What’s your communication compatibility?

For 2.5 days I visited a relative I love dearly. However, it drove me crazy that she incessantly second guessed what I was doing. When I was packing, she suggested other ways to pack. She asked questions that I thought were superfluous (e.g., “What did you have for lunch?” “Will you and your boyfriend get married?” “What is your ex-husband doing now?”)

And she displayed one of the most annoying habits I know — not self editing. She exemplifies that phrase, “She has never had a thought not worth sharing.” So she tells great details about others we don’t know nor care about. And constantly chatters her stream of consciousness, no matter how banal.

But I love her dearly so put up with it, reminding myself she has a good heart and means well. And I was grateful I didn’t stay 5 days like last time.

It made me think about how important communication compatibility s in dating.

I’ve also experienced the opposite — being out with a guy who was so uncommunicative it was a lot of work to make any conversation. He gave me one-word answers to questions and never asked me a thing.

So where are you on this continuum? Are you a non-stop talker? If so, do you like quiet men? Or are you more reserved, and like someone who is more verbal? Or maybe if you don’t like to talk much, you like someone quiet, too.

One of the things I love about my beau is it seems we have the same talking tolerance. I don’t find he talks too much nor too little. And I hope he feels the same way!

You should be clear on your preference so you can screen out those who would get on your nerves before you even meet. Phone calls can tell you a lot, but some habits don’t appear until you’re face to face.

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8 responses to “What’s your communication compatibility?”

  1. Gatti Avatar

    As far as I’m concerned communication is nearly everything! With my ex there were so many “no go” zones that I, for self preservation, simply stopped talking with him. Even what seemed fairly innoculous could blow up into a screaming battle, he was so volatile.

    Now my guy and I talk all the time, about everything. It’s taken me some time to get used to the concept, trained as I was to keep it all to myself, but I’m loving it! The transparency and honesty is so freeing.

    Everyone’s always said I could talk the back legs off a donkey, but he’s met and even surpassed me, but always gives me the talk time that I need as well, and encourages me if he feels that he’s talked too much. (I love his voice and could listen for ages, and he talks such loving sense, that I don’t really mind!)

    I’ve given some thought to how one can make something that’s terrific stay terrific, and what I came up with is “mindfulness”. If you stay mindful about the situation, you will do what needs to be done to maintain it. And really communicating is part of mindfulness.

  2. bookyone Avatar

    Hi DG,

    Great topic! Like Gatti, I, too, have been accused of having “verbal diarrhea,” (by one of my idiot exes no less, can you tell he wasn’t the talkative type)? but it’s not something I want to change, in fact I’m rather proud of my ability to hold my own and then some on almost any topic. Personally, I find that quiet people really bother me. Whenever someone is too quiet around me, whether it’s on a date or in any other social situation, it makes me think one of two things: 1) that they’re not enjoying my company, or 2) that they’re not intelligent enough to verbalize their thoughts, both of which are huge turnoffs for me.

    Gatti, I hope one day to meet a guy like yours, one who isn’t afraid of sharing his thoughts and feelings on a wide variety of subjects. I don’t care if we agree on everything or not, or even if he talks non-stop, so long as some of the things he says are nice things about me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best wishes from bookyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Gatti Avatar

    I used to be a radio announcer, bookyone, and any semblance of “dead air” gets me babbling. So it’s great fun to be in a relationship where dead air is practically an impossibility!

    Talky people are fine by me too. I work in a tiny deli with one table. Sometimes I get chatty people eating snacks and it’s great fun, like a rolling party. But sometimes they sit in silence, or whisper the occasional thing to each other and that’s a drag, so I just sit at the till and wait till they’re done. Next!

    It is too wonderful to have someone who listens, talks about anything, even quite personal or intimate things and is calm and accepting even when I was having a rant yesterday when my grant application got refused on a technicality (sent it in again today with the one line filled in that was missing) and then some complete idiot ran in to my van in a parking lot, breaking the back windows and didn’t even have the courtesy to leave their name. And I was still accepted, loved and listened to. I do love him so, I am so lucky.

  4. LA Avatar

    If a person is “quiet” what makes you think it has anything to do with you? Maybe they are a great thinker or don’t need much small talk. Maybe they only talk when they have something to say. Not all of us need to have “verbal diarrhea” to be able to communicate. Is talking just to talk actually communicating? I would rather sit in spiritual silence rather than listen to someone go on and on about nothing.

  5. Dating Goddess Avatar
    Dating Goddess

    Yes, LA, I agree silence can be great, especially after you know someone and know you are just enjoying hte moment. At first, though, some silences are awkward. But if you’re enjoying a sunset, for example, or a hike, it is lovely to just sit and enjoy without verbalizing.

  6. Gatti Avatar

    True, a constant stream of chatter is not necessary. However when someone just sits and looks at their hands in the lulls in conversation and makes no attempt to keep the flow going, then you have to think that person is not interested in you, or is uncomfortable talking, and, as a chatty person, you may think that perhaps they are not the sort of person you want to be with.

    If you are the naturally quiet type, perhaps another quiet person would suit, all other things being equal.

  7. bookyone Avatar

    Hi Gatti,

    I agree, chatty people are my type as well. I am chatty, perhaps overly so at times, but that’s strictly a matter of opinion. I do have some quieter male and female friends but these are friends I have known for some time, so I know they feel comfortable around me, that’s just their style of relating. For me, it’s like DG said, at first silence feels incredibly awkward, but once I get to know someone, male or female, it can be quite a different and even comfortable experience on occasion.

    Your guy sounds like a real treasure, where did you find him? Does he have any single brothers? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Best wishes from bookyone ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Gatti Avatar

    bookyone, you’d have to come to the UK, we met through the Guardian newspaper Soulmates website. And he does have a brother, but he’s married and, from what I’ve heard, a completely different sort of person, not calm, gentle or talky at all! Go figure…

    We had a nice time on Saturday, not talking a lot and reading different newspapers together (one was the Guardian, natch!). Well, for about an hour, anyway. Then we were back to talking, talking, talking. Nice.