It’s Never the Right Time

Blue Police Call Box on Earth pavement

My last few posts have been about stressful conversations with a significant other, where ‘suck it up and stay put,’ can seem like the only option. How to escape them? Can you avoid them? Is it ever the right time to address this?

Today, I go into more detail on timing, because the previous post didn’t quite hit the mark in that regard. So requisite reading for this post to make sense is my previous post: How to Evade Difficult Conversations.

“It’s Never Too Late” is a Platitude

I realize that emailing or handing over the “Get out of Jail, Free” card might feel futile, hopeless, or like “too little, too late…” so let’s talk about timing.

Pretty bad timing:
sending your girlfriend a “Get out of Jail, Free” card on the 3rd day of a drinking binge
without having let her know where you were or whether you were being faithful.

Too early:
same moment — or same day — as the hiccup,
and you’re sending her your “Get out of Jail, Free” card
before you’ve had a good-to-okay day together or a night to sleep on it.

Odd how timing works.

Good timing:
any halfway decent, okay day that hasn’t gone sideways yet.
Ironically, this is EXACTLY
when you’re least likely to think of it,
least likely to want to think of it,
and least likely to feel the urge to do anything about it, (am I right?!?!)

‘Be Yourself’ While You Still Know How

Remember how, when her voice goes shrill, or her eyes get narrow, or her mouth goes pouty, you forget how to ‘just act natural?’ The verb there is ‘act.’ And good acting might just be part of making things worse.

Staying put can seem like the right thing to do (especially if your counterpart craves more eye-contact and attention than you do, even on a good day.) However, responding to someone’s upset with apparent calm obviously doesn’t have the desired effect every time.

Plus, it’s perfectly possible that this is more stressful for both of you than either of you realize. Just because you look calm, doesn’t mean you’re not alarmed. And admitting that to her might seem scary, but that’s what I want to make possible.

Situations in which you feel stupid/stupified are possibly actually situations in which your IQ really and truly *is* negatively impacted by suppressed distress. These situations might be the reason a whole lot of awesome guys like you are single. I’m out to change that.

Whether the stress is causal to the stupor, or just COMPOUNDED BY the fact that your intellect and problem-solving abilities have unexpectedly gone ‘offline’… next time this happens, instead of wondering what’s wrong with yourself, you might simply wish you had accepted ‘shit happens.’ And prepared for this moment in advance.

Planning Accordingly

Don’t you just wish, in those moments, something could quickly make you

  • smarter,
  • more sure of yourself, and
  • more of the man she fell in love with?

Movement, fresh air, and a change of scenery can do just that. Sure, it’s not instantaneous, but walks can bring human physiology back into balance. Walking helps us ‘rest and digest’ …instead of reacting like prey. Plus walking without her means gets you some space.

More often than you(r girlfriend) might realize, you can actually get through a situation in lasting ways by getting away from it temporarily.

As your eyes shift from her face and your shoes, to the doorknob and the vast sky above, the walking itself can lead you to new perspectives, but the real magic is in how the brain changes modes of operation.

Change of pace = change of perspective

“Have you turned it off and back on again?” is one of the first thing helpdesks have people try. Reboot yourself, and you reboot the conversation.

With human glitches, it takes at least 20 minutes to fully ‘reset.’ Twenty biologically agonizing minutes to

  • exit fight/flight/freeze/fawn/fuck-mode and regain access to your mammalian brain,
  • reconnect the prefrontal cortex, which went ‘offline’ in the heat of the moment, and
  • regain the sensibilities, personality traits, and IQ points that make you capable of thinking of words and solutions with parts of the brain that were out-of-reach, frayed, and frazzled when you weren’t quite yourself moments earlier.

My wish for you is that you can return feeling whole… You need and deserve that. Even before the issue is resolved. Especially before the issue is resolved.

Prevention is the Best Medicine

For the sake of this article, let’s pretend today’s been an okay day so far.

“So far” means: things can change. Since it’s hard to know exactly when stress will erupt, and trying something new during arguments is too stressful for everyone involved, handling the next tense moment in advance of the next tense moment is the best/only plan.

It’s a darned scary plan. Talk about tension on a blue-sky day? Awkward!

It’s like it’s never the right time: you may accuse yourself of it being “too late” to resolve the tensions at play in your relationship. It’s the wrong day every day. It’s “too late,” because all of your existant squabbles are, technically, in the past. I won’t argue with that: it is too late – to a certain degree. But not absolutely so, or you wouldn’t be together at all anymore.

But it’s not too late to cast new, loving light on both the past and the future, now.

Ctrl+Z — Can You UNDO Awkwardness?

You’re probably surprised to hear me say that sending your partner a “Get out of Jail, Free” card on an okay day, like today, can actually UNDO a big chunk of the exact awkwardness you might fear it will CAUSE.

I’ll say that again: handing her this card can UNDO the awkwardness you fear it will cause. What if certain ancient fears are old, and suppressed, and come to the fore at exactly the time they’re about to be transcended?

Handing her the love-note that I’m referring to as a card can heal fossilized fears, because it can heal

  • her perception of the past
  • her open-mindedness in the future
  • And how she feels toward you.

If you pretend you’ve got a time machine, and you live to see your next future agrument… wouldn’t you press “Ctrl+Z,” go back in time, find this moment again, and email her this card today, instead of delaying?

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago.
The second best time is now.”

Chinese proverb

Here’s That Pivotal “Get Out of Jail, Free” Card. Again.

Pivotal tip:

Every time you go on another walk, or ‘go away’ in any way, shape, or form, give her your new ETA as a way to prevent her from feeling ‘abandoned’ or rejected.

Last tip:

Maybe don’t call it a “Get Out of Jail, Free” card to her.

I just call it that because that’s what it is when I give it to you. When you give it to her, it may feel more like a love letter.

Let it be what it is to each of you.

My next posts support
  • why walking away works,
  • returning, and
  • possible next steps.

I’m truly curious:

Did you print it? Email it?
Are you waiting for the next post, first?

Please DM me on social media, or email me, Bree [at] “website!”

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

I'm curious what you think!

Let's connect!
Just reply to my email.