Over the past couple of posts (part one and part two) I’ve been talking about when you’re involved with someone who you don’t feel that you can ask questions of, or when you do, you get met with lies, a brick wall of silence, aggression, or passive aggressive behaviour. In the last post I focused on two key questions that you should know the answer to:
Do you have a girlfriend/wife/separated wife?
Are you interested in having a committed relationship (with me)?
The first question is about confirming that the person is actually in a position to be involving themselves with you in the first place, with the answer, if it’s negative acting as a major red flag and a signal to abort the mission. The latter question, while some may consider it a difficult one, is about getting a level of clarification about where they are at emotionally and in terms of what they want out of life so that you can decide if this is something that you want to be involved in.
There is a reason why I make a point of saying ‘a level of clarification’ – for a relationship to progress and for you to feel that you can have mutually love, care, trust, and respect, there must be action.
This means that you must not go into simple mode and assume that if someone says something that it makes it so, because whatever they have said only means something if it is backed up with action.
The answers to your questions take on meaning based on the action around them. If the persons actions match their words, then you are with someone with integrity who is acting in line with themselves and being authentic.
If the words don’t match the actions and in fact contradict them or throw up even more questions, it is a glaring red flag that you are not able to trust in what they say so you must base assumptions you make about them on their actions.
I get women explaining to me that they do ask questions but that their guy lies and he can’t be trusted so they can’t be sure of the answer. That’s not true – you have the answer.
Make sure you look at the bigger picture and don’t get lost in chasing the answer to one question or a few questions – if someone cannot be trusted to tell you the truth, has told lies and has been caught out on it, and still leaves questions over whether they are telling you the truth, it means that they cannot be trusted. Either they are untrustworthy or you don’t trust them but either way it adds up to the same thing – a relationship that cannot work.
Suspend disbelief for a moment and imagine that you are sitting at a table in an examination room and you have to make a judgement on your situation based on the information that you possess right now. What would you write down on the paper?
If you ask a question of the man you are dating or in a relationship with, and you get lies, aggression, follow up passive agression, silence, or a sustained period of The Dripfeed Manouver (when someone feeds you the truth a drip at a time), the answer is get out of the relationship.
Stop being an investigator and use the intelligence and common sense that you would apply outside your relationship inside your relationship.
You’re in search of 100% definitive answers ideally being said to you in the way that you want it to be said. Just like how someone doesn’t have to say that ‘I want out of the relationship’ to communicate that they want out of it, you must remember a fundamental thing about communication that will save you throwing away your life being the bounty answer hunter:
Communication is not all verbal.
It’s what you say, but also what goes unsaid. It’s what you do, but also what doesn’t get done. This means you must take in both visual and verbal cues and make a judgement instead of relying on words.
Actions speak louder than words.
People who don’t tell the frickin truth are all about taking advantage of the reliance of people on words instead of actions.
I explain in Mr Unavailable and the Fallback Girl is getting wise about the use of open and closed questions, something you should be aware about when thinking about what questions to ask because it shapes the type of reply you will get:
“There are basically two types of questions, open and closed. Open questions require the person to open up and provide information, whereas closed questions will get you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response. Questioning techniques are often talked about in sales but some of the principles are very applicable to dating and in the broader sense, communication.
Closed questions are very direct and can sometimes appear to be a bit confrontational and make the person feel they’’re being interrogated or interviewed for a job. They are however key in nailing down information and preventing your date from dodging being honest. Example: Do you have a girlfriend?
Open questions are more indirect but give you the possibility of them imparting a lot of information about themselves – opening up. If in doubt, as a general rule of thumb, open questions start with Who, What, When, Where, How, and Why.
Tone is key here and it is important that you relax and ask the question in an open, friendly manner. You need to use open questions to get your date talking and closed questions to nail down the information and confirm what you have deciphered. Now it is very possible that you can find out vital information through open questions in a general conversation but the problem that us Fallback Girls have is that because he hasn’t flat out stated something, or we’re afraid of hearing bad news, we don’t probe further.”
Before you question, remember a few key things:
1) Don’t interrogate unless you either want them to behave like a crime suspect or you have exhausted all the nice routes.
2) Don’t always choose negative situations to start questioning because it’s viewed as negative questioning.
3) Likewise avoid sounding too emotional and go for calm, neutral, but interested.
4) Make sure it is actually a question, not a statement/accusation.
5) If you’ve asked it before, ask it differently because question insanity is asking the same question repeatedly, getting the same answer, but continuing to ask and expecting a different result.
6) Be prepared to accept their answer as the truth (unless you happen to have evidence to the contrary) and based on that answer, ensure that their actions match their words.
7) If you don’t trust their answer, it is a major red flag and if the distrust persists, it means that the question hasn’t been answered or you’re not happy with the answer.
8) If you find that they claim to tell you the truth, then admit that they didn’t further down the line and basically dripfeed you the truth, wash your hands of them – you will never know the truth with someone like this because they will tell you what they feel you need to know.
Remember the bigger picture: If you can’t trust the responses to your questions, it answers the question of whether you should stick or fold at the relationship.
On the issue of not trusting the answer, ask yourself whether the distrust is based on real concerns based on external factors – ie his behaviour, his response, what you know his consistent character to be. Or ask yourself it’s based on internal factors i.e your distrust based on going with same guy different package hence knowing what to expect, a general distrust of people and relationships, insecurity, paranoia etc. If you can rule out the latter because you have your judgement and even evidence to back up your assessment of the situation, you know that the person cannot be trusted. If it’s the latter, you know you can’t trust yourself which means you need to resolve this otherwise you will never be able to trust people you’re in relationships with or your judgement.
Dating is a discovery and fact finding period. The idea is that you discover what you need to know to either potentially forge a relationship or to back away from one before you get too emotionally invested and are loving and trusting blindly.
You go in with a reasonable level of trust (if you don’t have it, you shouldn’t be dating), and the idea is that as you ask questions and get to know the person, it acts like a series of checks and balances – you’ll either feel more trusting or less trusting if you are not up in the sky with your head in the clouds betting on potential or suffering with I Can Change Him, or just in flat out denial.
The final part 4 (running tomorrow Wednesday) has a selection of questions. If you have any specific types of questions that you would like to be included or would like one you have to be ‘rephrased’, include it in the comments below.