Does this sound familiar: you’re on a date with someone new and you open your mouth and it ALL comes out, and by all I mean EVERYTHING … you’re out of control. You spill the beans, all of them, the whole jar. What beans are in the jar? Usually your life story, more often than not your past relationships, especially the ones you apparently aren’t really over, your likes, your dislikes, even (gasp) your bodily functions that don’t function properly and anything else you can over-share. Essentially, you’ve completely exposed yourself. What’s the result? Well, more often than not you never get that next date, you might even be ghosted and never hear from them again. Yup, you’ve done it, you’ve scared them off.
Oversharing – The Ultimate Dating Fail
In the digital age, we are bombarded with information, some we want, some we don’t want. But, many of us are compelled to share every single thing we’re doing and who we’re doing it with online. Privacy really is a rare commodity these days. Reality TV allows you to see people’s lives being played out in front of your eyes. This has led people to feel like oversharing is normal instead of realizing that some things should be kept private, or only shared when the time is right.
We typically overshare because we’re either nervous or we feel a little too comfortable with the person we’re with. If you ask the experts they would say that “oversharing often happens when we are trying subconsciously to control our own anxiety. This effort is known as “self-regulation” and here is how it works: When having a conversation, we can use up a lot of mental energy trying to manage the other person’s impression of us. We try to look smart, witty and interesting, but the effort required to do this leaves less brain power to filter what we say and to whom.” That makes a lot of sense, I mean I’ve definitely overshared when I’ve been nervous and wanted to make a good impression.
Sometimes we have a tendency to feel like we have crazy chemistry with someone and they even start oversharing, but I would encourage you to still not overshare even if the person you’re with is oversharing. Learn to control your tongue! Why? Because you shouldn’t disclose too much too soon. Essentially, you need to decide if this person you’re speaking with needs to know this information or even if it’s going to benefit your interaction in any way. Ask yourself, is the information “need to know”, “nice to know” or “not necessary”? Use your judgment.
Here Are Some Topics To Avoid:
- past relationships (especially messy ones)
- family problems
- personal problems
- sexual experience and previous partners
- health problems (unless it’s essential they know)
- work problems
Once you get to know each other better, different topics come up naturally as you deal with day to day life, but they don’t need to know this information in the beginning because it really does make you less desirable. Instead of putting your best foot forward, when you overshare you’re painting yourself with not so pretty colors. No one wants to take on a special project with problems, they want someone who is starting with a clean slate. Someone who will make their world a better place. Remember, be hard to forget by leaving something to the imagination.
Disclose personal information slowly and make sure it’s reciprocal. That means make sure there’s a balance. Conversation should always be balanced and include active listening. That makes for a good date, even if things don’t work out, at least you didn’t make a fool of yourself and it was a positive experience. Do this by being a good conversationalist who isn’t one-dimensional. Prepare conversation topics such as current events, things you are passionate about and fun stories about you. This will help you overshare less and make you more interesting – now THAT is a dating win-win!
Have a dating dilemma? You can always Ask Single Dating Diva a confidential dating question on http://singledatingdiva.com.
READERS: Have you ever overshared or been on a date with an oversharer? Overshare with us in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
Originally appeared on eHarmony Canada.