Blah, Blah, Blah….Shut Up and SHOW Me…

When I think back over the nearly two decades of dating I experienced before I met the hubs, I think that the most profound realization for me was that in dating, words are meaningless….

I can’t tell you how many relationships I had along the way that confused the hell out of me. And do you know why? I realize now that I was confused because the words I was hearing from my boyfriend did not match his behaviors.

Raise your hand if you’ve dated someone who told you how much that they loved you and wanted to be in a relationship with you…but treated you disrespectfully or abusively, didn’t follow through on what they said or didn’t do what they said they would do?

I dated one person in particular who would feed me all the words he knew I wanted to hear…words of love, romance, flattery, you name it.  But he would ignore my birthday, forget to factor me in to things in his life, “forget” to follow through on things he promised me, and ended up flat out lying to me.  That’s not loving somebody!  But, you know what I was the knucklehead because I ignored ALL of these smack-me-in-the-forehead-obvious indicators that he wasn’t a good person because I liked hearing the words. The words kept me hooked in. They feel good. The words kept me believing that he was a good guy, that he had potential and meant well. And, it was a total load of BS…people who treat you this way aren’t good people and they don’t really love you.

So all of this boils down to the following – words are easy…words keep you hooked in…words are basically worthless without action to back them up. If you learn one thing today, it’s this…turn the knob in your brain that gets all gooey over words of love…yes, hear them, enjoy them, smile at them and file them away. They sure are nice. But, then open your eyes and look to see if the person backs up those sentiments with behaviors that indicate that the words are really true.

  • Does the person actively display caring behaviors towards you?
  • Do they make you a priority in their lives?
  • Do they follow through on what they say they will do?
  • Do they actively include you in their life (with family, friends, etc)?
  • Do they want to see and spend time with you (more than just to have sex)?

I know that for many of you this is hard to hear…because we all hang SO much hope and longing and trust in the words a partner says to us. An “I love you” can imply so much to so many.  But the key is that when those words are not backed up by the same kind of actions they are just words in the air….

It’s time to put your observer hat on in your relationship or in your next relationship. Do the words and actions match?

Photo credit: wheat_in_your_hair’s Flickr photostream   


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Categories: Discussion


I'm a married publicist who holds a Master's degree in psychology, with a concentration in Marriage and Family Therapy. I'd like to make the world a better relationship at a time.

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8 Comments on “Blah, Blah, Blah….Shut Up and SHOW Me…”

  1. adalamar
    December 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

    This is so true! I have dated several men that say wonderful things, and then…do exactly the opposite. And it does leave one very confused and frusterated. The man I was engaged to even violently attacted me, but swore he loved me afterward. I was taught that actions speak louder than words, and a man is only as good as his word. Needless to say I never spoke to him after that.

    The man I am with now is amazing. He actually shows me before he says it. It is wonderful when the two match.

    Thank you for this post. 🙂

  2. December 7, 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I’ve had one of my male friends try to get me to see the truth in this for such a long time. Sadly, I always wound up being heartbroken and distraught because I failed to see the inactions taken by the men I was with. Words are empty vessels… actions are what fills those words with meaning.

  3. December 7, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Your post was amazing! You sorted it all in just a few paragraphs. I am totally impressed and by the way thanks for visiting my blog too. But back to you, Reading your piece made me think if we all knew at twenty what we now know at forty life would be a dream. I remember all the toads before my prince charming came along and the one thing I can say was consistent about each relationship is that they were fatally flawed from the very beginning because we both had our own agendas to cue and little time to think about the other except in some idealistic dream that would inevitably be crushed by reality. You gave me something new to think about today! Thank you for writing.

  4. December 8, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    Fortunately, I ‘ve never experienced this… or maybe I ‘m just oblivious? ^.^ # and so far, I’m always the first to back off. I think.

  5. December 8, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    Sometimes its a case of them saying wonderful things that they just can not deliver. Like you say, I try to look beneath the words and see their actions. Sometimes you have to call them out on their ‘stuff’.

  6. December 8, 2011 at 5:06 am #

    It is definitely easy to fall into the trap of BS when you’re in a relationship because you want to believe in the good of the person you’re with, but really what is boils down to, as you said, are they just words or does he mean them?

    It really is hard to differenciate between the two. I’ve been in a relationship where it sometimes seemed to be all words and then at other points, his actions spoke louder. I guess my word of advice in this situation is really access the situation before making any rash decisions on whether you plan to stay or not.

    I love your honesty in all of your posts! It always helps to hear the view of someone who is not directly related or involved in your situations. That in of itself, is something that I too ams striving to achieve with my blog!

  7. December 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    This is so true! Even though I am the type of person that considers “words” as a verbal promise, I am a firm believer that your actions dictate what you actually wanna say/do.

  8. December 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm #

    I couldn’t agree more! Thanks for sharing such words of wisdom!!

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