I have been dealing with a lot of ambiguity lately. And at first I was getting annoyed, but then I pondered it a bit. Sometimes we don't like ambiguity...but sometimes it is a good thing. We just get upset or depressed when the letdown comes. Sure, maybe I am being pessimistic and the letdown doesn't always have to come. But aren't you in a much better mood when you are living in the mystery - the wonder of what it could maybe possibly be? If you don't know what will happen you can still walk around with that big goofy grin on your face. But as soon as you try to push it a little...you start getting answers. And maybe they aren't the ones you want.

But then maybe there is something to be said for getting answers. I had a girlfriend once tell me not to really push a guy because you never know – you might be pushing the guy into asking some other girl out and then that would just be a bummer for you. But that might be good...cause then you find out either way. Either he's eventually asking you out or some other girl and either way you are able to come to a conclusion…

What do you think? Would you rather know or live in the mystery?


Michi said...

I'd rather know. Always.

Olivia McCain said...

i would rather know too.

and if a guy is into a girl, he won't be mysterious about it. especially if he's REALLY into the girl. he won't want to risk losing her and he won't want to play childish games.

so if he's a good guy and the right one...you won't have to 'push' for answers.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I kind of like both. Is there some sort of mixture that would work? Like "Leave me in enough mystery to keep the dumb smile, but tell me enough that I don't get hit off guard." Do I have that option?

I think ultimately I would agree with Olivia and Michi. But, man, ignorance really is bliss!

Jus said...

I'd rather know.

Unless she gives you all the signs that it's gonna work out and it looks like it's gonna work out, and then she changes her mind and dumps you on your ass. And then you spend the next few months figuring out what the heck happened. In that case, I'd rather it stay ambiguous.

Obviously, I can't really have that unless I gain some measure of clairvoyance. Shoot.

Eric said...


The mystery is annoying.

Kimberly said...

I feel like I can usually handle a few weeks of ambiguity. I'm all, "see I'm fine, I can be cool, I don't need this to be defined" and then like a ticking time bomb I kinda burst and give up my game...I then proceed to throw all my cards down on the table. Which is probably overwhelming and doesn't seem to be a recipe for romance, it can also make things awkward afterwards. But I still do it anyway.

ashley said...

I read this blog al the time but rarely comment.. so here goes:
I agree with "Jus", in that there is nothing worse than being strung along, but though I know I have had this done to me.. i also am guilty of doing this to others (sometimes not so intentionally). And sometimes people come across as "ambiguous" when they really waver back and forth, not about if they like that someone... rather if that person is "right" for them. This is when things get tricky cuz the longer this process if figuring out takes, the more that is invested and lost when he decides "no, you're not 'the one'"...

the kicker is... said...


It leads to trust, and is foundational for a healthy relationship.

Perhaps "balance" is the more important word here? I don't know. I mean, what's wrong with saying "Hey - you know what? I really enjoy you - I dig hanging out with you - I'd like it if this happened more often" ? (if you're trying to communicate that you'd like to move forward in the relationship) That's honesty.

So is "I enjoy you - you're fun to hang out with - but I'm not sensing this is going to go past the friendship level - are you okay with still hanging out?" and subsequently having an honest conversation about what each other is looking for.

"Oh my gosh - I LOVE being with you and I am starting to think about forever - on this, our third date" might be out of balance ;)

So my point is, perhaps in lieu of ambiguity, there is space for honesty and balance?

Fear is a key player too, don't you think? I say: value yourself and the other person enough to just be honest w/o being over the top. Again, "I'm enjoying this relationship/you more and more" is different than "I want to have your babies". Keep it real. Be honest. If the other person isn't there (read: is uncomfortable with your honesty) then that too says something.

SingleDad said...

The possibilities of mystery are delicious. "Was that a flirt? What if he meant *that* instead of *this*? That could be lots of fun! I'd be into that..." and so on. It's even better when both people are there, when Jim and Pam are both kinda flirting (skirting the possibility) but also understanding that they aren't going to change the status quo. It's internal, though. The big goofy grin is about something hoped for, suspected, tantalizingly close. Taking the step toward knowing brings it out of one's internal fantasy. Knowing means that the delight can be savored with the other person.

I can see staying with the delicious mystery, but eventually I'd want to know. How long can Pam and Jim almost tell each other before one of them passes out of adrenaline overload? Eventually Jim has to tell Pam (standard western sexual stereotypes) or Pam has to tell Jim, or one of them is going to pop. Relish the mystery, but things get very bad without eventual resolution.

The ambiguity of interpretation is fun, while the ambiguity of silence is a wholly different animal, full of worry and fear. Is this death? Anger? Hatred? Apathy? I want to know that as quickly as possible, so I know how to steel myself.

[modified from the FB comment]