Raise your hand if you have a hard time putting your desires into words.
Let’s face it – knowing exactly what you want is really hard sometimes. Once you’ve figured it out, it can be just as hard (or even harder!) to find the words to tell your partner.
I know I’m really guilty of this. That’s why I’d rather do everything in writing. Yes, I know it’s irritating to wait three-to-five business days for a response, but indecision is torment for me. I like knowing I’ve got time to change my mind.
I’m sure it’s got to be irritating for my girlfriend, too, and for that I salute her. Even when I can’t find the words, somehow she hears them and does exactly what needs to be done.
So… What does she do that’s so special?
Step one: Be independent.
If I don’t know what I want, I can’t tell you what you should be doing. You should already have that figured out, and you should be able to do your own thing.
… and let her be independent, too.
I need to know that, once I do figure out what I want, I can pursue it. I don’t need you to get it for me – after all, I’m indecisive because I want things to be perfect. I don’t want to put the pressure of perfection on anyone but myself.
Step two: Be smart.
Of course, you’ll need to understand my body language and all the things I don’t say. (Because I probably won’t say them.) You’ll also have to be on your toes, because I might decide what I want at a moment’s notice, and you’ll need to react accordingly – as well as quickly decide whether you’re on board or not.
… but don’t be a jerk about it.
There’s a fine line between smart and pretentious. Don’t step over that line. Don’t even step near that line. For the woman who doesn’t know what she wants, what she really wants is for you to be smarter than her, but never acknowledge that you’re smarter than her. (Telling your girlfriend she’s dumb will never work out in your favor, trust me.)
Step three: Be flexible.
The woman who doesn’t know what she wants isn’t going to expect you to approve of every decision she makes, but she is going to expect you to support her. Keep your negative comments to yourself. If she’s decided she wants to go after something, trust that she took a lot of deliberating to reach that decision – back her up!
…especially in the bedroom.
If she doesn’t know what she wants in bed, it can be a frustrating situation for you. You may go through more ups and downs in your sex life than you’d care to admit. She might go months without showing any real desire, and then have weeks where she doesn’t want to leave the sheets. Roll with it.
Step four: Encourage her self-love.
Some indecisive women may be that way because they’ve come to feel that their choices are bad. She might believe that she’s always doing the wrong thing, so she wants to take extra time to think things through to make sure she’s making smart choices. Reassure her that she only has to please herself.
… but don’t lie to her.
Don’t tell your girlfriend she’s got the best idea ever if it’s something unsafe, for example. Be realistic with the things you tell her. No one deserves to be lied to. And if she’s asking if she looks OK when you’re going out in public, don’t say yes to save her feelings – save her some embarrassment!
Step five: Protect her.
If she’s planning to do something unsafe, make sure you do your best to stop her. If you think she’s in danger, let her know. Basically, it’s your job to help keep her safe – make sure you’re doing a good job!
…but respect her.
Some women don’t like to be saved. I happen to be one of those women. If I’ve got a bug to squash, or a mugger to chase away, or something like that, let me handle it myself – I don’t need a white knight! If you try to help your girlfriend and she doesn’t want to let you, step back. She’s got this covered.
Step six: Give her permission to change her mind.
You can’t reasonably expect her to be held to any decision you rushed her into, so if there’s any question that you might have guided the choice for her, she gets a free pass to change her mind once she’s thought it through. No exceptions.
…but don’t let her take advantage.
She shouldn’t be flip-flopping, though. If your girlfriend takes advantage of a “second chance” and changes her mind again, you should nudge her to make a decision. This is especially true if the decision directly pertains to your relationship. For example, if she can’t decide whether she wants exclusivity or not, she doesn’t.
Step seven: Talk to her friends and family.
They might be able to offer some insight as to why she is the way she is. Maybe there are some situations where they can predict her response – maybe a situation she’s already been through before, and how it turned out last time.
…but let her make the final call.
If she doesn’t want you talking to her friends and family, or if she says something that goes against what her friends and family suggested she might, trust her word as the Final Word (unless, as in step six, she’s changed her mind).
Step eight: Just love her.
Treat her with love, honesty, and respect. Treat her as an equal partner. Basically, just be good to her – and you’ll do fine! The simple fact that you care about being a better partner to her will show through. Try, and I’m sure she’ll help you out as much as she can.
…but make sure she loves you back.
If she ends up deciding that what she wants isn’t you, you’ve got no choice but to let her go. It’s going to hurt, probably for a long time. But you deserve happiness, too. You can’t spend all your attention on someone who doesn’t appreciate your efforts. If at any point you feel like your needs aren’t being met too, you are allowed to say something. In fact, I encourage it.
There’s an important difference between not knowing and just being a jerk. Don’t let yourself be the chump who wastes all your energy on the wrong woman – that’s one of the most painful things you can experience. Being her will drain more out of you than a hundred break-ups.
Of course, I can’t tell you how much you should tolerate, but she can’t tell you that, either. No one deserves to be treated like garbage – no matter how confused the other person might be.
Don’t settle for less than you deserve trying to please a woman who doesn’t love you back!