It’s Not “Weird” To Ask For What You Want…

Stephen Hussey

I spent a month last year on tour speaking across the USA with Matt. And one thing that amazed me was how many women told me that they want to get a guy to call more. Or at all. 

To which I would reply: 

“Why don’t you ask?”

The answer, of course, was: “That would be weird”, or “I don’t want to be desperate”. 

This is to my mind one of the biggest problems we face in dating. Call it a lack of confidence, unassertiveness, or just trying to ‘play the game’, but so many of us are guilty of avoiding saying what we want for a fear of not being chill enough. 

This doesn’t just happen with getting a guy to call more. It also happens with:

  • Wanting him to arrange a real date
  • Wanting to know where you stand (i.e. “are we in a relationship, or not?”)
  • Saying that you would rather move slower and see if you have a real connection before getting physically intimate, if that’s a standard you have.

It’s a bizarre trade. We’ll risk wasting time, inefficiency, and disappointment in exchange for the overvalued good of “not seeming needy”. 

So in case it still needs to be said: Having some clear expectations about how you want to be treated DOES NOT equal neediness.

In truth, when you express what you want early on you win both ways. You either filter out the guy who is a child and can’t face something as simple as a phone call before a date. Or you get a guy who sees you have standards and now understands he has to step up if he really wants to pursue you.

The same goes here with responding to the famed “booty call” text. The one that he sends at 10pm that says:

“Heyyyy, want to come over to watch a movie?”

It’s the text that makes everyone roll their eyes when they read it on the page. And yet when you really like someone, suddenly a dilemma occurs: I don’t want to be someone he just calls for sex, but maybe he does REALLY like me and if I don’t go he’ll lose interest…

Except, no. He won’t lose interest. 

This is a guy who is attracted to you, who may or may not see you as someone he wants a serious relationship with. But the only way to know is to not take the bait in this moment and assert your standard. 

You can do that by saying NOTHING. Just leave the phone and where it is and let him learn you don’t respond to late texts.Or say: ““Hmm…interesting time to decide to offer a date. Maybe try a more reasonable hour next time…” Or: “I think you’re cute, but 10pm hook-ups aren’t my thing.” 

Or however you want to play it. The point is: assert the standard

Then if you do end up going on a proper date with him in the future and end up getting intimate, have the “awkward” conversation. The one where you say, “So what are you looking for at the moment?”.

Is it needy? No. 

Will it risk ending whatever this is before it starts? Yes. 

Does it save you time and stop you wasting it in a half-way situation where you’re never quite sure where you stand? Absolutely.

I’m making it sound like this is all easy. But we all know that when you like someone things get a lot tougher. And yet, with the right person, I’ve never found having the awkward conversation to have made anything worse in the long-term.

It might create an unpleasant air for a few minutes. Or even a day. Until they realise, “oh, they’re serious about this”. Then you discover whom you’re really dealing with.

Screw the niceties and the manipulation games and the Jedi mind tricks to get someone to hang on. Those tactics are short-term band-aids, and only attract the most toxic, narcissistic, fickle people anyway. 

What works actually takes work. Build your deep inner confidence. Make what you say match what you feel on the inside. Be willing to say “no” to the red flags as soon as you spot them. Work on your character flaws, your health, and attractiveness, so that you live up to the standard you expect from the amazing person you want to spend your time with. 

So yes, have the difficult conversation. Ask for what you want. Be the person who charts a different course, or end up stranded in the same confused boat as everyone else. 

***

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9 Replies to “It’s Not “Weird” To Ask For What You Want…”

  1. So does this mean if we haven’t talked to a guy for a while we can reach out to find out what their deal is/still alive instead of considering we’ve been ghosted?

  2. Work on your character flaws, your health, and attractiveness, so that you live up to the standard you expect from the amazing person you want to spend your time with. – Doing exactly this..

  3. A lot of the reason I fear being vulnerable is due to my mental health condition – anxiety. I mean it does feel a bit weird to ask for accommodations like the type of setting for a date (crowded and enclosed spaces overwhelm my senses). Yet it’s also important to me that any man I date accepts me for who I am. I guess it comes down to how you assert yourself and these suggestions seem to work in a playful way. It would be interesting to think about how to explain ‘flaws’ that are difficult to communicate with potential partners e.g. mental health problems, illness, disability etc.

  4. Thank you Stephen. Yes. We have to keep up the stanrds. But let me tell you, why it’s hard. The major problem for me (and I’d say for a lot of my fellow sisters and brothers): I’m a burnt child. As a child I learned that I’m not allowed to speak out my boundaries. If I did I heard my parents say: “Don’t be so sensitive!”Or they just walked out on me, even literally walked away from me.
    Now as an audult I struggle with being true to my standards, I even struggle to trust my feelings. I’m so used to suppress them. My subconscioussness still tells me, that the only way to find love, is to constantly change myself for someone, bending, begging for attention, by showing how intelligent and caring I am – only to see them walk away into the arms of another woman after all. Now don’t get me wrong: I KNOW HOW WRONG MY THINKING IS. BUT THE FEAR OF BEING LEFT AFTER I SPEAK OUT HOW I FEEL IS VERY STRONG AND DEEP. Now, I’ve been to Matts retreat in 2018 and and one of the things I took with me, was, that learning new things has to feel awkward. That it’s ok to feel uncertain, because my brain is still expecting something else. Texts like yours keep reminding me, to stay true to myself. TO JUST KEEP UP MY TRAINING AND SPEAKING OUT, WHAT I WANT WHILE PISSING MY PANTS – ONLY TO LEARN THAT IT MAKES ME STRONGER AND CALMER, every time, I do it (speaking out, not pissing my pants.) EVERYTIME I DO IT, I DECIDE TO LOVE MYSELF AND I THEREFORE DECIDE AGAINST BENDING AND BEGGING FOR THE LOVE OF AN IDIOT, WHO DOESN’T DESERVE IT. I. DECIDE. IT’S IN MY HANDS. AND ONLY IN MINE. Because I know, one day, with a lot of training, my brain and my heart will be on the same page again. And I won’t even waste 1 min on toxic guys anymore, because they just don’t interest me anymore . Thank you Stephen.

  5. Wow, I’m on my way to my boyfriend’s and I’ve been twisting myself into knots over whether I should ask him why he doesn’t show me affection (physical, verbal, or otherwise) and I’ve been terrified over ruining things by stirring the pot. Then this came on my feed. Thank you Stephen, this was just what I needed.

  6. Well,after 3 years of being in a long distance relationship,I just asked my ex bf why do you give your phone to your dad for the whole evening and night?you don’t care that we won’t be able to talk.and he just broke up with me labelling me as “not an understanding gf”,for few days I was like wait what did that just happen,and with time ,I am realising ,I am being saved from this boy who isn’t a man because he broke up over a text.he didn’t even had the guts to call me and discuss over it.

  7. Well,after 3 years of being in a long distance relationship,I just asked my ex bf why do you give your phone to your dad for the whole evening and night?you don’t care that we won’t be able to talk.and he just broke up with me labelling me as “not an understanding gf”,for few days I was like wait what did that just happen,and with time ,I am realising ,I am being saved from this boy who isn’t a man because he broke up over a text.he didn’t even had the guts to call me and discuss over it.

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