Are silences or lulls in conversations okay in a relationship?
At lunch with O today, I asked him – do you still like me? He nodded and reached across the table to hold my hands. I told him that recently it felt like he didn’t want to spend that much time with me. He told me that he’d just been feeling really tired. I said I could understand that, and that’s where the conversation ended.
I know that this conversation doesn’t sound like much but I do believe him, and maybe that willingness to trust will come back as gullibility and bite me one day, but what can you do really? I think in relationships you have to trust that the other person is being honest with you.
What I’m learning is that he is an introvert and that because of this, he operates vastly different to me. I am an extrovert, I really like spending time with people and I make room in my life for this. With O, I think he enjoys his own time and the limited energy he has is usually taken over by his flatmates because they’re always there, in his space.
To be honest, we are each other’s longest relationships and neither of us really know what we’re doing. I want him to be more communicative but the reality is that he’s still learning the ropes of what it means to be in a meaningful relationship too, so there’s gotta be grace for that, just as there needs to be grace for things that I do which I’m still learning.
At the moment, I know that he still likes me, that he still wants to spend time with me, and that’s enough for now.
I’m scared of the silent spaces in conversations. I think that they mean a lack of chemistry, that the other person is bored of me, or that I’m bored of them. But I know that’s not true. There are silences in conversations with all sorts of friends – old and new – and they don’t mean that we don’t have chemistry, just that we’re maybe a little tired that day, or we don’t have much to say. And that is fine. It’s fine, and it’s normal to have times in conversations where no one says anything. It would be exhausting to have relationships where you talked all the time. Silences are like wee resting points.