Dear EFAP: romantic assumptions

Thank you to those who have written to “Dear EFAP” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in but we are only able to print a small selection of responses. Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense. If your issues require a more personalized level of support please call Employee Wellness/EFAP (1-800-505-4929) and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist.

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to dear.efap@efap.ca. All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information. Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!

Dear EFAP

I have been dating this girl for bit. We see each other a lot and we talk every day.  It is fun and I think I’m in love or at least falling in love.

I’m not sure though where she sits in it all. She does not always respond right away to my texts and she is not always free when I call or when I ask her out. So I assume she may not be into me quite as much as I am into her. I fear that she is just going to turn around one day and say it is over. I know that this assumption is not really logical as she has said she cares for me. I need to get out of my head on this. Any ideas of next steps?

– Assumption Man

Dear Assumption Man

To quote the famous Stephen Covey, “The least questioned assumptions are often the most questionable.” Or to quote Henry Winkler (the Fonz), “Assumptions are the termites of relationships.” Or to quote renowned author Agatha Christie, “Assumptions are dangerous.”

Clearly, Assumption Man would not be a successful superhero and for the safety of both your psyche and your relationship, he needs to be retired. I think we fall into making assumptions when we are scared to ask “the” question, whatever the burning question of the moment is.

If we don’t find that courage to ask that question, then the assumptions that we often fall into are far scarier than any answer. I would invite to you consider asking “your” question. How does she feel about you? What is the great thing that the two of you have going on? You don’t need to get too far ahead of yourself and ask where it is going because likely you both need to explore it more.

But it is fair to inquire about what it is that is developing? The fact that she does not respond with warp speed to texts may be that that is her style, that she is busy, that she wants to respond with thought and so needs more time, or a million other reasons. The fact that she is not always free, means that she has a life and people in her world other than you. There could be a million reasons why she is  not always lying around, eating bonbons, and waiting for you to call.

In my view, a thoughtful and sensitive romantic check-in question is far wiser than speculation. Be brave – you are worth it, and so is she.

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a VCH staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1-800-505-4929 or 604-872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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