Robert took a deep breath.
“Normally I wouldn’t bring this up because it doesn’t matter to me, but I know it matters to you so, I figured we should talk about it.”
My stomach tensed up because I had no idea what he was talking about and it didn’t sound good, “okay– what’s up?” I said, trying to sound calm.
“Eleanor requested me as a friend on Facebook today,” he said, searching my face immediately for a reaction.
Eleanor is a woman who works in our office. She and I have a lot in common and overtime had developed what I would call a friendship. But last year she stopped speaking to me without explanation. I emailed her asking if I had done something to offend her and she never replied. When we’re at work events, she pretends I’m invisible and I have no choice but to do the same. Its one of the more hurtful things that anyone has ever done to me. Robert knows this.
“Considering how things are between you two, I figured I should talk to you about it,” Robert continued. I could feel a smile breaking out over my face. I had recently had a conversation with Robert about loyalty and what I expected from the people who cared about me. It was a hard conversation to have because I was setting some specific ground rules on what I expected from someone I was dating.
Asking for what you want can be a very difficult thing in dating. It’s taken me a while to realize that men aren’t mind readers and sometimes I have to voice my needs, but I’m always reluctant to do that. I think I’m reluctant because when someone knows what you expect of them they can still decide not to give it to you.
If they decide not to, it can be hurtful. But I’ve been trying to be more vulnerable and let my needs be known. Now here Robert was making an attempt to give me what I’d asked for.
While he wasn’t asking permission to accept her friend request, he was taking me into consideration and giving me a say.
“You should accept her friend request,” I said.
“Really?” he asked, perplexed.
“Yes really… the fact that you ran it by me means a lot. I’m totally cool with it.”
“…and if I hadn’t come to you first?” he asked.
“Then I probably would have flipped out on you,” I said laughing (because it was true). Sometimes you just need a guy to make a gesture of solidarity with you.
“You’re such a girl,” he replied.