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Posted by breath (Member # 50014) on :
Hello all,

I wanted to hear/get some input from others about what are healthy ways or patterns of establishing/navigating communication the ambigious space when you first meet someone that you may be interested in, as a person, as a friendship component or etc.

To illustrate this more specifically, I have recently found myself in a situation where I'm physically/sexually personal / intimate with someone (A stranger - someone I only met a few times and all but one of them were in a personal/intimate context). I have realized that I do want to have a friendship component to it, that I am unhappy or less satisfied with a strictly sexual only interaction. It seems like I have three ways to go about how to address this.

Method 1: Just go through more sexual encounters or meetings and then wait and see what the 'evidence' is over time (ie. a few weeks-6-8 weeks). The neg sides are that I may be unhappy, emotionally taxing process of waiting, wondering, running a mental trial jury, finding out, etc.

Method 2: Be upfront and say 'Are you looking for a sexual only interaction? B ecause I'm not looking for that, I would like to have a friendship component too, yet I don't want you to call me or get in touch with anymroe outside of what we have currently,I still want to have a friendship-like component". My friend said that saying this upfront to someone isn't likely going to help accomplish what you are looking for. They may be put on the spot, don't know where you are coming from, they may say 'NO, they want friendship-like component too " jsut to appease you and the situation.

Method 3: proactive,dont make assumptions that a certain person only wants sex, to not make any conclusions based on how things went the first few times. Perhaps this person is just as undecided and unclear on what they also want, so asking them to take the lead on something like this isn't going to be helpful. instead of "talking", to demonstrate with actions by "DOIng". If I don't want a sexual only situation, then to demonstrate that by asking for meeting for example for lunch over the weekend, somtime or go to a museum or something simple.To have some confidence by asking for what I want and then letting the other person decide if they are interested or not. Even if I don't want a monogous romantic relationship, I may wnat a mild friendship relationship and that I have to take steps by cultivating that. By asking or suggesting to say meeting for lunch on Sunday instead of Thrusday night 10pm...I am communicating something. Similarly, I may say that i'm busy Thursday night break out of the previous pattern and again see/communicate or see if a friendship component can be development. Also, just keep at doing non-sexual things or suggesting them and then seeing the person 's response over a period of time.
So is the third way one way a healthy balanaced relatinships might be? Is this one healthy way to communicate and make friends and connections with people/stranges when there is a high degree of uncertainty and you dont know the person enough to really have an open serious conversation about what they want? Any suggestions on how to communicate and go about navigating this

[ 04-09-2012, 02:17 AM: Message edited by: breath ]
Posted by moonlight bouncing off water (Member # 44338) on :
Well I think that the forst way seems like it could cause a lot of hurt and simmering resentment on yourside, continuing something that is or that you know will nake you unhappy just isn't a sound idea.

I'd say that you could try a combination along the lines of the last two. Saying something along the lines of: "our interactions so far have only/mostly been sexual, but I'm not looking for a sexual only interaction. So how about we go to the movie/museum/park/restaurant on Saturday?". Something along those lines might work the best as it does presume to tell the person what they want but does open up the dialogue to help you figure out what they want and it provides an opportunity to turn the relationship (or whatever you'd like to call it) more towards what you're looking for.

You could also try flat out asking this pwrso what it is that ze wants out this. (Which I guess is very much your second option).

Whatever you do, I'd say it is certainly the healthiest route toi define once and for all what exactly this is and means to the both of you.

And I think your friend is wrong that this is a bad idea and would put this peraon on the spot, ze may feel a bit on the spot, but that is far better than never defining whatever this is for the both of you.

Best of luck.
Posted by breath (Member # 50014) on :
Yes, the friend is saying that when you are so early into meeting someone, people don't know or haven't decided what it is that you want. He was aying that such direct conversation is more appropriate once you have had some familarity with each other...for such early stage, it is better to show/communicate - instead of having such a conversation that may not serve anything productice, it's better to DO by actions what you want...and then the other person can decide if they want this or not..
Posted by Redskies (Member # 79774) on :
I think that your friend is both right and wrong. With an ongoing relationship, we can't predict how anyone is going to feel in the future, so we should leave space for the relationship to develop in the way that feels best for everyone involved. However, negotiating needs isn't the same as laying out a plan for the relationship; negotiating what we want/need in the here and now is also different from negotiating what we need/want in the long term.

When we feel unsure about something, it's nearly always a good idea to voice it in some way to clear it up. It's true, people do work differently - but if we feel like we Want to voice something, that's usually a sign that voicing it would be the best way for us.

Negotiating a need/want in the here and now doesn't have to be heavy. I'm not sure exactly what you're expressing that you want, and I don't want to put words in your mouth, so I'll use an example from my own life. I might say to someone, "hey, I like a bit of friendly conversation with my hook-up, and a smile hello if we see each other in the supermarket, but no big deal. Does that work for you?" Then there's a baseline of the way in which we expect to relate to each other, and the relationship has room to develop - it might peter out, the friendship might become a bigger part of it, or one of us might say we don't want to talk about really personal stuff if the conversation ever goes in that direction...

For those of us who feel better when we talk about everything more explicitly near the beginning, that's ok - we probably just need to find people who are ok about doing that with us too. In that respect, I think your friend's wrong: if we're getting uncomfortable or bothered because we're unsure of something, then That isn't a way to have a relationship freely and comfortably develop, either!
Posted by breath (Member # 50014) on :
Should I do this over email or in person? if in person, should I do it on the day that I generally have seen this person in his place on Thrusday night or should I do it over email asking to meet for "Saturday lunch"?

i guess it doesn't matter...which ever is the easiest path which is probably email to me.

May the lunch business is too much drama,...what ever the person feels, it will come through either on lunch saturday or thrusday night or via email. I think it's imp for me to realize that i'm doing this for ME. I can just mentally tell myself that although i'm going to see him at the apt, i wouldn't be planning to stay there...overnight etc...that i'm going there to let the person know about my own needs/wants with the situation..and that i ought be prepared to leave as well if i can tell from the convo that things aren't going well..

I guess i'm over thinking it, doesn't matter. i think the easiest thing for me to do is shoot an email. thats' it.


[ 04-10-2012, 02:56 PM: Message edited by: breath ]
Posted by breath (Member # 50014) on :
Thanks Redskies, i appreciate your input. this makes perfect sense. The conversation happened, and I felt really great/ reliefed afterwards.

I guess my second question is more like, there is a part of me that says "you are chasing a dead unicorn,, this situation has nothing more to give to u then maybe some good sex and some good times(maybe)", and that there isn't anything really worthwhile for me there, this person is 41 with a kid, but i enjoy the time spend, treated fairly, its good nonabusive , nothing bad, all good easy lighthearted - but I think I'm 24, perhaps I shud be off meeting people who I can built a " future" with ............
The first half of me also says that I want to make sound decisions that safeguard my interests/wellbeing, and want to stay away from people who may not quiet match there...engaging with someone like this person who may not be available for me much is one way to hurt myself. (Maybe I'm making a wrongful assumption here about "getting hurt" and what it all entails)

And the other part of me says to me to live in the here and now, and based on what you know. That I can't predict the future so make my decisions or chose my thinking re: this situation with this person based on the NOW, putting my self first and just wait and see. that I am are taking a journey, not reaching a destination.this second half of me also says that I dont know how situation may turn out with this don't make asusmptions or judgements.

My compromise with these conflicting feelings is that to take things v. v. slowly with this person, to remind myself that I do enjoy time with this person whenever that is, to keep in mind that I barely even know this person much, and that I am open and meeting other people of course.

Is this a sound way to manage this in the now?Any tips to add on, to what i'm doing?

[ 04-17-2012, 10:55 PM: Message edited by: breath ]
Posted by Redskies (Member # 79774) on :
I think perhaps the only person who can know if this is really sound or not is you, because you're the person who knows the situation, how you feel and what you want. So, I think I'll give you some general points and see if that helps. If I'm on the wrong track, do let me know.

I think that the first thing to do is to try to be really honest with ourselves about how we feel and what we want. Are we Honestly happy with something the way it is, do we Really want it the way it is? Or do we actually quietly wish it was a bit different, or are we hoping it might become something different in the future, or do we actually really want something for ourself that's different altogether?

If we're wishing or hoping for something a bit different, that's something to take notice of. In a new relationship, these things can be a bit of an unknown, and sometimes maybe we do have to wait and see a bit - but it's wise to be aware of what we really want, and check in with ourselves about it, so we make sure we don't get to a situation where we're waiting forever. We also want to do a check on the reality as far as we know it - if we want something that the other person has expressed/indicated they don't want, can't provide, or that just isn't practically possible, then we should be pretty clear to ourselves that what we wanted just isn't going to happen, and seriously ask if we want to continue. If we think that we'll want certain things quite strongly, it's ok to have a conversation about that and say that we would want those things, and check whether there is a possibility or not from the other person - because again, if it was a definite "no", that's probably something that we want to know so we can make the best decisions for ourselves before we've invested a very great deal.

If what we really want is something quite different from what we have, that's something to check in with ourselves about. Sometimes, some kind of companionship/sexual relationship/friendship (so long as it's healthy) Can be better than none, if we haven't found what we really want otherwise. We should check, though, that the "second-best" thing is still something that makes us feel good and feels like a positive addition to our life. It shouldn't be something that makes us ache or hurt because of what it Isn't, or that makes us even sadder that we don't have the thing we really want. It also shouldn't be something that prevents us from doing what we need in order to find/achieve the thing we really want - for example, it's not a good idea to spend time or emotional energy etc on a "second-best" if we don't have any other time/energy/etc to use for what we want the most. (I'd hope it would go without saying, too, that the other person in a "second-best" set-up should know the situation and be fully comfortable and in agreement with it.)
Posted by breath (Member # 50014) on :
Thanks Redskies, what you said makes a long of sense.

I have ossillated between the two decisions points. Waiting and seeing isn't really an option - it is more of away for me to delay the decision or taking a firm stance here. In almost every way, we are in a way waiting and seeing- if things don't go as well, or do, we adjust accordingly.

I only see this person once a month or more. I enjoy the interaction it's healthy and certainly a small positive addition to my life. I am open to meeting more people and hope to cultivate more friendships in the upcoming months. As for emotional energy, I have to admit that I have found myself thinking about this person after the meetings more often than I would like to admit, But that's something that I can acknowledge as normal and then go back to my work/studies.

When I told the person that I was interesting doing more fun things ie. friendship, it was well received. However, it hasn't actually materlized so I'm more of the belief that really, this person doesn't envision any thing with ME atleast. I don't mind it, my past experiences have taught me that rarely has to do with me and more so of the person who is not interested in me.

That being said, I realize that the best decision for me is the decision that i can carry out well and with self-care.

I do want the sexual part of the interaction with this person to be more involvement: more lights, more touching , eye contact etc. I don't know if it'll happen or happen the next time but I can try to express this when the time is right and see.

So far, all is chill...

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