How to Deal with the Silent Treatment in Relationships

When You Want Truth, and You Only Get Silence

How do you deal with silence from someone you want sex with?

It’s not easy.

There are at least two levels to this: people who are giving you the silent treatment because they don’t want to deal with your advancing emotions and intended desires to seduce and have sex with you, and people who are giving you the silent treatment because they don’t want to deal with your internal emotions and actualized desires after having sex with you!

Dealing with silence and poor communication is the purgatory of polyamory. It’s the worst when there is an infinitely huge extra layer of confusion and complication, since polyamory isn’t just a binary system of “yes” or “no” like monogamy is. When someone isn’t interested in you in a monogamous situation, it’s probably because you are simply not in an intimate relationship with them. (And if you are “just dating,” then I can’t call it because I never understood the ambiguous and arbitrary rules of the dating scene! Dating means “interviewing” as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t treat my partners like employees… but I digress.)

How to Build Intimacy in Relationships

I suppose there can also be a waiting period where one is wondering whether another person likes them, and they haven’t gotten an answer, or the other person is still trying to sort out their feelings and decide if they are going to get together with the other one… but in monogamy, it seems so precarious and full of duplicity, deception or indirectness, until the last moment of resistance can’t be fought anymore, and a person finally confesses how they REALLY feel, and everyone sees what happens next. (The whole hesitate to be the first to say “I love you” thing just crystallizes my point about monogamy being a fear game instead of a joy connection.)

Not to say that any of this can’t exist in polyamory. But the thing is, polyamory IS FOUNDED ON ATYPICAL COMMUNICATION METHODS AND CONNECTION CHOICES. You have to ask your partner “Do you care if I am with another person?” for polyamory to be REAL polyamory, and not just playing the field, or just dating with your own standards. Silence is the anti-thesis of functional polyamory. But… it still happens.

So, what do we do when silence happens?

Choose an appropriate time and place to start speaking what you have to say. Be cognizant of their emotional state and the environment.

Express your feelings about their silence. Let them know how it is affecting your feelings towards them, and the relationship in general.


Take it slow.

Don’t patronize or probe deeply into their personal privacy. Everyone deserves to evolve at their own pace, and process. Balance is the key.


And of course, there’s the possibility of the person saying things but not speaking about the subject you are asking about, and that’s not a real solution to the silence. You will know when someone is speaking to your question, or speaking around your question. It’s vital for you to listen as much as you speak, if you are trying to inspire your partner to speak to you more and listen to your requests to share the truth.

Because if relationships die unnecessarily over one thing: it would be SILENT NEGLECT!

So, know what you want, who you want, and why… and know how to tell someone everything they want to know if it is required for the relationship to survive!

Don’t be quiet about how much love and sex you want. Or else you will have to lie, cheat and steal to get it, instead of simply requesting it be…

In loud love,
Addi Stewart

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