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Dating 101: When actions speak louder than words

May is "Date Your Mate Month"

Dating 101 Q&A

I've received several questions from readers inquiring about communication, not just with dates but also with partners – some of the questions appearing to be based on their mates actions. So in spirit of May's "Date Your Mate Month," there's no better time than the present to reiterate a very important issue between couples (regardless of their status in the relationship): Actions always speak louder than words.

With so many relationship "fopa's" in existence and with many couples left to explore the "shoulda, woulda, coulda's" of all the "no reason arguments" that often linger well after the flinging of words left behind and from between the lines of all that wasn't said – couples now more than ever look for ways to communicate without killing the romance – or each other.

Knowing that women may still by default try to dissect simple, (even though men prefer simple to complicated any day); and although in the grand scheme of things a kiss will go a lot further than a <boo boo lips> ploy ever will (especially when laced with compromise, directness and openness) men and women just may find that they are on the same page more often than not. But, to help them get there a little faster and in celebration of "Date Your Mate" month, we will be hitting home with a few reality Q&A's that reiterate the fact that actions do speak much louder than words, confirming the fact that communication will always be the key to everlasting love; and that true love is generally always worth fighting for, with very few exceptions. So what are you waiting for? Grab your mate and make plans for the date night of your lives. In the meantime...

Question #1:

Beyond selfish or new excuse?

My boyfriend and I have been together about six months. When my boyfriend doesn't want to buy me gifts, he goes so far as to "make up a religion" to not have to purchase me gifts for my birthday, holidays, etc. (me or anyone in his family for that matter). It's not so much embarrassing as it is hurtful. Is this a sign that my boyfriend does not care? Or, is this a sign that my boyfriend is just being "a guy," and will eventually grow up and get over it, and I should ignore it for now?


Frustrated up north

Dear Frustrated,

That's a new one from where I stand; making up a religion to not have to buy gifts? Well, you're worth far more than any excuse in my book, and quite honestly, that is the finest display of selfish behavior I've seen in quite some time coming from any guy. To be in your early 20s and to have that type of behavior be the crux of your relationship is truly a heart-stopper and quite frankly, no, you should not "ignore" the issue. In fact, it is difficult to imagine that there is anything else this boyfriend does for you that exudes positive anything (such as make you feel as though you are the most beautiful, incredible, intelligent woman in the world, etc.) – so unless there are numerous positive reasons you're with this man, including mutual companionship, it really doesn't sound like this is a match made in heaven.

As much as it sounds like a classic "he's just not that into you" – it might be time to Spring clean more than your home (such as your heart). However, since dating is about getting to know someone, let's not get too harsh and give it a chance if this is the direction your heart is wanting to take you (and your gut agrees). Be honest with yourself, your heart and him (as that should always be first and foremost), and all should realize that it's not about "the presents" or what he's buying you or not buying you; the point here is what you're getting (or not receiving) out of the relationship and whether or not you're happy. This is not about changing you, him or the way things are but more about whether or not your needs are being met. The fact that you're having to sacrifice and comprise romance to appease someone else (who is clearly making excuses) is concerning; what does that say about him, and you?

He is sounding not only selfish, rude and lazy but also like someone who clearly does not care to make an effort to make the relationship work. What does he do when it's the little one's birthday? Hurt her feelings? Do you see where this is going? What does he do when it's his mother's birthday? And this is just what can be seen from the one question you asked. It's not about money; money isn't needed for romance or courtship. Heck, if it's about the flowers – he could go up to a stranger or woman who has a garden in her front yard and ask about a bouquet and I'd be willing to bet her heart would be touched enough if he asked if he could pay her a few dollars to pick a bouquet from her garden for the love of his life that she'd give up a full bouquet and a vase to put them in. No woman that I know could turn down true romance, nor would one stand in the way of it.

The point being, a man doesn't need money to turn a woman's heart let alone win it. He can make a card and jot down a few words as to how he feels about the woman he's dating and melt her heart that would last months or years. Men need to understand that a woman just wants to hear the words from his heart; she wants to see that he cares and hear the words. That's it. Silence is like taking a knife and saying "I don't care about you or us." He should take you out on a date, even if that's to the place you first met or to view the stars. If you have a child, taking you two to the park or to the beach or lake is a great date because you are spending time together. Dating is about spending time together, getting to know each other. Remember, it's in time spent not money spent. Those who put the time in get it. Listen to your heart, and his.

Just remember that generally when excuses are being made for things like not wanting to buy gifts, there are underlying issues and the actions definitely speak much louder than the words in this instance. Listen very carefully to your heart and your gut. You deserve the best life has to offer, as does everyone. Be sure this is who you want to be spending your time with and be sure this special someone makes you feel special all the time, together and apart.

Good luck and be sure to let me know how things go.

Stay tuned for more questions in this month's Dating 101 Q&A series.

"Falling in love and having a relationship are two different things."Keanu Reeves

"A girlfriend once told me never fight with anyone you don't love." –Jack Nicholson

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