Even though communicating is something we’re hard-wired to do as humans – it’s difficult, because it asks of us to be vulnerable.
Clear communication demands of us that we share our innermost thoughts and feelings with one another – opening us up to the possibility of rejection – as well as happiness.
Because of this, we resort to not spelling out our needs, rather hinting at them or speaking in metaphors, as a means of protecting ourselves.
And this doesn’t only equal issues in the relationship – it also creates unsatisfying experiences in the bedroom.
What Happens When You Use Vague Communication
A common example of vague communication in relationships, that comes up time and again in my online sex therapy practice, is feeling frustrated about not getting what you want, sexually.
You feel you’ve been perfectly clear – perhaps told your partner that you don’t like it when they initiate sex right before bedtime, or that you would prefer the two of you “spice things up”.
The problem is – you haven’t actually told your partner anything.
You’ve stated what you don’t like, but haven’t let them know what you do like.
Or you’ve used a phrase that can mean all manner of things from new positions to new partners.
So they begin approaching you for a bit of intimacy just as you sit down for a cup of well-needed coffee – when sex is literally the last thing on your mind.
Or they come home from a sex shop, whip in hand, even though none of you have ever once shown any interest in BDSM.
For a split second, it feels like they don’t get you at all. Like they never listen. Like they perhaps, don’t even really love you.
But what if all of your thoughts are, in fact, just thoughts?
And what if the reason they’re doing all of these things that feel downright wrong – is because they do love you and want to connect with you?
You’ve tried to communicate – you’ve hinted and been suggestive, but you were never actually concise, leaving your partner to come up with what you really mean all on their own.
What if you could get exactly what you wanted, by skipping the vague communication in relationships that we usually resort to – and instead tell them, with words, what you desire?
Objections To Trying This Out
Your instant reaction might be that it feels unromantic or unsexy to spell everything out for your partner, but this doesn’t mean you should knock the idea.
Over the years, I’ve had clients tell me they don’t want to tell their partner what they want or need, because when their partner then does it, it doesn’t feel natural.
The trouble with this statement is two-fold.
- A lot of times they haven’t actually tried it – so they don’t know how it feels.
- To be clear is to be vulnerable – and to be vulnerable is scary – which is why they don’t want to follow through.
At the core of all of our wants, needs and boundaries – is a desire to feel loved and accepted. And no matter if our partner comes up with the idea themselves or not, the only thing that really matters is that they do it.
Because when they do it – they’re showing how much they love and care for you.
But in order for them to meet your needs and wants, you have to be willing to share the vulnerable side of yourself. The part that’s afraid to ask for what you want. The part that’s afraid to share what triggers sexual desire, because it’s embarrassing or shameful.
When we stop vague communication in relationships and instead put ourselves out there – we’re increasing the chances of a closer relationship and really good sex.
And the only sex worth having, is the kind that makes us feel happy and satisfied.
As long as the running idea is that our partner should know what we want or need without us saying it – we’re not giving our partners, ourselves or our relationships a fair chance.
Reframing What Romance Is
As a sex therapist, I work a lot with people on challenging expectations – the ones they have of themselves, their partners and their relationships.
When you shift your expectation from your partner always knowing what your wants, needs and boundaries are, to your partner understanding them once you’ve they’ve been informed – you begin to communicate better.
And when you communicate better – you’re happier, argue less and enjoy sex together.
Putting aside the fact that our partners don’t always do what we want or need once informed – my clients are often surprised by the results of concise communication.
If their partner initiated sex in a way they wanted them to, it feels just as good, if not better, because they’d talked about it beforehand. If their partner started doing one of the specific things they wanted them to do during sex – they felt satisfied and loved.
The reason for this is because they now know their partner truly hears them.
They listened and followed through on what ways they wanted sex to be initiated or how they wanted things to be different during sex.
Now they know their partner genuinely cares and wants to give them what they want. And if you allow for it, you’ll see that this isn’t actually unromantic – in fact, it’s pretty romantic.
Vague Communication In Relationships Gets You Nowhere
When it comes to communication – being succinct is often the key to a happier relationship and better sex life.
If you want something sexually that you’re not getting, or if you’re getting something you actually don’t enjoy – let your partner know.
Wrap your wants, needs and boundaries in kind words instead of continuing along the path of vague communication in relationships, as we so often do. This way, you allow for you and your partner to build sexual self-esteem together, and enjoy your sex life and relationship.