked about. I was looking for that validation and proof because I didn’t understand that my search for validation and proof of love really stemmed from my own insecurity, doubt and past hurt + watching my mother’s example.
It has taken me many years of loving the same person to realize that I really didn’t want my partner to read my mind…
- I just didn’t have the confidence to ask for what I wanted.
- I doubted that reminding my partner would actually help them remember what was important to me.
- I hurt too much to explain where within me my emotions were coming from and how my partner could help me deal with them.
- I was too busy trying to control our relationship by using faulty theories I had learned growing up to allow discussion of how things should be.
Once I realized these things I was able to deal with each of them one at a time. I was able to ask, remind, explain, and discuss with my partner.
And you know what happened? We began to collaborate on all things which helped us find more satisfaction in our personal lives, our relationship, in parenting our children and yes, sexually too!
Yes, I ask for what I want, need, and desire. Often. And it still means just as much when I get it!
Valentine’s Day is coming up… it is a great time of year to invite our partners to collaborate with us.
© Anaín Bjorkquist February 7, 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved.