Put Your Cards On the Table

A very dear regular of mine asked me the other day, “Why is it that people in relationships always ask, What are you thinking?” A lot of the time, when that special person asks this question too frequently, it is because they have some secret thoughts all their own.

This is sometimes a classic case of projection: your partner or romantic interest might be asking you that question while they ponder whether you might be doing the very same thing. There is often also a fear of being the first one to put those “cards on the table.” They would like you to do it first. Of course!

I’ll bet if you asked yourself about this honestly, you would think of many instances while you were dating – or during your long-term relationships – when that question was put to you, and when you asked it yourself. Although it is always scary to get one’s thoughts and feelings out into the open, your date or partner might be picking up on “something.” It is really important to be honest about that.

If you are not honest, it will only build a wall (or maybe a bigger wall) between the two of you. There are risks we all take in relationships, but communication is always the key. Therefore, if your partner “pegs” you, and you really are having second thoughts about them or about the relationship, it’s in your best interest to tell them that – in the most constructive way possible.

Sometimes we have to take a risk in order to get closer to someone. If you merely say, “There’s nothing really on my mind. I’m not thinking anything much,” you’ve probably just missed a chance to create more intimacy and grow closer. Sometimes we don’t realize that the relationship is actually evolving during what seems to be a clash of wills – or a discussion of difficult truths.

Actually, it may take a few weeks to see that. But do not think the worst: sometimes it’s in our darkest moments of fear that things start to genuinely change – and the relationship goes on. Furthermore, sometimes when deep feelings are being discussed it takes a little while to fully absorb what has happened.

Be honest in your relationship. Do tell your partner or date what you are thinking when you are asked. If you stonewall, you won’t connect with them. And what a missed opportunity that would be.

Have there been times when you’ve been less-than-honest in your relationship? Share your stories here.

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