More on Being Clear with Your Intentions
Discussions on other forums made me realize I needed to add one piece to my post about men being clear with their intentions. Some men are not upfront about their intentions because they are shy, anxious, or preoccupied about being rejected, and play it safe. Some men are not upfront because they think that no woman would want to just have sex, and by not saying anything they can fly under what they think is the "constant surveillance for a relationship" radar of all women. Some men who want a relationship with a woman are afraid to explicitly say so because the woman has said that she only wants something casual, and silently suffer through heartache hoping the woman will come around in time.
First off, there is nothing wrong with wanting just sex, wanting something casual, or not wanting a relationship at this time in your life, for men or women. Men often misinterpret women as ready to judge them for this at any opportunity they sniff it out in a man's attitude. Fact is, a lot of women are not into having a relationship in their life, and it is even becoming more typical that women are seeking nothing more than a casual relationship with a man as well. What tends to drive women crazy is when a man feigns wanting a relationship then watching a man's behavior completely contradict this. Bottom line, if you are just looking for sex or a casual relationship (NSA, or whatever) it is ok to be clear about this up front. In fact I am suggesting you do. Men, you will be surprised to find that there are in fact women looking for the same thing and you can feel at ease knowing that you have nothing to hide and that she is with you in whatever capacity based on full openness and honesty. An article online defined one reason that people struggle with happiness is when your relationships lack an honest, mutual understanding. If you can be honest upfront you will be so much happier.
If you are NOT looking for a relationship, you need to be clear about this, especially when it comes to dating or if you have been in a relationship for a while and no longer want to be in that relationship. If you DO want a relationship, same rule applies. Silence in the face of someone saying they want something different (than you know you want secretly) is understood as assent to what the other person wants. If you meet a woman through online dating for example, you cannot listen to her say she wants a committed relationship, then make a move, make out, and have sex without her thinking that you have the same idea in mind that she has. She is going to be thinking, "I was clear with him that I wanted a relationship and he kept going beyond that point, so that means he wants the same thing." Many men will silently truck along after a woman says this explicitly and then try to excuse themselves by saying that they never told her that they want a relationship. If a woman is making it clear upfront that she wants a relationship then it is your responsibility to be clear if you are looking for something different.
There are other situations where this is not so straightforward. If you just meet a woman and hit it off and start to hook up, and she has not said anything about a relationship, I don't think it is necessary for the man to put the breaks on and declare that it's time to define the relationship. Some women may argue with me on this point, but to me this is two people having just met, and if the woman wants something specific out of the situation it is her responsibility to say so. I tend to see this is more of a grey area. It is not the responsibility of the man to try to define it for her or to go out of his way to help her define the situation. You might want to, since you don't know her, and by taking it out of the grey area you may avoid having someone knowing where to find you angry, reminding you of what a jerk you are for not being clear about what your intentions are.
Photo Courtesy of sammydavisdog (http://www.flickr.com/photos/25559122@N06/3683084754/)