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  • Writer's pictureDr. Speshal Walker Gautier a.k.a. Dr. Spesh

Sis, Asking for what you want does not make you thirsty.

Updated: Oct 18, 2020

There are so many times in my discussions with women where I hear reservations around asking certain questions during the early dating phase. Typically, these are questions that help to clarify a potential partner’s intentions and desires. Perhaps the single most uttered statement amid these reservations is “I don’t want to scare them off!” I hear concerns about “coming off too strong” or “looking thirsty.” First and foremost, what is it that you are looking for at this point in your dating life? Are you looking to casually date or looking for something more serious? Are you looking for a monogamous relationship or is your preference to date multiple people? In answering these questions for yourself be unapologetically clear on what you want. Society has done enough silence and disempower Black women without us further silencing ourselves. Do not silence yourself when it comes to love, Sis.

In my previous letters, I’ve talked about how identifying your wants and needs is the first step in expressing them. The next step is communicating them. Here’s the thing, if you are looking for marriage then there is no need to pretend that you aren’t. Those chill “I’m just open to meeting people and seeing where it goes” type of statements are not abundantly clear. Asking someone what they are looking for or hoping for in a relationship upfront does not make you thirsty, nor does communicating that you are looking for a serious relationship or even someone to settle down with. Having this conversation is not saying you want to marry them, rather it is being clear about your intentions in dating.

The moment you start communicating more explicitly is the moment you start more quickly weeding out people who have intentions that differ from yours. If they’re scared off, then you have gained some clarity. Let them clear the way for someone who is not frightened by you opening up about what you want. Remember how Auntie and them always told us “a closed mouth don’t get fed,” well Sis, turns out they had a point. While some of us may have internalized the idea that our voices don’t matter, the more you practice speaking up, the more empowered you feel do so. The nice thing about doing this when it comes to love is it allows you to see how this person responds to you expressing your wants and needs. While there are risks involved, there’s also the opportunity for great reward. It sets the tone for open communication at the outset of a romantic relationship. You also lay the foundation for expressing your various needs within your relationships. Sis, I’m talking from the kitchen to the bedroom, ask for what you need. Imagine the person who responds to your needs in ways that are caring and reassuring. One of the greatest gifts is to feel seen, heard, and validated and I’m telling you, Sis, you deserve it.

*Dr. Spesh is an Atlanta based Clinical Psychologist, blogger, and diversity consultant.*

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