Dear Bitter Single Guy: My man and I live together and things are pretty perfect. We used to fight a lot, but now we just have little petty fights and they’re pretty far and few. He’s very romantic and sweet and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s serious about being with me. However, he never takes me seriously. Sometimes when I’m trying to discuss something with him on a serious level he still jokes around. The other times I try to discuss things he doesn’t want to talk about it. I feel like he belittles me and doesn’t realize it. When I tell him why I’m sad and worried, concerned, he says I worry too much.
This is not how I want to be comforted. Of course I would love to tell him all this, but I don’t think he’ll really listen, just blow it off like always. I’ve had some stupid relationships and one really bad one and though he’s put me through a lot of dumb shit too, this is the best relationship I could ever ask for and all my family loves him and knows he’s great, which means a lot to me. While I definitely don’t think this could lead to our downfall, it is a major blockage. ~Please Take Me Seriously~
Dear PTMS: The Bitter Single Guy is of an age where he recalls televisions with knob tuners rather than digital tuners. The BSG also vaguely remembers when TVs didn’t come with remote control, but that’s another scary conversation.
On these antique TVs there was a VHF dial and a UFH dial and honestly, the BSG doesn’t know what the difference was. What he does remember though, is that the UHF dial had a fine-tuner on it that allowed the TV viewer (the BSG’s dad, mostly) to make tiny adjustments in order to bring the channel in more clearly.
PTMS, you are on the right channel and are watching, or are in, exactly the program that you want. All you need now is some fine tuning. The BSG recommends a long-term plan to bring your Sweet Man around; Rome wasn’t built in a day PTMS and you won’t be able to get the results you want in a day either. The BSG recommends maneuvering Sweet Man into a situation where you know more than he does. This could be something related to your job, or a hobby, or something else about which you’re more informed than he is.
*Caution* PTMS: being an expert in how you, personally, feel and think does NOT qualify for this exercise. This has to be something where Sweet Man recognizes you as clearly more knowledgeable. When you’ve maneuvered the conversation or situation into a space of your expertise, take the opportunity to instruct him, gently and lovingly, but none the less clearly, on what you know and what he doesn’t know. This will put you, ever so briefly, into the Alpha Dog position and will be the first brick in the foundation of your own competence. At least his ability to recognize your competence.
If you’re not being taken seriously, coordinating a series of these you-as-the-expert interventions will help illustrate this for Sweet Man. Of course, it’s also possible just to tell him to take you more seriously, but as the BSG imagines you stamping your foot and demanding to be taken seriously, even he isn’t taking you seriously, so obviously this calls for some manipulation.
Take your time turning this dial PTMS, you want to get it just right. ~BSG~