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Do actions speak louder?

June 13, 2012

Canada’s been gone for, oh, almost three weeks now.

Oh, sorry, no – not gone-gone. Just, went-bounding-off-to-the-woods-for-field-research-gone.

One thing I get asked when people find out he’s been gone so long is how often do we talk – I think it’s one way people gauge our level of interest in each other, and how serious things are. My answer is not really what people expect, kinda like my answer to “what do you guys do together?

“Well… I’ve had a couple texts from him.”

You can probs envision the general response this gets, especially when it was two texts, both in response to me.

See, Canada ain’t that into communication. No, scratch that. Canada is great at communication when we’re face-to-face. But e-mail? Phone calls? Texting? Not so much. For example:

I was actually first interested in Canada last December. I sent him a quick one-liner email, got the same back. I responded, trying to be flirty, but not with any real questions of any kind (and my e-mail flirtation ability is questionable).

He never wrote back.

I figured, naturally right, that he wasn’t interested. Then, I saw him later in the winter, and he acted absolutely interested (and I was a lil like wtf). Hence – one thing led to another, I ended up e-mailing my phone number, got a text within an hour. We had plans by the end of the week.

Now, here’s the thing. I always say actions over words. Always. Anyone can tell you what you want to hear, and how many times have we seen the person who says all the right things suddenly disappear? As such, I have always believed talk can be real fuckin’ cheap, and the thing we should actually pay attention to is what people do.

As for Canada? He may not be that great on the words part when not in the same room as I am, but in everything else? He just shows up. While we’ve only had the one phone conversation, he’s always gets in touch when he says he’s going to about making plans, and he doesn’t make me wait for a response when I ask him what’s going on. In addition, we’ve had some pretty damn serious conversations face-to-face (he knows about my current depression-stuff and about my sister). I’ve been very blunt and honest with him – and he’s handled every convo like a flippin’ adult. He’s been just as honest and straightforward.

So. Actions, right?

But… I totally feel the how many texts in three weeks?? thing. Really, I do. See, when I’m with him, I don’t worry. I know not to worry. But, when it’s been a bit… sometimes I get all kinds of doomsday-y about the lack of communication. Why else do you think I even wrote that post? And over the past couple weeks? Hells yeah I started to wonder. I worried. I just wanted him to goddamn text me just the one goddamn time.

Legit, kids. All of you who went errrrr… yikes on the inside about Canada’s lack of words – by now? Right there with ya.

And, actually, it’d been two texts, again all in response to me, up until last night. When I got the one text that made it real damn clear that yep, all my worry had been for no good fucking reason.

I mean, I know Canada just isn’t a texter. I know, when I am with him, that he is letting actions speak louder than words. That how he treats me and takes on my shit, that he is just going to show the fuck up should mean way, way more than the fact that he just doesn’t like e-mail.

And yet. I still have this issue! I still want for the text to come in – even though all along, all I’ve ever said is actions speak louder. Canada appears to be the epitome of that – so what the fuck is my fucking problem?

What do you think, dear readers? Do actions trump words, or do we actually need that text coming through?

25 Comments leave one →
  1. June 13, 2012 3:10 pm

    It does seem (from what you are saying here) that he really does do what he says he will do; as in his actions do speak louder. Which is great.

    About the texting; well if it was me I would be a little “ehm what is going on” as well. But then that is because I would judge it based on how I as a person interact with someone else. Maybe that is just what it is… that you know that you would text him more often, in what is “normal” for you. We often judge someones behavior based on how we would act ourselves.

    So even though you know that you can trust him and knowing that he is not that into the whole phone/email/text thing all that much, it still feels a bit weird because most people are used to a bit more of that type of communication.

    I guess the main thing here is if you trust him. From what I understand he seems like a sound guy. Actions do speak louder than words. Don’t let the whole lack of texting get to you too much. Maybe you can just tell him that a text every once in a while makes you feel good about where you two are going or something like that. In the end of the day, we all have a different level of understanding of what acceptable communication is all about.

    • June 13, 2012 5:26 pm

      I totally agree, Ivy. It really is about the trust, and that his actions are really important. In fact, maybe he’s thinking he’s being good at showing me how he feels in ways that are comfortable to him. If I want something different, I need to ask for that.

      Then again, part of my thought process/point that I didn’t make in the post is – why do I think I need that? What makes us decide that we need to be in *this kind* of contact to show someone how we care – when we’ve seen so often that that can be very false? It’s easy to send text messages, and then people don’t actually show up.

      Maybe we should be more open about what kinds of communication we’re comfortable with, and that simply because we have *different* understandings and comfort levels, as you point out, doesn’t mean things about how someone feels, necessarily, and we shouldn’t equate our thoughts to theirs. As you say.

  2. ruthless permalink
    June 13, 2012 3:33 pm

    I would ask myself this question if I were you, “why do I want him to contact me?”

    If it’s a) “because I miiiiis hiiiim (insert sappy voice and facial expression) then you should sent him a text saying “yo, I miss you and kinda fell a bit alone when I don’t see or hear from you this long, ya think you could flip me a txt a bit more often?”

    if its b) “because I don’t know what he’s doing!” then it might be a trust thing. I’d maybe take a good long look at my belly button and find out some detailed feelings before deciding weather to try to be more trusting or yank his chain to prove himself a bit more (give and take, etc…)

    but I suspect its c) aka “THE GENDER SCRIPT SAYS WERE SUPPOSED TO TXT EACH OTHER 3 TIMES A WEEK OR I HAVE TO GET ALL CLINGY ON YOU AND FREAK OUT WAAAAHHH!!!” in which case you get a new gender script to personally dismantle, fun times! 😀

    as a hetero dude tho I will say that the idea that dudes are all 110% “ugh why this chick gotta sweat me all the damn time when I’m doin some work shit!” is about 60 40 myth to reality. Yea, nobody likes phone calls every hour on the hour but the idea that I was on my SO’s mind for the brief period that I had one, and knowing her hearing my voice made her happy (rather than serving as a check in like I would with a parole officer) always gave me warm fuzzies even if I did kinda want her to buzz off at that moment.

    • June 13, 2012 5:31 pm

      I think you hit it, ruthless.

      It’s not only about what Ivy says about, but also about *why* I want to hear from him, why it bothers me, and if those reasons are legit/require some additional convo. He can’t read my mind, and if I need something else, I need to ask for it.

      The thing is, I’m not sure why I feel like I need more communication. What I really want is what he’s already doing – showing up and handling shit like an adult – so most of the time, I’m not totally sure why I care if I don’t get a text or a phone call. Honestly, I think a good part of it is due to my own insecurities at present, and feeling a lil extra needy just in general, simply because I’m dealing with some serious shit. However, rationally I recognize this is something I need to handle myself, and turn to my friends for support on. Not entirely, but we’ve only been dating two months. Know what I’m saying?

      But yeah – I think you and Ivy pretty much summed it up. 😀

      PS I do think one thing is *knowing* if I give him some warm fuzzies – but ya know, he lets me know that later. He doesn’t need to text me right away to tell me about it. I think I’m ok with that.

    • June 20, 2012 10:13 am

      I would just like to say “ditto” and right on dude.

  3. June 14, 2012 7:42 am

    I think Ruthless hit the nail on the head. When I was younger, I would obsess about constant communication. This was before texting and even emailing. It was all about the phone call. Now, I actually dread the whole texting thing. It’s so easy to misinterpret texts and even emails. I’ve had this happen with friends. I start to worry that the other person is angry with me for some unknown reason if I don’t get a text or if the wording seems off. I’ve gotten to the point where if you’ve got a problem, you’ve got to let me know directly. If you’re going to be there for me, be there. I do think that even sending that simple communication by text or phone message can be an important act. But, that can’t be everything.

    • June 14, 2012 9:53 am

      Agreed – and you make another point that it’s interesting (to me, anyway). I wholeheartedly agree that it is SO easy to misinterpret email and texts – and I’ve also been of the mind that if you have a problem, you need to tell me. In turn, if I have a problem, I’ll actually tell you, too. That I take people at their word, and it’s their responsibility to be honest. That’s another reason my reaction to all this is so interesting to, well, me.

  4. June 14, 2012 9:10 am

    I think it’s the classic case of be careful of what you wish for. We all have dreams and expectations, but normally our past conditioning hardly lives up to our wants. This when we greet what we want our insides freak out.

    Obviously Canada is a solid trustworthy guy, who also is strong and silent. That speaks to his charterer

  5. June 14, 2012 9:12 am

    Sorry, phone posting again. He is secure in himself, and trusts it you. No need for him to be texting constantly.

    I like him already!

    • June 14, 2012 9:56 am

      Ha! Yep on the first point, Bob. Actually, I think that’s something that kinda freaks me out. You know, the idea that I actually may have met someone who really is what I would ask for… yikkeeesssss!! And who knows if that feeds into anything…

      And, yes, I think you’re right that he’s also showing his own security in himself and all this.

      Thank goodness you like him – I couldn’t have a dude named Canada that was a douche canoe!

  6. June 14, 2012 8:15 pm

    I once dated a person who emailed me every single morning when she got to work and checked in via text several times throughout the day. Trust me when I say that I ate up all those words. Heartily.

    That’s why it came as such a surprise when one morning out of the blue she emailed me to say that it was over. I say it was “out of the blue” because, literally the day before, she’d sent me an email with the subject line “I love you.”

    Words are wonderful, but they need to be backed up by actions. If you’ve got the actions, treasure them, and when he throws a few words your way, consider them icing on the cake.

    • June 15, 2012 1:50 pm

      OMG I cannot EVEN imagine – and I am pretty sure I know the relationship of which you speak (because I read your blog because it is awesome). And that THAT was some shit.

      Words are cheap. For realz.

      • June 15, 2012 6:43 pm

        Yep. You know the one. *cringe*

        Lesson learned, though. People aren’t always what they seem.

        • June 19, 2012 3:26 pm

          Ugh. Yep. Wish that lesson hadn’t felt the need to smack you upside the head with a two-by-four. Seemed a lil much.

  7. Random Zoe permalink
    June 16, 2012 5:38 pm

    I think Ruthless hit the nail on the head too. If you miss him. try humour. I hate texting, email, and even absurdly gushy talk so even though I’m not a dude, I can totally relate to the way they must want to roll their eyes. Try … “Hey dude- haven’t heard from ya. I figure eithr you’re (1) really busy with work (2) you won the lotto or (3) got abducted by space aliens. Should I call The FBI or meet you in Tahiti? 🙂 “

    • June 19, 2012 3:27 pm

      Ha! Good advice!

      I am also not one to normally need any of this, and I surely do not want texts/emails/phone calls on a daily basis – or the mush.

  8. June 18, 2012 1:47 pm

    I like what Ruthless said, too. Sometimes when I get frustrated with lack of texts, I send one that just says, “Just wanted to let you know I’m thinking of you.” Usually that gets a response and then the next time, he’ll usually initiate something similar.

    • June 19, 2012 3:30 pm

      Yep. In addition, if you do this and the other person has a mini-freak-out, pretty damn good evidence y’all are on different pages. Not that things need to end, but perhaps at least a convo. I think it’s ok to be on *slightly* different pages early on, as long as you’re both invested to be patient and figure things out in time.

      If you can’t even talk about it though… might be time to move on.

  9. June 19, 2012 1:29 am

    Wow, Nikki, sounds like you’ve argued both sides of the case. I applaud you for being level-headed about this whole thing. I have a girlfriend who already would’ve decided it was over at this point. Meaning she would have magically read his thoughts and decided exactly what he was trying to say with his non-communication (he hates me!), then sent HIM a text saying, “I get it, you don’t like me, and it’s cool. Have fun on your research thingy and best of luck to you.”

    When she does this I want to ring her neck. Of course, this girl happens to like a LOT of communication. Like, several texts a day, and when she doesn’t get one back she starts to panic (obviously).

    The thing is, not everyone communicates the same way or has the same communication needs. It sounds like you know this and that you know Canada just isn’t the big communicator.

    Why do we care? Well, because, ya know, communication IS actually important in a relationship. And maybe you’d prefer a little more communication than he does – AND THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

    Maybe you guys should talk about it. After he gets back, when you see that everything is in fact totally cool, and in a completely non-confrontational way – just let him know you’d like to hear from him a little more. Maybe? Or would that freak him out? Some men are fucking weird about that shit. And I HATE that I’m even saying that. You SHOULD be able to talk to him. But really, I think you know best and you’re a smart chickie and you know him better than any of us do. I’m confident you’ll know how to handle it.

    • June 19, 2012 3:35 pm

      He’s back and all is well. In addition, the boy may not *like* phone/email communication, but he is good with his words when he uses them and he doesn’t waste the texts he does send. So. Yeah.

      I hear you on your friend – I know people like that as well, and I start to wonder about the fine line between knowing when you’re getting blown off, and freaking out for no reason. Where we are somehow *forced* to used the vast array of communication available just to show we’re interested – instead of just. showing. that. we’re. interested. when in person.

      Because, yeah, the bottom line is we’re all different in what we’re comfy with. It shouldn’t *necessarily* have something to say about how we feel about some one.

      Of course, for this to work, people actually have to communicate in SOME form. And they have to be honest. And try to avoid the whole fade thing. Augh.

  10. June 23, 2012 1:12 pm

    1. excited to finally get caught up on your posts.
    2. couldn’t agree more my dear… all the guys who have been so great with words have turned out to be the biggest cheaters/losers in the long run (the ways that matter)
    3. the guy i’m with now doesn’t gush his feelings all the time.. BUT he told me that he never wanted to be a BS guy and he always said he would rather just show me how much he cares by what he does and how he takes care of me since words don’t mean shit anyway. but i think its hard as girls sometimes, because we are SO USED to the BS that when a guy isn’t constantly complimenting and going overboard with the cheesy sayings, we are like, “whats wrong?” haha

    • June 25, 2012 11:35 am

      1. Excited to see you’re back (again).

      2. Yep – my experience as well. Both people who said things that sounded nice, clearly didn’t mean them. Even if they thought they did at the time.

      3. I would say Canada would probably fall into the camp your dude occupies – with the additional caveat that it’s still early on in things, and he’s not one to go rushing off. Which I also appreciate (see #2). I agree that it’s tough because, yes, we are conditioned to believe we need constant words to make us feel good and as evidence that someone cares – even when their actions don’t measure up.


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